Prenuptial agreements in Racine County Wisconsin are often used by couples who want to protect their wealth in the event of divorce. While this may pertain to wealthy individuals, many couples who simply have children from another marriage or own their own business may have the same desire. In order for couples to ensure that the prenuptial agreements in Racine County Wisconsin are valid and legally enforceable, they should focus on the following guidelines:
A Signed Writing
It is not enough for the parties to agree ahead of times to the terms of their divorce. This information must be clearly demonstrated through a document in writing. Furthermore, both parties must voluntarily sign the agreement. If one spouse applied pressure, deceived the other or manipulated the other into signing, the court may not enforce the agreement because it may be considered an involuntary signature.
A Fair Agreement
If the court finds that the agreement is extremely unfair or that it is “unconscionable” and “shocks the conscience,” the court will not enforce it. Therefore, the agreement must be fair in nature. However, Wisconsin does not require that the agreement be supported by consideration, meaning that something of value does not have to be given by both parties in order to be valid.
The parties have to know what they are agreeing to do. Therefore, it is necessary for each party to provide the other with full and fair disclosures regarding their assets and debts.
While not technically required, both spouses should have independent legal counsel. A lawyer should explain the party’s rights to his or her client. A lawyer should not create a conflict of interest, therefore he or she should not represent both parties. Additionally, having independent legal counsel can help provide stronger protection against any claim that the spouse was not aware of his or her rights.