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Wisconsin Marital Property Laws

While assets and liabilities in your name or in your spouse`s name are considered common property, Wisconsin courts may consider certain factors when deciding to deviate from the traditional 50/50 split in your divorce agreement. Wisconsin is one of nine community-owned states in the country, meaning that matrimonial property is subject to 50/50 division upon divorce, with the exception of separate property such as property owned before marriage, inheritance, or gifts to a party. Keep in mind, however, that sometimes a separate party is subject to asset allocation when separate property has been mixed with matrimonial property. An example could be if a spouse owns a house or cabin before the wedding and both incomes are used to preserve property during the marriage. Any matrimonial property dedicated to the maintenance of separate property is included in the division of matrimonial property. Matrimonial property includes all income and property that a couple acquires after their “date of destination” (with a few exceptions). The date of destination is the most recent of the following dates: the couple`s wedding date; the date on which both took up residence in Wisconsin; or January 1, 1986. People often contribute to life insurance and deferred pension plans before and during a marriage. For example, special formulas exist to calculate which parts are matrimonial or individual property. If you divorce in Wisconsin, the court applies Wisconsin law to determine how you divide your assets. Most couples who leave understand that their commons and titled assets are divided, such as real estate, bank accounts, and investment accounts. However, you will be surprised to learn that assets that are only in your name, in a trust that you have created in your own name or on behalf of your business, are also likely to be divided by the court. Combat assets such as a house, cars, retirement accounts, etc.

are only one side of the property division equation; Marital debts must also be divided. Debts incurred during marriage are also divided 50/50, unless, for example, a loan is granted to a spouse on the basis of separate assets. However, marital debts, such as credit card debts incurred during marriage, are divided equally between spouses in a divorce, whether or not there is only one name in the account. All marital debts incurred during marriage are divided into divorce. Since both parties are responsible for debts incurred during the marriage, it is important to cover expenses when divorce is imminent. If your spouse is going on a secret spending spree before your divorce, think about the word dissipation, as you may be able to make up for those last-minute purchases if you divide property during the divorce. There are financial consequences that the court can impose if it divides matrimonial property for money spent on a girlfriend or simply for old revenge expenses. What is matrimonial property? What is an individual property? What happens if my spouse and I disagree on matrimonial property? There are certain types of property that can be considered separate property in a divorce.

This includes inherited income or assets that you brought into the marriage, that you kept separated throughout the marriage, and that you did not use to benefit the marriage in any way. Separate property may also include property that you inherited in your name alone or property that was given to you individually during the marriage. Simply put, matrimonial property is property acquired by one of the spouses after the marriage of two parties. In the event of divorce, the court has the power to distribute matrimonial property and not authority over individual property. Pension plans can be both included in the real estate breakdown and excluded, which is based on the discretion of the court. A matrimonial contract allows you to decide for or against the law on the matrimonial regime. Deciding whether both are a smart decision for you depends on factors such as your tax situation and estate planning needs. A lawyer can help you find the best options and draft the agreement. Or you can use legal form agreements. In all cases, the agreement must be in writing and both spouses must sign it voluntarily and with adequate knowledge of the spouses` financial situation. A spouse may transfer matrimonial property to a third party if the name of that spouse appears on the title. If both spouses accept the gift, it can be of any value.

However, if a spouse contests the gift and its value is greater than $1,000 (or a “reasonable” amount higher depending on the couple`s economic situation), that spouse can apply to the court to cancel the gift. Yes. During a marriage, individual and matrimonial property can be mixed. The law assumes that this mixed property is entirely matrimonial property, unless the records prove that a part is individual property. They should designate beneficiaries for life insurance and deferred pension benefits. Then, these assets can be passed directly to your beneficiaries and not by will. In life insurance, if you name someone next to your spouse as a beneficiary, your spouse may still have a matrimonial property claim to a portion of the death benefit. Keep this in mind if you want to appoint children from another marriage as beneficiaries of life insurance.

Another example: you own a summer cabin before your wedding. After the wedding, your spouse builds an annex to the cabin without receiving compensation for his work. This extra space increases the value of the cabin. The amount of the increased value is matrimonial property, although the original value of the cabin could remain an individual property if the documentation proves it. As with most things in a divorce, Wisconsin`s matrimonial property laws are generally fair and reasonable, allowing for an easy division of property if both parties can reach an agreement. However, if the parties do not agree, the district court will distribute the marital succession upon publication of the divorce decree. On the other hand, let`s say you owned 100 shares of publicly traded shares before you got married. You stop buying shares during your marriage and the stock gains value due to changes in the market. This stock, as well as its increased value, remains an individual property. Since the house is usually the most valuable asset that couples own together, decisions about what to do with the house are often at the heart of the division of matrimonial property.

If a spouse wants to keep the house, they will usually refinance the property on their own behalf (assuming they can qualify for a loan with income) and perhaps get a payment refinancing to pay the other spouse for half of the accumulated net worth. In the absence of money, exchanging other assets or even taking on more of the burden of marital debt may be an option. If neither spouse wants to keep the house, or if one of the spouses is unable to obtain a loan independently or has no matrimonial property or debts for business, couples may decide to sell the house and share the proceeds. In this case, couples must make decisions regarding the sale of the property and all the preparations and expenses associated with it. It is important to consider the tax consequences of maintaining a home whose value has increased significantly, as the capital gains tax exemption is greater for a married couple than for a single person. Discussing the pros and cons of maintaining the marital home in a divorce with your lawyer can help you decide. One likely scenario is for the court to include money in the wealth department that must be paid in the form of interest on a personal loan and that was discovered during financial disclosure. On this occasion, when the money is in your possession, the court can offset it with the asset allocation. This is not always the case, but it is at their discretion to count it or not.

In the event of death, your estate consists of your individual assets plus half of the total matrimonial property. You can entrust your assets to whoever you turn to. A word of warning, but. Let`s say you leave everything to a charity. The charity would receive your individual property, plus half of your marital property. The latter could include half of the property that is still owned and used by your surviving spouse, for example. B the family car. Your surviving spouse would end up owning the car with a charity, which may not be what you had in mind. Make sure your estates are exactly what you intend to be. You and your spouse may want such an agreement if you disagree on credit matters.

A matrimonial property contract can also be used for other purposes. You may both want to avoid the matrimonial property system. You prefer to keep part or all of the property separate as individual property. Or you may want to have some or all of your individual properties reclassified as matrimonial property. .