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Lifestyle Clauses in Prenuptial Agreements

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Prenuptial Agreement

prenuptial agreement, lifestyle clause, Illinois family lawyersAs we have recently discussed in greater detail in other posts on this blog, at-fault divorce is now a thing of the past in Illinois. No matter what you think your spouse may have done, a family court will only care about one thing: whether or not irreconcilable differences have caused the breakdown of your marriage. It has long been the case that marital misconduct cannot be considered by the court in proceedings for spousal maintenance or property division either. The court may, however, recognize a prenuptial agreement between you and your spouse that includes what are commonly known as lifestyle clauses, allowing the behavior of one spouse or the other to still affect divorce proceedings.

Infidelity Clauses

Despite the Illinois law prohibiting divorce on the explicit grounds of adultery, the most common type of lifestyle clause found in many prenuptial agreements provides for a penalty in the event one spouse cheats. Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel reportedly have such a clause in their prenuptial agreement, and many other celebrity couples are thought to as well. If such an agreement is seen by the court as reasonable, whatever financial or property-related penalty upon which you have agreed may be enforced. This, howeer,

Preventive Measure

Some individuals, including many with the knowledge of their attorneys, will attempt to include lifestyle clauses in their prenuptial agreement with the full realization that such provisions may not actually be enforceable. Instead, simply by drafting an agreement that contains such a clause, they hope to make their partners think twice about engaging in the specified behavior. Clauses such as these may also provide some leverage for a spouse who believes he or she was wronged, as the offending spouse may be more ready to negotiate to prevent proof of wrongdoing from being presented in open court.


One other important element of any prenuptial agreement is a severability clause. Severability means that even if one or more of the provisions in your agreement is found to be unenforceable, the remainder of the agreement is still binding. Absent a severability clause, a single unenforceable element could lead to your entire prenuptial agreement being set aside and having to start from scratch in your divorce.

If you are looking for assistance with drafting a prenuptial agreement that meets your needs and protects your rights both now and in the future, contact an experienced Arlington Heights family law attorney. Our team will work with you at every turn, ensuring you are fully prepared for the challenges and opportunities that await you in married life.



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