December 13, 2011

Saying “I Do” to a Prenuptial Agreement

If you are a newly-engaged couple, you probably don’t want to think about the possibility that one day you and your soon-to-be spouse will divorce, but there is good reason to consider signing a prenuptial agreement. By entering into a prenuptial agreement, you and your spouse will be able to structure the financial consequences of divorce instead of leaving it in the hands of a court in the event of a future divorce. Many engaged couples think they would not benefit from a prenuptial agreement because they have few assets or because they aren’t planning on having children. However, prenuptial agreements help nearly all couples ensure they will receive a fair outcome if they happen to divorce. That being said, some couples should strongly consider entering into a prenuptial agreement. If you are marrying someone with a significant amount of debt, consider structuring a prenuptial agreement to avoid becoming responsible for all or some of the debt upon divorce. If one partner has a much higher earning potential than the other partner, a prenuptial can limit the amount of spousal support the wealthier spouse has to pay while still making certain the less wealthy spouse is protected. Similarly, if one spouse foregoes work in order to stay home and raise children, a prenuptial can ensure the stay-at-home spouse is given full credit for his or her contribution to the family despite not being in the workforce for a number of years. Some couples, like older people or couples who have children from previous relationships, may also benefit from the protection of a prenuptial agreement.

The lawyers at Stephens & Margolin LLP have substantial experience assisting Oregonians with prenuptial agreements.