Wisconsin Prenuptial Agreement: How Do They Work?
A marriage is a legally-binding contract containing obligations and responsibilities for each spouse. Although many couples do not anticipate an end to their wedding, divorce, separation, or death may strike without notice.
Prenuptial contracts come in handy when such unfortunate incidences occur. Therefore, enlightened future spouses will sign up for a prenup to help in property division if they divorce.
Here, we highlight how prenuptial contracts in Wisconsin work.
But First: What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenup is a formal document that enshrines how spouses will divide their property, assets, and debts if their marriage ends. A prenup covers every asset, including real estate, buildings, automobiles, jewelry, retirement benefits, clothing, and shares.
How Prenuptial Agreement Works in Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a community marital property state, hence, many couples split their assets on a 50/50 basis in a divorce. But when you have a prenup, you can break off the 50/50 rule and have a fair distribution of marital and separate property. The courts will not assume that every asset you acquired during a marriage is joint property.
You need to draft a written agreement and have it signed by you and your spouse. Although you will determine the content of the document, you may require a qualified family attorney to help you craft the legal language of the contract. An attorney also comes in handy if the court later verifies if you had legal representation when signing the contract.
Unlike in other states, Wisconsin doesn’t require you to support your agreement by consideration. Essentially, consideration means any valuable item that you offer your future spouse to show support for the premarital contract.
Most importantly, when signing a prenuptial agreement, you should be contemplating marriage as the law requires. Marriage should be the driving factor, and the contract is not effective without it.
What Are the Grounds for Contesting a Prenup?
According to Wisconsin law, a premarital contract is not enforceable if the terms are not equitable or fair for either spouse. Therefore, if you wish to challenge the validity of a prenup, you must overcome the presumption and prove the agreement is unfair to you.
A prenuptial agreement in Wisconsin may be unenforceable if any of the following elements are true:
- You did not enter the contract willfully because your spouse coerced or manipulated you to sign the document
- The agreement is grossly unfair to you. A case example is an agreement that revokes alimony while subjecting you to seek financial assistance from the state after a divorce
- Your spouse did not provide fair and full disclosure of their assets, property, debts, and financial obligations
Elements of a Prenuptial Contract in Wisconsin
A prenup includes everything regarding your property and finances. Whether you have individual or joint property, you can include them in your legal arrangement.
Broadly, prenups in Wisconsin include the following:
- Your rights and obligations regarding any property you owned before marriage
- The use, management, and control of any property you acquire jointly
- How you’ll distribute the assets if an untimely death, divorce, or separation happens
- Your right to collect alimony from your spouse if you divorce
- Your right to decide which state laws will interpret your prenup
- All matters affecting your assets and property as long as they are lawful
- How to arbitrate disputes
Can You Revise a Prenuptial Agreement in Wisconsin?
Yes. It is possible to change the terms in a prenuptial agreement. However, you must collectively agree to the changes and put them in writing. In addition, you should sign the new document to add to its validity in court.
Are you looking for a prenup template? We have a free downloadable Wisconsin prenup form on our website.