Sadly, happily-ever-after does not always happen, a reason many couples find themselves in court to dissolve what once appeared to be so promising.
One of the biggest mistakes that couples make is not anticipating that they could one day break up.
It is a routine question to ask clients if they have a prenuptial agreement. The response from one was pretty telling: “No. It’s unseemly, isn’t it?”
It’s not romantic or reflective of an enduring, trustful relationship, but prenuptial agreements are like estate planning, important even if they are uncomfortable. They are especially helpful for second or later marriages.
Without such a document, Wisconsin law assumes equal division of property with a few exceptions, such as for short marriages.
What other mistakes should you avoid?
- Rushing to hire an attorney without first trying to negotiate calmly with your spouse. Early agreement can smooth the process and avoid more time-consuming and expensive divorces.
- Waiting too long to see an attorney. Working early with an attorney can help you save costs and more complicated issues later on.
- Do-it-yourself divorces. Forms are available to do that, but be aware that they sometimes result in major problems.
- Moving out of the house without first reaching agreement regarding the children. It’s harder to do that six months after you left. You could be considered to have abandoned your kids, which means a lengthy legal process to get regular visits again.
Many people worry about legal costs, but an attorney's objective should be to protect their clients’ interests in a cost-effective way.
By Peder Arneson, attorney at Johns, Flaherty & Collins. For a divorce lawyer in La Crosse WI, call Peder at 608-784-5678.