Drafting a Prenuptial Agreement the Right Way

singing documents

Couples that worry about finances often wonder whether a lawyer is needed to prepare and review a premarital agreement (“prenup”). The answer is that a lawyer is the only professional who should prepare these types of agreements. In legal terms, a prenuptial agreement and a premarital agreement are considered the same thing. This document is a legally enforceable contract that alters the rights you may otherwise have under existing statutory or case law. As with any legal contract, it’s important there are no loopholes or missed information when it’s being drafted. An experienced family law attorney can assist you through this process. It’s imperative that a lawyer is involved when creating your specific agreement, because you are giving up certain legal rights to which you are otherwise entitled.

What Kind of Attorney Handles Prenups?

A prenup lawyer can be found in legal firms that specialize in family law. When choosing an attorney, it’s important to choose one that has substantial expertise in this aspect of family law. A premarital agreement that was incorrectly prepared or contains mistakes may be voided by the court when/if it needs to be enforced. In order to avoid this costly problem, it is advisable to seek legal guidance before drafting the agreement, and certainly before signing the agreement.

When Can a Prenup Be Voided?

In Oregon, a premarital agreement is a legally enforceable document that can be very difficult to reverse as long as all criteria are met and it was entered into voluntarily. While prenups are recognized in court, they are not always 100% perfect. An agreement that is entirely one-sided or has unlawful demands may not be honored in court. Keep in mind that if the validity of your prenup is contested, you’ll have the burden of proving that it is legitimate. You may not be able to have your prenup enforced if, for example, you did not have a family law attorney assist in the preparation of the document, if only one party had legal counsel, or if all necessary disclosures were not made.

Who Should Get a Prenup?

Premarital agreements are appropriate for almost anyone for a variety of reasons. They aren’t just for the mega-wealthy or for couples with significant income disparity. A prenuptial agreement can set forth the financial terms during the marriage, and the way both assets and debts are handled even in the happiest times. If the marriage should happen to end, everything is already sorted in a way both parties have agreed to before the negative emotions of divorce are involved. A well-drafted prenup can give families a lot of peace of mind. However, it is still a contract, and should be drafted and reviewed by a family law lawyer (one representing each party) before it is signed.

Hobson / Oram Law

Hobson Oram Law