Every court case is unique in the fact that it involves individual parties working toward specific goals. However, the legislation and legal policies applied to particular cases are not original. Courts throughout the state of Illinois often rely on standards set in previous cases to help interpret the law as it stands and determine the most appropriate ruling according to that interpretation. However, every now and then a case comes along that challenges legal conventions, potentially setting new precedents in the process.
In anticipation of moving forward with divorce proceedings, one woman is challenging the conditions of prenuptial arrangements she agreed to before marrying her husband. According to the woman’s attorney, she was pressured into signing the prenup, which puts its validity as a contract into question. Apparently her then fiancé assured the woman the terms of the contract would only be upheld until she had his child.
Three kids later, the wife’s request to have the prenup void was recently granted in appeals court, giving her the opportunity to fight for a substantial portion of her husband’s assets. The court’s ruling to overturn the provisions of such a contract is almost unheard of. After all, the purpose of a well-constructed prenuptial agreement is to eliminate the possibility of certain property-division disputes. Consequently, some attorneys familiar with this specific case suspect it may set precedent for future prenup disputes.
It’s far too early to know if the floodgates have in fact opened for everyone looking to contest the validity of their premarital contracts, but it interesting to consider the affects that this lone case could have on divorce settlements across the country. If nothing else, it serves as proof that enlisting quality legal advice and representation can be the best way to protect one’s rights and assets in any divorce.
Source: nbcnewyork.com, “NY Court Decision Voiding Prenup Sparks Legal Row,” Frank Eltman, March 12, 2013