Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
A wedding is a wonderful and joyous occasion. Nobody planning for a wedding wants to believe that perhaps one day, the marriage may end in divorce. But if you have significant personal assets, family wealth, or important interests you wish to protect, it is in your best interest to consider a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.
A prenuptial agreement is created prior to your marriage. Prenups allow you and your intended to address your specific asset and property concerns in detail. A thorough and comprehensive prenup can set out rules about how assets or debts should be divided between you and your spouse should the marriage end, or govern how spousal support, if any, is to be allocated. Prenups can also help protect partners from pre-marital debt accrued by one party, and help protect family heirlooms and inheritance.
You and your partner should begin the process of drafting a prenup several months prior to the date of the wedding. Both of you should consult your own family law attorney to ensure that your prenuptial agreement is fair and equitable for both parties.
A postnuptial agreement may be useful for spouses who have acquired significant assets during the course of their marriage. Partners may sometimes undergo marital difficulties and wish to separate for a period of time. If both parties then choose to reconcile, a postnup can help formalize any property and financial decisions that may have been agreed to during their period of separation. It is important to note that in contrast to a prenuptial agreement, Oregon has no specific statute that requires the enforcement of a postnuptial agreement. Despite this, Oregon courts have enforced such agreements. So should you and your spouse conclude that a postnup agreement is something you both want to create, it’s important to consult with a family law attorney who can guide you through the process.