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When a Divorce Agreement Is Rejected by the Court

Posted on in Divorce

Lombard family law attorneysUsually, when a couple decides to divorce, the court prefers that the spouses create their own divorce agreement dealing with subjects like maintenance and child support. More often than not, couples are able to agree on these subjects and a divorce decree can be approved by a judge with minimal court intervention. However, there are cases when the agreement will be denied, and either the couple will need to fix a few things or the court will have to make a ruling in accordance with the current law.

Unconscionability

Illinois law holds that an agreement to divorce must not be unconscionable. Unconscionability is a doctrine dealing with contracts that prohibits terms that are so grossly unfair or skewed in favor of one party that it shocks the conscience. While this applies to all contracts, it is seen fairly often in divorces. The aim of a divorce settlement is to leave both spouses with the tools they need to live independently, and sometimes people create agreements that do not meet that criteria, whether they realize it or not.

A good example of an unconscionable provision would be if a couple is divorcing, and a spouse who was the only breadwinner is absolved of all responsibilities for spousal support, as well as being awarded the lion’s share of the marital estate. Leaving one spouse with little property is contrary to the goal of a divorce agreement, which is based in equity and fairness. It is also unconscionable under Illinois law to attempt to handle the issues of child custody, visitation and child support in a judgment of divorce. Such issues must be decided either by a judge or by a state agency

If, for any reason, an unconscionable divorce agreement is passed by a judge and entered onto the record, it can still be overturned if the unconscionability can be shown in a later proceeding.

If Your Agreement Is Unconscionable

If you and your spouse have your agreement rejected by the court for unconscionability, the next step, under Illinois law, is to attempt to redo its provisions. The court wants couples to handle their affairs themselves as often as possible to preserve autonomy and lessen the strain on court dockets, but it is permissible to seek outside help. An experienced mediator or divorce attorney can help a couple understand where they went wrong and to modify the agreement for the better.

If your agreement was rejected because you attempted to dispose of child support, visitation or custody questions, simply removing that language may render your agreement acceptable. If not, and you cannot come to an agreement between you, the court will order disposition on any matters still outstanding.

Seek Professional Assistance

Divorce is a difficult time, with a great deal going on at once. An experienced Lombard family law attorney can provide the guidance you need to help navigate the process. Call A. Traub & Associates at  630-426-0196 for a confidential consultation today.

 

Sources:

http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050K502.htm

http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050K502.htm


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