When you are getting ready to walk down the aisle, the possibility of getting a divorce is likely the last thing on your mind. In reality, it may be wise to make it one of the first things you tackle once you know that wedding bells will soon be ringing.
Unfortunately, due to irreconcilable differences and a multitude of other potential issues, not all marriages last. However, you can protect any assets you bring into your marriage with the help of a prenuptial agreement. Still, there are certain things you can't legally include in these types of agreements.
Each state, including Illinois, does not allow anything illicit to be included in prenuptial agreements. In fact, if you decide to include a provision that details something illegal, this may end up putting some parts of your document or even your entire agreement at risk of dismissal.
Child custody and support decisions
Issues related to child custody and child support also cannot be included in your prenuptial agreement. The family law court has the last say when it comes to child support calculations, as child support is considered a public policy issue. The court will determine child support according to what is in the child's best interest.
Waiving the right to spousal support
You may be considering waiving your right to spousal maintenance, also known as alimony, in your prenuptial agreement. While legally allowed in the state of Illinois, this type of provision could potentially be struck down by a court. If the court deems that the lack of alimony payments could create an undue hardship for a spouse due to unforeseen reasons at the time that both parties signed the prenuptial agreement, it reserves the right to order future spousal support payments.
Judges also generally scrutinize prenuptial agreements in search of anything that may indicate a monetary incentive for getting divorced. A judge will simply set aside any provision that appears to encourage the dissolution of a marriage.
Creating a prenuptial agreement can seem complicated and even overwhelming. After all, including the wrong provisions may result in an agreement that is unusable at a time when you need it the most. An applied understanding of the law may help you to fashion an agreement that will ultimately protect your rights and best interests in the event of a divorce.