Why you should always consult with a lawyer if you plan to use a pre-nuptial agreement
When two people decide to get married, one or both may be entering the relationship with considerable wealth, dependent children or other relatives, or other separate property. In any of these situations, the couple may decide that entering into a pre-marital or pre-nuptial agreement makes sense. However, there are reasons why you should always consult with a lawyer if you plan to use a pre-nuptial agreement.
These are Legal Documents
It is almost always advisable to consult with an attorney before entering into a legally binding agreement. In the case of a pre-nuptial agreement you, your partner, or both of you are seeking to create added financial protections. If your agreement is improperly created, it will not have any legal effect. Wisconsin law recognizes marital property agreements or pre-nuptial agreements. However, these contracts must be drafted and signed correctly in order to be considered legally valid.
Further, there are specific conditions under which such an agreement can be found to be "unconscionable" and therefore unenforceable. Additionally, a marital property agreement which was executed involuntarily, or without a fair disclosure or notice of the other spouse’s property and debt, will also be unenforceable. Your attorney will understand the parameters of the law and be able to give you guidance and advice about creating a valid pre-nuptial agreement.
These Agreements Have Long-Lasting Implications
Wisconsin marital property agreements essentially decide on the allocation of assets which may or may not be divisible upon divorce. If you are waiving your interest in property, it's important to talk with an attorney before signing anything. You want to make sure that the agreement is equitable for both you and your partner. Someone seeking to preserve assets for their business or family should also consult with counsel to ensure that their actions are appropriate. Hopefully, your agreement will never be needed, but in the event that your marriage ends, you want to be sure you have the right protections in place.
When executed correctly and with the right terms, marital property agreements can be an excellent way to manage assets and protect everyone's interest. Attorney Karyn Youso of First Look Family Law understands the importance of safeguarding assets in an equitable manner before marriage. Call today to set your appointment to take a “first look” at your circumstances and assess your needs.