What you Should Know About Wisconsin’s Marital Property Act

McLario, Helm, Bertling, & Spiegel, S.C.

Family LawAs the summer begins, so do the onset of summer weddings as couples both young and young at heart say “I do.” Weddings are full of many important questions and decisions. “Will I still be the sole owner of my property once I get married?” is a question we hear a lot as couples plan for the future. If you are bringing property into an upcoming marriage, it is important to know your options before you say your vows.

In the State of Wisconsin, all property is presumed to be marital property regardless of how it is titled prior to the union. If a spouse wishes to maintain ownership after marriage, they must create a comprehensive marital property agreement. This documentation defines who owns specific assets and under what circumstances the pre-marriage ownership designation is valid.

The Wisconsin Marital Property Act states that both spouses provide support for a marriage. This support is recognized regardless of whether both individuals earn a salary or if it is of equal monetary value. Additionally, the law notes that whatever assets or debts that are brought into or acquired during the marriage belong to both spouses, equally.

Without a valid marital property agreement, there are only a few exceptions to this rule that a court with consider. The length of the marriage and the assets and contributions made by both spouses could all be possible circumstances under which the courts may, but are not required to, unequally divide marital property. If this is a concern for your situation, it is crucial to have detailed records of when and how assets were acquired prior to your marriage.

In addition to creating detailed records, discussing your situation with a qualified family law attorney before the union is strongly recommended. If you have further questions, please contact the team at McLario, Helm, Bertling & Spiegel for a free consultation.


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