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Can You Write Your Own Postnuptial Agreement?

You are already married but wish you had a prenuptial agreement after finding out about your spouse’s debts. While it is too late for a prenup, you can get a postnuptial agreement. But maybe you don’t have a lot of money—can you write your own postnuptial agreement?

Yes, you can technically write your own postnuptial agreement, but the question is: should you?

While you can likely find templates online, it is still difficult for the average person, who is not a legal professional, to draft such a complex legal document. There is a lot involved to ensure it is legally binding, so if you are going to take the time to create a postnuptial agreement, you want to make sure it is legally enforceable.

What is Required in a Postnuptial Agreement?

A postnuptial agreement must include the following elements:

  • It must be voluntarily agreed to by both parties.
  • It must be in writing.
  • It requires full disclosure of assets and debts.
  • It must not be one-sided in nature.
  • It must be signed by both parties.

While some of these requirements may be fairly easy to meet, some things may be more difficult to ensure, such as making sure the agreement is fair to both parties. Therefore, it is recommended that an attorney is involved. Having them look over the postnuptial agreement will help ensure it is valid and enforceable.

What Not to Include in a Postnuptial Agreement

A postnuptial agreement should include topics such as assets, debts, property division, and alimony. It is important that it refrains from discussing certain topics, as that will nullify it. A judge will not enforce a postnuptial agreement if it includes any of the following:

  • Child support/custody arrangements. The courts want to be involved in these arrangements, as they make decisions based on the best interests of the children. Therefore, you cannot detail anything regarding child support or custody in your prenup. That is because parenting situations are subject to change.
  • Sex-based agreements. Judges cannot force anyone to have sex or abstain from it. Therefore, requiring your spouse to have sex with you a certain number of times per week or forcing them to engage in sexual favors will result in your postnuptial agreement becoming invalidated.
  • Anything promoting injury. Forcing or allowing someone to hurt their spouse is unethical and against public policy.
  • Anything that breaks the law. Allowing criminal acts would be immoral. Therefore, postnuptial agreements do not force or allow someone to break the law. That would also be against public policy.

Contact Us Today

While you can create your own postnuptial agreement in Wisconsin, it may not be in your best interest to do so. There are several elements involved, and if it is not executed properly, it may not be enforceable in a divorce.

That is not something you want to risk. Get your postnuptial agreement done by the team at Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. Contact us today by email or calling (608) 784-8310.

Published February 28, 2022
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