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Prenuptial agreements may not be romantic, but they are practical

Summer is a popular time for weddings in Oregon, and many soon-to-be brides and grooms are making their last-minute plans for their big day. One task that they should not wait until the last minute to complete. However, is executing a prenuptial agreement -- also referred to as a premarital agreement. It may not be a romantic task, but it is a very practical one, given that many marriages do end in divorce.

A prenuptial agreement is essentially a contract between the two spouses. There are a variety of topics that can be included in a prenuptial agreement in Oregon. A prenup can include the rights and obligations each spouse has to marital assets, including the right to buy, sell or otherwise, control an asset. Prenups can include provisions on how assets will be divided should the parties separate or divorce. In addition, prenups can contain clauses on the making of an estate plan to carry out the terms of the agreement. Prenups can contain provisions stating which state's laws will control the construction of the agreement. Finally, prenups can contain clauses on any other matter if the clauses do not violate public policy and do not violate the law.

There is one significant limitation to prenups in Oregon, though. Prenups cannot adversely affect the right of a child to child support should the parties to the agreement divorce. The amount of child support owed is set by the state and while parents can agree to pay a higher amount in child support than what is provided in state statute, they cannot agree to pay a lower amount through a prenuptial agreement.

Prenuptial agreements are beneficial not just in the event of a divorce. They provide a means for couples to have an open and honest conversation about their assets, finances and expectations -- something that is not always easy to do. Being on the same page with regards to assets and finances can set a couple up for marital success, but should their marriage fail, having a prenuptial agreement already in place can help the divorce run smoother.

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Elizabeth Christy Law Firm PLLC

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