Why prenuptial agreements should not be overly harsh

When an Illinois couple is preparing to get married, they may be thinking about entering into a prenuptial agreement. A prenuptial agreement can help people to protect their assets, but it is important to write them in a way that is fair for both parties.

Some people make the mistake of focusing only on keeping all of their future financial assets rather than on focusing on their marriages themselves. As a result, their prenuptial agreements may be very harsh, leaving their spouses with very little if their marriages do not work out.

For example, wealthier parties may try to draft a prenuptial agreement that disallows alimony no matter the circumstance. They may also include provisions that they will keep all of their earnings no matter what. Another overly harsh provision is statements that the person will keep not only the property he or she brings into the marriage but also any gains in value that happen during the marriage. A person who tries to present such a prenuptial agreement is making it less likely that the marriage will be successful. An important aspect of marriage is a willingness of both spouses to share with one another.

The language of a prenuptial agreement is important, but just as important is the timing. A person who is presented with a prenuptial agreement on the eve of the wedding in which the provisions concerning marital property are quite harsh may feel coerced or pressured into signing it. In many cases, that could lead to the agreement being overturned if subsequently challenged in court. Both parties should have their respective lawyers review it before it is signed.