A prenuptial agreement, commonly referred to as a “prenup,” is an agreement between spouses about how property will be divided between you if you ever get divorced. These agreements can also effect a spouse’s right to collect spousal support (or “alimony”) from the other spouse in a divorce case. If you are planning to get a prenuptial agreement drafted, you should consult with an attorney at least 30 days prior to getting married and preferably earlier. You want each spouse to have plenty of time to review the agreement with their own separate counsel and make an informed and voluntary decision about entering such an agreement. Agreements entered into at the last minute may later be unenforceable if it is either unreasonable in its terms or if one party did not have adequate opportunity to review the contract before signing it.
In almost all cases, both spouses should have legal representation advising them about the contents of the agreement. Each spouse’s attorney will attest to their client’s understanding of the document and their willingness to enter the agreement voluntarily. These attorney attestations are very important to the document holding up in court if it ever becomes an issue in a dissolution case later. If the agreement is ever revoked during the marriage, that revocation must be in writing and signed by both parties.
Prenuptial agreements can also be entered into after the wedding, however, it is then called a postnuptial agreement. The enforceability of a postnuptial agreement is considerably less certain than a prenuptial agreement because prenuptial agreements are specifically authorized by Oregon Law. Postnuptial agreements are not. So, prenuptial agreements are certainly preferable, but nonetheless postnuptial agreements remain common. If you are already married and had intended to enter into a prenup, but didn’t get around to it, it is still a good idea to get a postnuptial agreement done. For more information or for assistance drafting or reviewing a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement contact Family Law attorney Henry LeSueur. Currently we offer both services for a flat fee of $500.