Can a prenup be ignored in Wisconsin? | Sterling Law Offices, S.C. global $post;
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– from Paul K. in Vernon, WI

Question Details:

My wife and I were married about five years ago. We have no children. I had, and still have, a very successful business. I have accumulated a large amount of money over the last five years. At the time, my wife agreed to a prenuptial agreement which barred her from receiving any of the money that I had, or earned since our marriage. The money is also in a bank account under my name. I supported her through the marriage and she did not work at all. Now she is telling me that she want’s half, plus maintenance. Am I responsible for that?

Family Law Attorney Response:

First off, you should contact a reputable family law attorney right away to discuss the details of your case and begin preparing for court.

Topically, no, you are not liable. A prenuptial agreement is a binding contract. However, it would depend on the wording of the contract. As many unfortunate souls have found out through the years, it is rare that someone cannot find a loophole in a contract.

However, in the case of Hengel v. Hengel, 122 Wis. 2d 737, 365 N.W.2d 16 (Ct. App. 1985), a wife had signed a prenuptial agreement. Upon divorce, she had attempted to claim half of the estate. The court did not grant her request, and the court of appeals affirmed.

Trisha Festerling, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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