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When To Get a Postnuptial Agreement in Wisconsin

 Posted on January 04, 2024 in Family Law

Waukesha County divorce lawyerSo you got married but forgot to get a prenuptial agreement or simply never planned on getting one in the first place. But now you feel you need to protect the assets you have worked so hard to accumulate and wonder if it might be too late. Thankfully, postnuptial agreements do exist and are legally binding in Wisconsin, so long as what is in it is still fair should a divorce occur. Consulting a knowledgeable attorney can help you navigate the complexities of a postnuptial agreement and determine if one is suitable for your situation.

What is a Postnuptial Agreement?

postnuptial agreement is practically a prenuptial agreement created after the marriage has begun. Couples still use them to protect their assets, such as vehicles, bank accounts, retirement accounts, homes, etc. They can be a great way to offer peace of mind to anyone hoping to keep their personal belongings after a divorce, especially in a community property state such as Wisconsin.

Community Property

Wisconsin is a community property state, which means that should a divorce occur, all accumulated assets and debts a couple has accrued throughout their marriage will be split equally regardless of either partner’s contributions to the marital estate. Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can allow couples to circumvent this law and will enable them to divide assets as they see fit. However, for a postnuptial agreement to remain legally binding, what is stated on the document must be fair and uncoerced.

In All Fairness

A judge may look at the duration of the marriage and the age of the document before accepting the validity. An agreement that was executed many years in the past may no longer hold up in court. Though everything in the postnuptial agreement might have been fair at the time it was created, it does not mean that it remains so at the time of divorce. If the postnuptial agreement looks completely one-sided, the judge will not likely enforce it.

Full disclosure will also be required before a judge makes a decision. Before signing the document, both parties should have been aware of each other’s debts and assets. If the judge does not feel the document was signed voluntarily and under no duress, that could be grounds for invalidity.

Contact a Waukesha County, WI Divorce Attorney

So, when should you get a postnuptial agreement? The answer is “whenever it feels right to do so.” To ensure it holds up in a court of law, it must be signed by both parties voluntarily, uncoerced, and without duress. It may also benefit you to keep it up to date. An experienced Waukesha, WI divorce lawyer, like those at Bucher, Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP, can help to ensure your postnuptial agreement remains valid. Contact the firm today for a free consultation at 262-232-6699.

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