It can take weeks of negotiating and hashing out details with your spouse in order to create a divorce agreement that you are both satisfied with. The last thing you want is for the divorce court to tell you that the agreement is invalid or unenforceable, forcing you to make corrections and delaying the completion of your divorce. A divorce agreement is a contract between former spouses, and there are several ways that a contract can be deemed invalid:
- Illegality: Divorce agreements must adhere to Illinois’ laws in order to be approved. For instance, you are not allowed to waive a parent’s obligation to pay child support or to treat assets in a way that is meant to defraud a third party.
- Unconscionability: A court may reject a divorce agreement that it believes is unfair or inequitable. This most often occurs in the division of property, which Illinois law states must be equitable. The court will not allow one spouse to take advantage of the other through an agreement that is one-sided or leaves one spouse in a much weaker financial position than the other.
- Nondisclosure: A party in a divorce may try to gain an advantage by hiding assets that should be included as part of the marital property or accounted for when calculating child support or spousal maintenance. The divorce agreement will be invalid if you can prove that your spouse withheld information that would have changed how you settled your divorce.
- Coercion: It is illegal for your spouse to force you to sign a divorce agreement through the threat of violence or blackmail. Any agreement that is reached through coercion is unenforceable as long as you can prove that the coercion occurred.
- Undue Influence: A more subtle version of coercion, undue influence occurs if your spouse pressures you to accept a divorce agreement by taking advantage of the power dynamic in your relationship. For instance, your spouse may control the money in your marriage and prevent you from hiring your own divorce lawyer to represent you during the negotiations.
- Mistakes: An error in the written agreement may force you to make corrections before the court will approve it. A divorce agreement is too important of a document to allow it to be approved if there are inconsistencies or sections that are confusing.
- Incapacity: Both sides must be capable of understanding the divorce agreement that they are signing. A court will reject an agreement if one of the spouses was incapacitated due to injury or illness when they signed it.
Contact a St. Charles Divorce Lawyer
A Kane County divorce attorney at Goostree Law Group will work on your divorce agreement until you are confident that it serves your best interests and they know that the judge will approve it. To schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled lawyers, call 630-584-4800.