Whether you are getting married for the first time or remarrying after a divorce, a prenuptial agreement can help you and your partner enter your marriage with a clear understanding of each other’s needs and interests regarding marital and non-marital property. Getting a prenuptial agreement does not mean that you believe a divorce is inevitable, but it is important that you go about the process of creating an agreement correctly to make sure that it is valid and enforceable if you do decide to divorce later on.
Creating an Enforceable Prenuptial Agreement in Wisconsin
In most cases, the terms of a prenuptial agreement will be honored during the divorce process. However, actions during the process of creating the agreement may make some or all of a prenup’s terms unenforceable. If you want to ensure that your prenuptial agreement is legally valid, you should:
- Be honest about your property and finances. It is important to provide your partner with a full disclosure of your properties and debts before creating a prenuptial agreement. Withholding important information may nullify the agreement.
- Make sure that each partner signs the agreement willingly. A prenuptial agreement is not enforceable if either spouse has been coerced into signing it. Make sure you reach a joint decision to pursue a prenuptial agreement rather than putting undue influence on your partner.
- Make sure spousal support terms are fair. Your prenuptial agreement can address spousal support, also known as alimony, but if the court determines during a divorce that the prenuptial agreement does not provide adequate support for one spouse, it can adjust the terms of your divorce decree to account for that spouse’s needs.
- Avoid terms that could negatively impact child support. A prenuptial agreement is between you and your spouse and should focus on marital property and financial matters, rather than addressing issues related to your children, such as child support and custody. If the terms of your prenuptial agreement negatively impact either spouse’s ability to contribute to child support, the agreement may not be valid, or the court may need to order a change.
Note that enforceability often depends on the circumstances at the time when the prenuptial agreement was finalized rather than at any point after. If you or your spouse experience a significant change in your assets or finances during your marriage, it may be best to create a new agreement that takes precedence over the original prenup.
Contact a Milwaukee County Family Law Attorney
The attorneys at Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP can assist with the drafting of a prenuptial agreement that protects both partners’ interests and will hold up in court. Contact a Milwaukee County prenuptial agreement lawyer today at 414-271-1440 to schedule a free consultation.