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Is My Illinois Prenuptial Agreement Valid if I Was Forced to Sign It?

 Posted on February 28, 2024 in Division of Property in Illinois

IL divorce lawyerThe concept of a prenuptial agreement is one that many people are familiar with. However, they do not necessarily understand the specifics involved. People often hear that when someone extremely wealthy marries someone with an average financial background, they will “make” their future spouse sign a prenup in order to protect their assets should they get divorced down the line. However, when you are signing your own prenuptial agreement, the entire matter seems less “intriguing” and more relevant, as it can have a significant impact on your life and your future.

If your spouse’s family has a legal team that takes care of these sorts of things, you might find that you signed something contrary to your rights and interests. Many people feel pressured by their spouse or their future in-laws to sign a prenup. Additionally, during the engagement phase, many couples do not like to even consider the possibility that their relationship might fail. If someone gives them a document to sign, they might very well sign without carefully reading it through, simply to get it over with and push the idea out of their mind again. If divorce is now a possibility, you may be nervous that the prenup you signed might mean financial doom. An experienced Will County, IL divorce lawyer can review what you signed and advise you on how to proceed.

Can an Illinois Court Determine Whether a Prenup Was Signed Involuntarily?

Proving that someone signed a document against their will can be quite difficult, as it can often turn into a matter of “he said - she said”. However, the circumstances under which a prenuptial agreement was signed can sometimes help a court determine that at least one of the spouses may have signed it against their will. Some examples include:

  • Legal counsel: If you did not have a lawyer of your own at the time of your engagement and your spouse’s family’s attorney drew up the prenup without you having anyone to review it and offer your guidance, you likely did not have your interests reflected in it. As such, this might invalidate it.
  • Timing: If your spouse or their family brought you the prenup to sign right before your wedding, you may have felt pressured to simply sign it so that your wedding could go on as planned. For such a claim, the date listed as the date when the prenup was signed becomes important. If it was signed during the week of the wedding, it would seem inappropriate timing and might be grounds for invalidating the agreement. If it was signed months beforehand, the argument may not be accepted. 
  • Altered state of mind: Another scenario that might invalidate a prenup would be if you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs when you signed it. If you can show - through photographic or video evidence or testimony of people who were there when it happened - that you were not in a proper state of mind and therefore may not have understood what you were signing, this could help your case and invalidate your prenup.

Contact a Plainfield, IL Divorce Lawyer

If you signed a prenup before you were married and you now find yourself wondering how negatively that might affect you in your divorce, a knowledgeable Joliet, IL divorce attorney can look through the agreement you signed and help you plan your next steps. Call 815-666-1285 to schedule a free consultation with Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C..

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