Understanding Prenuptial Agreement in Oregon
Prenuptial agreements have had negative publicity, with many people linking them to divorce. Others also believe prenups are for wealthy couples who want to protect their hard-earned wealth.
However, the stigma on prenuptial contracts is fading, and many couples now incorporate prenups in their union. The truth is that you can draw satisfaction in your marriage by having a premarital agreement. If you divorce, you'll have an easy reference point for splitting assets and finances.
Find out about a prenuptial agreement in Oregon.
Premarital Contracts in Oregon: An Introduction
Oregon adopted the Uniform Premarital Act in 1987 to govern antenuptial contracts. The Oregon Revised Statutes, Title 11, have a clear framework and definitions of prenuptial contracts.
Under the statutes, a prenup is a written draft signed by both spouses and made effective only upon marriage. Parties can, however, amend or revoke the agreement if they agree and sign the amendment.
Although it is advisable to seek legal representation and advice, parties to the prenup do not require two separate attorneys when signing the draft. Notarization of premarital contracts is also not mandatory in Oregon.
What Should You Include in an Oregon Prenup?
A prenup is an important planning tool that can salvage your legal rights and obligations in the future.
So, when drafting the document, you should capture all the critical elements as follows:
Separate and Marital Property
Your agreement should articulate every property that belongs to each spouse. For instance, if you have precious collectibles, make it clear in the prenup. Under Oregon’s revised codes, you can define your obligations and rights on any property, regardless of its location. In addition, you can include clauses detailing how you’ll divide marital property that incorporates savings, retirement benefits, and bank accounts.
A premarital agreement in Oregon has provision for addressing spousal support or alimony. It defines if one of the spouses will continue receiving financial aid if they divorce or separate and for how long.
The clause on spousal support is critical if there's a massive discrepancy between your earnings and your spouse's income. If you have a substantially higher income than your partner, you would consider offering support until the partner adjusts to the new life after divorce.
Like most states, Oregon restricts child support and custody on premarital contracts. Thus, you cannot define child support when drafting a prenup because your current income when drafting the agreement may not be the same as your earnings years later when you divorce.
During the divorce proceedings, the courts in Oregon will determine the child’s custody and support based on your earnings and the child’s interest. Even if your agreement has provisions for child support, the courts may override them.
Are Prenups All-time Valid in Oregon?
The validity of a prenuptial agreement in Oregon depends on the court, which evaluates several factors to validate the deal.
Informed consent greatly determines the validity of a prenup. In determining approval, the court will evaluate testimonies from both spouses to ascertain full disclosure of assets and liabilities by spouses.
Therefore, it is advisable for you and your spouse to have sufficient time to review your agreement before signing. It may be invalid if you or your spouse signs under coercion, intimidation, or insufficient time. On the other hand, if you sign an agreement in light of inadequate disclosure from your spouse, the deal fails the validity test.
Educational matters also affect a prenup’s validity in Oregon. These may include having a formal education or language proficiency of either spouse. The courts will verify if the written agreement is in a language you understand.
Moreover, the Oregon courts will determine if your attorneys have an in-depth understanding of the native language before offering legal advice.
Consider downloading our free template of the prenup agreement form in Oregon.