Daniel J. Lounsbury Attorney at Law Willamette Valley Legal
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Is your premarital agreement valid?

Having the talk with your spouse about signing a premarital agreement before your Oregon wedding should make your divorce process smoother. Theoretically, you should be able to use it to negotiate property division fairly quickly, saving money and time. However, if you did not enlist the help of an attorney when you created it, or if you received bad information, the agreement may not be the failsafe document you intended.

According to Oregon statutes, there are three factors that, when combined, will make your premarital agreement unenforceable. Both of you have the right to full disclosure of the debts and assets of the other upon signing. However, if 1) neither of you signs a waiver giving up the right to full disclosure, and 2) full disclosure is not provided, then the agreement isn't enforceable if 3) there was no way for one party to know that the other had those undisclosed assets and/or debts.

A premarital agreement also becomes unenforceable if you or your spouse signed it unwillingly. For example, if your spouse set the document in front of you right before the wedding and said that he or she would not go through with the ceremony unless you sign it immediately, a judge may determine that your signature was not voluntary, and therefore invalid.

Your agreement may also be invalid if it leaves one of you unable to be self-supporting after the divorce, and waives alimony. There may be other, case-specific factors that would lead a judge to determine that an agreement is or is not valid. Therefore, this general information should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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