We’ll spare you from the cheesy Wisconsin jokes and jump right into the meat of this article: hiring a prenup lawyer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin! (See what we did there?). Okay, okay, jokes aside, if you’ve clicked on this article, you’re likely engaged (or about to be engaged) and getting started on your prenup journey–congrats! But navigating through what to do, where to go, and who to call might feel overwhelming. We get it; it’s a lot! Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered on everything related to Milwaukee prenups: what prenup lawyers handle, how to find one, cost considerations, what goes into a WI prenup, and much more. So, stick around to discover all about Milwaukee, WI prenup lawyers.
Do I even need a prenup lawyer in Milwaukee?
Let’s start with a fundamental question: Do you really need a prenup lawyer in the great state of Wisconsin? Well, technically, it’s not a must-have for a valid and enforceable prenup in America’s Dairyland (a.k.a., WI). Nothing in Wisconsin’s statute or case law requires you to have a lawyer for an enforceable prenup. However, opting for a prenup lawyer can be beneficial to ensure your agreement aligns with state laws and suits your specific needs. Alternatively, you can utilize HelloPrenup’s state-compliant platform for a prenup that’s tailored to your preferences.
Note: if you decide to get a lawyer, be aware that you and your partner cannot share one attorney, as that would be considered a conflict of interest. Each person should have their own attorney.
What does a prenup lawyer do?
A prenup lawyer is someone who will walk you through the entire prenup process from start to finish. And, no, don’t worry they aren’t there to wreak havoc on your relationship. In fact, they should actually have the goal of fostering a strong marriage and creating a prenup that builds a foundation of trust. In fact, many prenup attorneys have a background in mediation and are extremely skilled in problem solving! That means if you and your partner are unable to come to an agreement in the prenup, they can typically help you resolve this issue without creating a hostile environment. Without further ado, let’s get into what a prenup lawyer does for you:
They answer your questions
You probably have a boatload of questions. What is alimony? Should I waive it? How do I accurately fill out my financial disclosures? What is a primary residence clause? Do I need one? And so on, so forth. A prenup lawyer is there to answer your questions. After all those years in law school, they’re more than happy to share the knowledge.
They offer legal advice and best practices
When you hire a lawyer, you are basically hiring someone to specifically advise you on your situation. Your prenup lawyer will look at your finances, your relationship, and your goals to help you come up with what you need. You may not even know what you need yet, but your lawyer can help with that.
They draft an agreement for you (or redline one)
Of course, a prenup lawyer is going to draft up your agreement. After meeting with you and discussing your finances, your goals, your relationship, etc., they will get an understanding of what should go into your agreement. If your partner’s attorney is the one to draft the agreement, then all your attorney needs to do is redline it (i.e., review it and mark it up to make sure it meets your needs, as well).
Negotiate on your behalf
Here’s where those problem solving skills come in handy. Lawyers are usually pretty good at negotiating. They are able to go back and forth (on your behalf) with your partner’s lawyer to make sure you guys can reach an agreement on the terms. A prenup should benefit both people, so negotiations are healthy and shouldn’t scare you off.
They help you understand the legal terms
Finally, a prenup attorney is going to explain to you what the heck you’re signing. There’s going to be tons of legal jargon in that contract, so you can bet that there will be things you don’t understand. Your lawyer will explain them to you to ensure you feel comfortable with what you are signing.
How do you find a Milwaukee prenup lawyer?
The best way to find a tried and true lawyer is to ask your network. There’s no better way to vet out an attorney’s practice style than to get recommendations from trusted friends and colleagues. Plus, you can ask them questions about their communication style, timelines, cost, etc.
If you’re not sure of anyone you know that’s had a good prenup lawyer, you can turn to Milwaukee’s Bar Association. This is an excellent resource to find qualified prenup lawyers in your area. Check out the “hire an attorney” page to get started.
Then, there’s always trusty Google. You can type in search terms like “Milwaukee prenup lawyer” or “Milwaukee family law attorney” or any other combination of these types of terms. Just remember to look at these lawyer’s client reviews first. Google and Avvo often have client reviews posted online for anyone to view.
Wisconsin prenup requirements
So, what goes into a valid and enforceable prenup? Can you just scribble “what’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is yours” on a napkin and call it a day? No, unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple. Every state has a set of requirements that is necessary for validly creating and enforcing a prenup. It varies slightly from state to state. What is a valid and enforceable prenup in Minnesota may not be in Wisconsin. So, let’s dive into what WI law says about prenups:
- The prenup must be signed and in writing.
- The prenup must be entered into voluntarily by both spouses.
- The prenup must not be unconscionable when made (i.e., the contract shouldn’t be extremely unreasonable at the time it is signed).
- Both parties should provide fair and reasonable financial disclosure.
- Prenup should be fair to both parties at the time it is signed (this is determined on a case-by-case basis by a court).
- If alimony waiver would leave one spouse needing public assistance, it may not enforce such a clause.
- The prenup should not include unlawful terms or terms against WI’s public policy.
- See the fine print on the above requirements in the Wisconsin prenuptial agreement (a.k.a. “Marital property agreement”) statute in Wis. Stat. §§ 766.58 to 766.588; See also In re Marriage of Krejci v. Krejci, 266 Wis. 2d 284 (Ct. Apps. 2003).
As you can see, it’s not so straightforward, and hiring an attorney (or utilizing HelloPrenup) may be a good idea to ensure you are following Wisconsin’s legal requirements for a valid and enforceable prenup.
How much does a Milwaukee prenup lawyer cost (vs. HelloPrenup)?
If you skipped the whole article and went straight to this section, we totally understand. You want to know how much you’re going to spend. Well, luckily Milwaukee is not a high cost of living area. In fact, it’s right around the national average, in terms of COL, which in turn, means your attorney will cost around the national average, as well.
Prenup lawyers tend to charge by the hour. In Milwaukee, the average lawyer charges $231/hour. So, let’s say you have a relatively straightforward set of needs and finances. You may be looking at 12 hours of attorney work: two hours of consultations, two hours of drafting, four hours of negotiations, four hours of finalization. That lands you at right around $2,772 for your prenup (12 hours x $231/hour). Keep in mind this doesn’t include what your partner will need to pay their attorney! AND–this could fluctuate, depending on your situation and what attorney you hire. Don’t run away just yet–there are cheaper alternatives, like HelloPrenup. With HelloPrenup, you can get a state-compliant prenup for just $599 per couple. Yes, you read that right!
You are writing your life story.
Get on the same page with a prenup.
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Nicole Sheehey is the Head of Legal Content at HelloPrenup, and an Illinois licensed attorney. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to prenuptial agreements. Nicole has Juris Doctor from John Marshall Law School. She has a deep understanding of the legal and financial implications of prenuptial agreements, and enjoys writing and collaborating with other attorneys on the nuances of the law. Nicole is passionate about helping couples locate the information they need when it comes to prenuptial agreements. You can reach Nicole here: [email protected]