Help With Prenup, Postnup And Other Agreements
In Oregon, when two people divorce or legally separate, their respective legal rights are ultimately determined by statute and Oregon case law. However, Oregon law allows parties to contract with each other prior to or even during marriage to essentially create their own rules in the event of a separation or divorce. This is why many couples will work with an attorney to form these contracts, often called prenuptial or postnuptial agreements.
Parties may enter into contracts to organize and classify assets and debts or how property acquired during the marriage may be disposed of in the event of separation or divorce. Parties may choose to modify or eliminate potential obligations to pay spousal support or agree to an amount of spousal support. They may determine each party’s rights and obligations as to a variety of other issues, including matters related to their children, the establishment of trusts and almost any other matter.
If you have questions about these types of documents, it is wise to consult with an experienced attorney for guidance.
At Berman Law Center, P.C., our lawyers have more than a decade of collective experience guiding clients through a range of family law matters. Whether you are considering marriage or would like to ensure that nonmarital assets are kept separate in your marital finances, we can help. Call us at 503-715-2108 or toll free at 800-282-9288 today.
Assisting You With A Wide Array Of Agreements
We have a long history of guiding clients through drafting a broad range of agreements, including:
- Prenuptial agreements: While sometimes viewed in a negative light, prenuptial agreements provide marrying couples with the opportunity to reach agreements in the event that a marriage should fail. These kinds of agreements can even help relieve some of the stressors that may otherwise cause a breakdown in a marriage, thereby providing for stronger and more durable marriages. Prenuptial agreements can address any issues agreed to by the parties, including property ownership, parenting plans and other issues that may be more easily addressed prior to a marriage, when two people are working well with each other. If divorce becomes a reality, these documents make resolving disputes much simpler and more straightforward, especially at a time when the divorcing couple may no longer be able to work together constructively.
- Postnuptial agreements: After a couple is married, it is likely that assets and debts will be acquired. A postnuptial agreement is a way for couples to keep these items organized. It is easier to work through division of assets while you are still a couple, rather than at the end of a marriage. A postnuptial agreement can also be modified as circumstances in a marriage continue to change; for example, if children are born of the marriage, the parties can decide together to enter into formal agreements as they pertain to their children.
- Cohabitation agreements: Couples who do not wish to get married can enter into a cohabitation agreement. Though Oregon does not recognize what is often known as “common law marriage,” the Oregon courts have determined that two unmarried individuals living together and binding themselves to each other in various ways (e.g., joint bank accounts, joint ownership of property, etc.) may have caused the emergence of a domestic partnership. If one party can make a showing to a court that a domestic partnership has, in fact, emerged, that party may have certain rights to the assets of the other party. As the formation of domestic partnerships is largely determined by intent, a cohabitation agreement can protect individuals by making their respective intents clear. This agreement, like a premarital agreement, can describe in detail the assets and debts that each party brings to the relationship, the status of assets and debts accumulated during the relationship, and what the division should be if the relationship ends.
- Marital settlement agreements: When two people begin to contemplate a divorce, they will often hire an attorney to draft a marital settlement agreement. A marital settlement agreement is similar to a divorce judgment in that it addresses each party’s rights and obligations with regard to property, support, custody and parenting time. However, a marital settlement agreement is entered into by the parties before either party files for divorce. Couples often prefer this manner of terminating their marital relationship as it provides them with the opportunity to consider their needs according to their own schedule, rather than pursuant to a schedule that may be dictated to them by the court once a filing is made. If the parties are working on their marriage, a marital settlement agreement can provide peace of mind while they work on other parts of their marriage. Once completed, if a party does file for divorce, this comprehensive agreement can be incorporated into a divorce judgment and will be enforced by the court.
If a marriage or cohabitation ends, these agreements can ultimately save parties a great deal of time, money and unnecessary stress by allowing them to work out issues together and establishing each party’s rights and duties, all before they become problems. Contact a knowledgeable Oregon family law attorney today for a free, 15-minute phone consultation.
Contact Us For A Free Phone Consultation
If you have questions regarding prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, schedule a consultation at Berman Law Center, P.C. Do not hesitate to contact our office by calling 503-715-2108, toll free 800-282-9288 or by completing our online contact form. We provide a free, 15-minute phone consultation, and, depending on the needs of our clients, we can offer off-hours meeting times.