Divorce – Separation Agreements – Illinois
Note: This summary is not intended to be an all inclusive discussion of the law of separation agreements in Illinois, but does include basic and other provisions.
General Summary: Separation and Property Agreements may be entered into before a divorce is filed to be effective immediately, or may be entered into after the divorce is filed to settle the case. Provisions concerning property division, maintenance of either of them, and support, custody and visitation of their minor childre. With the exception oif provisions relating to minor chilren, the partie’s agreement is binding on the court unless, under the circumstances, the court finds the provisions to be unconscionable.
Illinois Compiled Statutes
Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act.
(a) To promote amicable settlement of disputes between parties to a marriage attendant upon the dissolution of their marriage, the parties may enter into a written or oral agreement containing provisions for disposition of any property owned by either of them, maintenance of either of them and support, custody and visitation of their children.
(b) The terms of the agreement, except those providing for the support, custody and visitation of children, are binding upon the court unless it finds, after considering the economic circumstances of the parties and any other relevant evidence produced by the parties, on their own motion or on request of the court, that the agreement is unconscionable.
(c) If the court finds the agreement unconscionable, it may request the parties to submit a revised agreement or upon hearing, may make orders for the disposition of property, maintenance, child support and other matters.
(d) Unless the agreement provides to the contrary, its terms shall be set forth in the judgment, and the parties shall be ordered to perform under such terms, or if the agreement provides that its terms shall not be set forth in the judgment, the judgment shall identify the agreement and state that the court has approved its terms.
(e) Terms of the agreement set forth in the judgment are enforceable by all remedies available for enforcement of a judgment, including contempt, and are enforceable as contract terms.
(f) Except for terms concerning the support, custody or visitation of children, the judgment may expressly preclude or limit modification of terms set forth in the judgment if the agreement so provides. Otherwise, terms of an agreement set forth in the judgment are automatically modified by modification of the judgment. 750 ILCS 5/ Sec. 502
Before a divorce may be granted in the State of Illinois, there must be a judicial determination that one of the parties is at fault. The parties may not make this determination for themselves; they may, however, determine how they will divide their property and arrange for the support of their children and themselves. James v. James (1958), 14 Ill.2d 295, 152 N.E.2d 582
The settlement of the property and support rights by the parties is condoned and encouraged. Gaddis v. Gaddis (1974), 20 Ill. App.3d 267, 314 N.E.2d 627
When the parties enter into a written property settlement agreement after each has been made aware of the extent of the other’s property and is fully aware of the provisions of the agreement, and the agreement has been approved by the court and has been incorporated into the decree, the agreement is considered conclusive and is as enforceable against the parties as if the court had made the determination. Gaddis v. Gaddis (1974), 20 Ill. App.3d 267, 314 N.E.2d 647.
When a party seeks to vacate a property settlement incorporated in a judgment of dissolution of marriage, all presumptions are in favor of the validity of the settlement. In re Marriage of Hamm-Smith, 261 Ill. App. 3d 209, 214 (1994).
A settlement agreement can be set aside if it is shown that the agreement was procured through coercion, duress or fraud, or if the agreement is unconscionable. In re Marriage of Flynn, 232 Ill. App. 3d 394, 399 (1992).
Related Illinois Legal Forms
- Marital Domestic Separation and Property Settlement Agreement Adult Children Parties May have Joint Property or Debts effective Immediately
- Marital Domestic Separation and Property Settlement Agreement Adult Children Parties May have Joint Property or Debts where Divorce Action Filed
- Marital Domestic Separation and Property Settlement Agreement for persons with No Children, No Joint Property or Debts where Divorce Action Filed
- Marital Domestic Separation and Property Settlement Agreement for persons with no Children, no Joint Property, or Debts Effective Immediately
- Marital Domestic Separation and Property Settlement Agreement Minor Children no Joint Property or Debts effective Immediately