When people divorce in Wisconsin, their property is divided between them according to Wisconsin's community property law. Wisconsin's community property law starts off with the presumption that all property and debts of the spouses that were acquired during the marriage are equally owned and therefore will be equally divided in the event of a divorce.
This poses unique problems for people who own a business. In many situations, a spouse of a business owner will be entitled to a share of the business. This can be so even if the business was established well before the marriage. With that in mind, many people would like to do what they can to protect their business interests in the event of a divorce.
Many people use a prenuptial agreement to protect their businesses in the event of a divorce. However, prenuptial agreements are very complex documents and should only be made with the advice of an experienced family law attorney.
Generally, a prenuptial agreement is a contract between two spouses that specifies what the spouses' property rights would be in the event of a divorce. The contract must be signed by both spouses before the wedding. In order to be binding, a prenuptial agreement must meet several legal requirements.
Prenuptial agreements must be in writing. Verbal prenuptial agreements are generally not enforceable. The agreements must also be the product of both spouses acting freely and there can be no coercion or force involved. These agreements should also provide for a full disclosure of assets and the signing of the prenuptial agreement should be witnessed.
Importantly, prenuptial agreements need to be fair. These requirements may seem straightforward, however many couples inadvertently create a prenuptial agreement that fails to meet these legal requirements. In order to make sure you have a prenuptial agreement that is airtight, it is important to work with an attorney who is both knowledgeable and experienced in Wisconsin family law.
Source: Forbes.com, "Divorce-Proof Your Business, Even If You're Still Single Or Happily Married!," Jeff Landers, 4/19/2011