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When Can a Postnuptial Agreement Be Beneficial for a Married Couple?

Posted on in Family Law

milwaukee family law attorneyBy: Attorney Max T. Stephenson and Paralegal Courtney M. Hess

Most people are familiar with the concept of prenuptial agreements, which are signed by a couple before they get married and address how matters will be handled if they decide to get a divorce in the future. In many cases, a couple may not feel that they need this type of agreement at the time of their marriage, since neither spouse may own significant assets that would need to be protected. However, after multiple years of marriage, the issues that would be addressed in a prenup may become relevant, and either or both spouses may want to put protections in place if the possibility of divorce does enter the picture. In these cases, a couple may consider creating a postnuptial agreement.

When to Use a Postnuptial Agreement

As with a prenup, a postnup can address issues related to a couple’s finances and property and make decisions about what will happen in a potential divorce. An agreement can specify that certain assets are separate property that one spouse will own following a divorce, or it can detail how different assets will be allocated between the spouses during the property division process. An agreement may also make decisions about spousal maintenance, such as by specifying the amount and duration of payments that one spouse will pay to the other following divorce or by waiving a spouse’s right to receive spousal support.

A postnuptial agreement can be a good idea in situations such as:

  • Parents, including those who have children from previous relationships, may wish to protect their children’s right to receive assets as an inheritance. A postnup can state that certain assets will not be divided between spouses during divorce or inherited by one spouse after the other’s death, but will instead be set aside for children or used for specific purposes, such as to pay for college expenses.

  • If a couple experiences an increase in income or assets during their marriage, they may wish to protect themselves from financial losses and create an agreement that will ensure that both parties will have the resources they need following a potential divorce.

  • If one spouse has experienced a decrease in income, which may occur because of the decision to stay at home to raise children rather than work, they may wish to make sure they will be able to provide for themselves and their family if the couple decides to get a divorce.

  • One spouse may have been financially irresponsible and lost money due to gambling or substance abuse, or they may be planning to make risky investments such as starting a business that has no guarantee of success. In these cases, a postnup may be used to protect the other spouse from financial losses and ensure that they will be able to provide for themselves if the marriage ends.

Contact Our Waukesha County Postnuptial Agreement Lawyers

If you believe that a postnuptial agreement would be a good idea in your marriage, the attorneys of Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP can help you understand your options, and we will work with you to create an agreement that will provide you with the protection you need. Contact our Milwaukee family law attorneys at 414-271-1440 to set up your free consultation.

Sources:

https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/766/58/13/c





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