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How to Tell when You Need a Postnup

Schwei & Wendt, S.C. Oct. 6, 2018

Couples often believe that if they didn’t sign a prenuptial agreement prior to the marriage, it’s too late to remedy the situation. That’s not the case, as postnuptial agreements are also an option.

You may wonder why you need a postnup when you never bothered with a prenup. But marriages are fluid, organic and complex. The terms (or lack thereof) that were sufficient at the time you got married may no longer be so. You may now be able to negotiate for terms that are more favorable to you.

This is how it could work. Suppose that after the marriage, a wife learns that her husband has a bad gambling habit and not a great deal of luck. Conversely, a husband might find out that his new bride has a problem with online shopping. Either way, one spouse feels financially imperiled.

To keep the marriage intact while the party who is bleeding money learns to rein in their out-of-control spending habits — and also to protect themselves in the future — the spouse can request that their partner sign a postnup agreement.

As Wisconsin is a community property state, couples with no agreement in place who can’t reach accord on their property settlements in a divorce are bound by state law to split their marital property 50-50. A postnup can leave the debtor spouse with fewer assets to offset their culpability in the downfall of the marriage.

Postnups can also be used as a tool to keep wandering spouses in check. With a financial penalty included against the cheating spouse in the postnup, they may be less likely to step outside of the marital bounds for companionship.

Those are but two potential scenarios where postnups could potentially save your marriage from divorce. Your Brookfield family law attorney can provide you with additional information that applies to your situation.