A prenuptial agreement is a legally binding contract that two people sign before they get married. The contract – also called a marital reclassification agreement – is a way for people to “opt out” of Wisconsin’s marital property laws if the couple decides to later get a divorce. Sometimes couples with a significant amount of wealth – either belonging to one party or to both parties – feel that a prenuptial agreement is necessary, and sometimes they’re ideal for situations in which one party owns a family business, significant debt, or kids from a previous relationship.
But how will a prenuptial agreement affect your divorce?
Divorce With a Prenuptial Agreement in Wisconsin
Under Wisconsin law, all a couple’s assets are supposed to be divided equally when they divorce. However, with a prenuptial agreement in place, those laws don’t always apply.
In some cases, parts of the prenup supersede – or take precedence over – the law. Sometimes a prenup is completely invalid, too, which means ordinary Wisconsin property division laws apply. The court will look at whether the agreement was fair when the couple signed it, including whether each knew what they were getting into, as well as whether there has been a significant change in circumstances since the couple signed the agreement.
What About Child Custody and Support in a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement can’t decide child custody. For example, if your prenup says that your ex will automatically get custody of your children if you decide to leave the marriage, the court will ignore it – that’s because only a family law judge can decide custody, and it’s completely based on what’s best for your children right now.
Your prenup can’t limit the amount of child support that has to change hands, either. Child support belongs to the child, not to either parent. The prenup doesn’t matter at all when it comes to child support.
Do You Need to Talk About Divorce With a Prenuptial Agreement?
If you’re bound by a prenuptial agreement and want a divorce, we can help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 for a free divorce consultation right now. We can answer your questions and give you the case-specific legal advice you need.