Can a Prenup or a Postnup With an Infidelity Clause Deter a Spouse From Cheating?

Can a Prenup or a Postnup With an Infidelity Clause Deter a Spouse From Cheating?

Gone are the days when the only purpose of a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement was to specify each spouse’s property rights and financial obligations in the event the couple divorced. Lifestyle clauses, such as an infidelity clause, are becoming increasingly common in marital agreements. But can a prenup or postnup with an infidelity clause deter a spouse from cheating?

Prenuptials and postnuptials

Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are legally binding contracts that specify what will happen in the event a couple legally separates, divorces, or one spouse dies. Prenuptial agreements are drafted prior to the marriage; postnuptial agreements are written after the couple is married. These marital agreements may specify division of property and other assets, as well as spousal maintenance.

Lifestyle clauses

Unlike most terms of a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, which address financial responsibilities for each spouse, lifestyle clauses establish guidelines for appropriate behavior within the marriage itself. Lifestyle clauses may specify which spouse will have responsibility for the housework, the acceptable frequency of in-law visits, and other non-financial aspects of the marriage. Failure to comply with the terms generally results in financial penalties.

Infidelity clauses

In a state such as Wisconsin, which is a “no-fault” divorce state, adultery is not a factor when establishing grounds for divorce. Either spouse can tell the court that the marriage has failed and, if the judge agrees, their petition for divorce will be granted. The Wisconsin courts also do not take into consideration any infidelity when making decisions regarding spousal maintenance. Because of this, couples may seek to establish their own guidelines regarding infidelity in the marriage, with a financial penalty for violating the rules. Whether or not an infidelity clause in your prenuptial or postnuptial agreement will deter your spouse from cheating during the course of your marriage depends upon several factors, including your spouse, the state of your marriage, and the stiffness of the financial penalty, among other things. Every marriage is as unique as the two people in it and what may keep one couple faithful to each other may not work for another couple.

Do you have questions regarding fidelity clauses, prenups, postnups, and other divorce matters? Give us a call

There are a number of important aspects to every divorce proceeding, including prenuptial agreements, property division, child custody, spousal maintenance, child support, and postnuptial agreements. It can be overwhelming and stressful, and leave you wondering where to even begin. Let us help. At Bandle & Zaeske, LLP, our knowledgeable Wisconsin divorce attorneys skillfully guide couples through the divorce process with compassion and understanding. To discuss your situation and get answers to your questions, contact a member of our team at 414-359-1424 or online.

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