Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements
Who Needs a Prenup & What Is a Postnup?
A prenuptial agreement, or prenup for short, is a contract entered into by partners prior to a marriage. A postnuptial agreement, or a postnup for short, is a contract entered into after the marriage has already taken place.
Many people can use a prenup or a postnup. Some common reasons are:
Protecting assets prior to marriage, in case a divorce occurs years down the road;
Providing peace of mind and a financial safety net if you make a major life decision, such as deciding to become a stay-at-home parent. Many individuals worry that if they provide unpaid labor, rather than being paid for their labor, they may end up with poor financial stability if a divorce or separation later occurs. Having a contract to provide reassurance of stability either before or after a marriage, can be extremely important;
Protecting children from prior relationships before entering into a marriage. In Oregon, your spouse is entitled to a percentage of your assets on your death, regardless of what is written in a will or trust. This is called the Spousal Elective Share. It is common for individuals with children from a previous relationship, to put a prenup in place in order to protect those children, and allow them to inherit more than Oregon law otherwise allows. This is the most common reason for a prenuptial agreement;
Preserving specific treasured assets prior to a marriage, such as family jewelry, or a beloved painting;
Creating equality after a marriage, when one spouse may provide unpaid labor at home in order for the other spouse to earn paid wages at a job. A postnup can protect the individual who earns less, if a divorce were to occur;
Changing the terms of a prenup, after the marriage occurs; and
Many other reasons!
What does a Prenup (or postnup) cost?
Many of our clients have one big questions after they have decided that a prenup or postnup may be right for them. "How much does a prenuptial agreement cost (or postnuptial agreement)?"
Under Oregon Law, it is best to have two attorneys. One representing you, and one representing your future (or current) spouse. Because of this, a prenuptial agreement will have two costs, the cost of the lawyer drafting, or writing, the agreement, and the cost of the attorney who reviews the contract. The drafting attorney typically has higher fees. These fees are typically charged hourly, with the average being between 1-3 hours to draft, and 30 minutes - 2 hours to review. At Liska Law, our prenuptial agreements typically cost a total of $500-$700 to draft, and a total cost of $150-$350 to review.
How do I make sure my prenuptial or postnuptial agreement stands up in court?
There are a number of rules and tricks to keep your agreement solid once it has been signed.
We provided consultations regarding prenuptial and postnuptial agreements that have already been signed, and we will help counsel you on what you need to do before the agreement has been signed.
For a few helpful tips, check out Liska Law attorney, Heidi Mandler-Huff's short video below, explaining some common red flags that are seen in pre- and postnuptial agreements.