Milwaukee Wisconsin Divorce Attorneys
Milwaukee Wisconsin Prenup & Postnup Attorneys
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements may expedite the divorce process in Wisconsin
No married couple wants to think about the relationship going sour and being forced to file for divorce. Although thinking about divorce is uncomfortable for married couples, there are numerous benefits that come with planning ahead just in case a divorce becomes inevitable. The prenuptial agreement and the postnuptial agreement are tools that married couples may use to lay out what would happen in the event a divorce becomes necessary. At Bandle & Zaeske, LLP, our Wisconsin divorce attorneys are experienced in drafting prenuptial and postnuptial agreements that protect your legal interests. And, we take the steps required to enforce those agreements during divorce proceedings.
Property division in Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a marital property state. Marital property, which will be subject to division in a divorce, includes all property owned by either spouse. Even property obtained before the marriage will be classified as marital property. Property only in one spouse’s name will also be deemed marital property because the married couple is viewed as one unit. Therefore, in a divorce, many spouses lose property that they thought was theirs and theirs alone.
To avoid this result, many couples draft prenuptial or postnuptial agreements to establish how their property will be divided, rather than take a gamble on the family courts.
Prenuptial agreements are drafted before a couple is married. In Wisconsin, these are also known as Marital Property Agreements (MPA) which reclassify property. The purpose of a prenuptial agreement is to determine, within reason, how property will be divided in the event of a divorce. In most cases, judges enforce these agreements. To be enforceable during a divorce, the prenuptial agreement must clearly state that the terms of the agreement apply in a divorce proceeding.
Prenuptial agreements will be enforced so long as the terms are fair, both parties disclosed complete financial information, and both parties had adequate legal representation at the time the agreement was signed.
Prenuptial agreements may be as specific as the parties like. The parties may decide how all of their property will be divided in a divorce, including:
- Real property, such as land, condos, or houses;
- Bank accounts;
- Retirement accounts;
- Antiques; and
- Any other property the parties wish to address.
These agreements may also address spousal support (alimony and maintenance).
The only issues that may not be decided in advance of a divorce are custody, visitation, and child support. At the time of a divorce, decisions that are in the best interests of the children will be made.
Whereas prenuptial agreements are made before the parties are married, postnuptial agreements are created after the parties get married. Postnuptial agreements are commonly drafted when the parties obtain a new piece of property, or if a spouse inherits a substantial amount of property.
In most cases, property that is gifted or inherited remains the property of the individual spouse who received it. However, if the property is used to support the marriage, it may end up being labeled as marital property and subject to division in a divorce. Therefore, if a spouse inherits a significant sum of money, the spouse may want to draft an updated postnuptial agreement to make sure that money remains the property of that spouse during a divorce.
Again, just as with prenuptial agreements, postnuptial agreements are for property matters only—they may not set up custody, visitation, or child support in advance of a divorce.
Contact leading Milwaukee Wisconsin divorce attorneys to create or discuss your pre or postnuptial marital agreement
At Bandle & Zaeske, our Wisconsin divorce attorneys are experienced in creating prenuptial and postnuptial agreements that meet your needs. We are also available to assist with the enforcement of marital agreements during your divorce. To schedule a free consultation with our attorneys, call 414-359-1424 or contact us online.