Following the end of a marriage, the spouse who has greater financial means may be ordered to pay support (alimony) to their former partner. In Illinois, alimony is most often awarded when there is a large gap in the future economic prospects of each party and the marriage lasted for a significant amount of time.
You may be wondering: Can I sign a premarital agreement that waives alimony? The short answer is ‘yes’ — however, there are strict requirements that must be met. In this article, our Naperville and Bolingbrook alimony lawyers explain the most important things you need to know about spousal support and prenuptial agreements in Illinois.
Illinois Law: Premarital Agreements Must Meet Certain Standards
Similar to many other states, Illinois has adopted the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act. This model legislation governs when Illinois courts will (and will not) enforce the provisions of a prenuptial agreement. If a prenuptial agreement does not conform to certain standards, the agreement may be deemed unenforceable.
In some cases, Illinois courts will invalidate a specific clause or a specific section of a prenup. In other cases, the entire premarital contract may be thrown out and deemed invalid. Before signing a prenuptial agreement, it is crucial you consult with an experienced family lawyer. An attorney will ensure your agreement is drafted properly.
Alimony Rights Can Be Waived — But the Precise Language Matters
There are limits to what you can do in a prenuptial agreement. For example, Illinois does not allow parents to address child support obligations in a premarital contract. If your prenup includes a provision waiving child support, that provision is not enforceable in Illinois. Likewise, you cannot make child custody or child visitation arrangements within a premarital agreement.
However, Illinois does allow couples to waive their right (and responsibility) to spousal maintenance. Parties have considerable discretion over alimony rights. You may be able to waive alimony altogether, limit the amount or duration of payments, or put certain, basic conditions on support. A professionally drafted prenup negotiated in good faith can be upheld.
Still, it is important to note that the precise language of the prenuptial agreement always matters. Illinois courts will not enforce a provision within a prenuptial agreement that is deemed to create an “undue hardship” for one of the parties. If you are considering including a spousal support waiver within a prenuptial agreement, it is crucial you and your spouse consult with your own family lawyers.
Contact Our Illinois Spousal Support Attorneys for Help with Your Case
At Keller Legal Services, our Illinois alimony lawyers are skilled, solutions-derived advocates for clients. We will protect your family law rights and financial interest. If you have questions or concerns about alimony and prenuptial agreements, we can help. For a no-cost, no-commitment consultation, please contact our legal team right away. From our law offices in Naperville and Bolingbrook, our family lawyers serve communities throughout all of Illinois.