Consumers face a battery of different scams and unethical behaviors. Some have been around for decades or even centuries. Others have sprung up with the growth of the internet. Either way, it is important for consumers to know what these scams look like and what to watch out for.
The Illinois Prenuptial Agreement Act provides that prenuptial agreements are not enforcible if they are unconscionable (unfairly one-sided), or if a party fails to reasonably disclose his/her assets before marriage, unless the right to disclosure is waived in writing. However, a wife's attack on a prenuptial agreement was rejected where she voluntarily signed the agreement without reading it, and the husband made a fair, but not full, disclosure of his assets and liabilities before marriage. An agreement is not unconscionable just because it is one-sided. A valid prenuptial agreement replaces the marital rights of the parties under the law. Marriage of Woodrum (Illinois Court of Appeals, 3rd district, Sept 20, 2018).
The IRS determined that a husband-wife attorney team owed $207,000 in back taxes and $77,000 in penalties. The husband was a tax attorney. The wife had a law degree and taught school. After the Tax Court affirmed the decisiosn of the IRS, the wife, an attorney with MBA and Doctorate degrees in addition to her law degree, petitioned the Tax Court for relief from the tax bill under a section of the Tax Code that allows relief for "innocent spouses". She testified that she did not understand the joint tax return, financial matters, checking accounts or credit card statements. The Tax Court ruled that her testimony was not credible and that she did not qualify as an innocent spouse for that reason and because she had participated in the original tax case by sitting at the table for parties and their attorneys. The Court of Appeals affirmed. The attorney-wife was represented by her tax-attorney-husband throughout. Frances Rogers v. The IRS (U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, Nov., 2018).
You sit down with a potential business partner and the two of you come to an agreement. You shake hands. You agree to work together.