Spousal support and prenuptial agreements

On Behalf of | Sep 23, 2021 | Divorce

In Oregon, people who decide that they will have a prenuptial agreement prior to their marriage can put stipulations about many aspects that could be in dispute should they divorce. That includes property, estate planning and financial matters. While it cannot dictate how children will be impacted by a divorce with child custody, child support and parenting time off limits, it can state how spousal support will be handled. Still, there are cases in which the agreement regarding spousal support can be modified or eliminated. Understanding the circumstances as to what this might happen is an important part of a case for both sides.

Spousal support and a prenuptial agreement

The prenuptial agreement can dictate how much will be paid in spousal support. It can even eliminate spousal support. However, if that agreement will result in either party needing to take part in a public assistance program or receive medical assistance when the couple separates or gets divorced, the court can then alter the agreement so that public assistance will not be needed. An example would be a person who was a homemaker while the other person worked. He or she might not have the necessary skills or education to get a job to self-support. The prenuptial agreement saying there will be limited or no spousal support could lead to them needing public assistance. In this instance, the agreement will not be followed.

Prenuptial agreements can be challenged

Prenuptial agreements can be important for people who want to protect themselves. In general, this is due to one spouse entering the marriage with significantly more assets or potential assets than the other. If a person has a business that is successful or is starting one that has a chance to be extremely profitable, they might want to have this agreement just in case the marriage fails and they want to retain what they have. That does not mean it cannot be challenged or issues will not arise rendering it unenforceable.

Professional advice is essential with any issue related to a prenuptial agreement

From either perspective whether it is the spouse who wants to protect their property or the spouse who believes the prenuptial agreement is unfair, it is imperative to have professional assistance to navigate this complex area of the law. Having professional guidance can assess the document, look at the circumstances and help with crafting a plan to defend the agreement, have it modified or nullified completely.