Home > Family Law > Marital Property Agreements (Prenups)

Is A Prenup Right For You?

Many people approaching marriage in 21st-century America realize that it is inherently risky. With no-fault divorces and with 50 percent of marriages ending in divorce, it is realistic to contemplate "what if" a marriage does not last. A marital property agreement (sometimes called a prenup whether it's created before or after the individuals get married) may be seen as a form of insurance.

Often, considerations of the interests of children from previous marriages lead people to ask about prenups. For some relationships, having a formal agreement in place can help avoid fights about finances and can be an important piece of a durable, trusting relationship. Business partnerships, family-owned companies, and inheritances may also be factors that bring up this topic.

Whatever brings you to the question, "Is a marital property agreement right for me?", it can be a good reason to consult with a knowledgeable family law attorney. I am William Block, founder and owner of Block Legal Services in Brookfield. I advise clients from throughout the Milwaukee metro area and southeast Wisconsin on legal matters such as prenuptial marital property agreements.

Pre-nup Vs. Post-nup: What's The Difference?

What if you're already married but you would like the protections that a prenup offers? What's the difference between a prenuptial agreement (done before marriage) and a postnuptial agreement (done after you are already married)?

The short answer is that there is no difference. In Wisconsin, both types of agreement are called marital property agreements and they're treated exactly the same when it comes to effect and enforcement.

Understand How A Marital Property Agreement Differs From An Estate Plan

You and your fiancé may be full of optimism as the wedding approaches, and you should be! That doesn't mean you won't benefit from advice on the full legal ramifications of marriage, especially if there are children from a prior relationship involved. Once married you will be each other's next-of-kin, so estate planning will be important for the two of you. However, even though you have joined together in marriage, your assets and interests might differ. An estate plan says where your stuff goes (amongst other things), and a marital property agreement says what stuff is yours.

Talking to a family law attorney about the possibility of a marital property agreement can be educational. A close examination of the provisions of a marital property agreement as well as the capabilities of estate planning tools such as wills, trusts, and powers of attorney for finances and health care can help you prepare to enter marriage with your eyes wide open. A thorough review of your options can give you a better understanding of the long-term financial and legal aspects of marriage, divorce, and death.

Knowing how marriage affects ownership of property and being conscious of the rigors of divorce can help you and your spouse or fiancé decide whether to enter into a marital property agreement. It is also important to understand how this type of agreement may impact estate planning and vice versa.

At Block Legal Services, you can expect clear explanations of how to make your marital property agreement legitimate and binding, including:

  • Legal counsel for both of you, each with your own attorney
  • Full disclosure of assets
  • Signing the documents properly
  • Protecting copies
  • Following the terms of the agreement

As a family law and estate planning lawyer, I can prepare your wills, too. I can ensure that together, your marital property agreement and your estate plan will accomplish what you intend.

A Discussion About Marriage And Marital Property Agreements Can Be Informative For Engaged Parties

Bring your concerns to my attention at Block Legal Services and I will gladly advise you on how to protect your rights within marriage as well as in case of divorce or the death of your spouse. Call 414-930-4478 or send an email message to schedule a consultation with me, lawyer William Block, about any family law matter. The ScheduleOnce function on the Contact page will allow you to set your own consultation time and date.