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Be sure to pay attention to the wording in prenuptial agreements

Although once mostly reserved for wealthy couples with a vast amount of assets to protect, many people in Oregon now understand the value of a well-written prenuptial agreement for most couples. Prenuptial agreements typically don't signal a lack of trust as many once believed, and instead can help lay the groundwork for a successful divorce should the issue arise. However, simply writing up a list of agreements and scribbling down a signature may not be adequate. 

Especially when there are valuable or meaningful assets to protect, individuals may be eager to address how these might be treated during a potential future division of property. However, before assenting to how property will be treated or split, it is important to consider if the division is reasonable. Agreeing to a split that will leave one party with the short end of the stick following a divorce may be less than ideal.

Additionally, careful consideration should be given before consenting to an agreement that contains a no-fault clause. This type of clause can require that an agreement be enforced without regard to the circumstances surrounding the divorce. For instance, if a judge determines that a no-fault clause means that a prenuptial agreement is valid, a party who was physically violent with his or her spouse or involved in criminal activities may still be eligible for what was originally outlined in the agreement.

There is little doubt that prenuptial agreements play an important role in protecting the interests and assets of married individuals in Oregon and across the United States. However, the specific language in an agreement should be concise and clear. For those who are unsure of the details of what they are signing, seeking professional help is a crucial step in ensuring that any proposed agreement is reasonable and beneficial.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Common Prenuptial Agreement Legal Issues", Brad Reid, Feb. 18, 2015

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