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Gevurtz Menashe

PDX 503.227.1515
WA 360.823.0410

Relationship Agreements

Family Law
Relationship agreements, whether premarital, post-marital or domestic partnership agreements are growing in popularity. More than ever before, couples are constructing a plan to ensure protection and distribution of their assets when their marriage ends—by either death or divorce.

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As family law and estate planning attorneys, we know it’s not the most romantic check-list item on the pre-wedding list, but it’s certainly one of the most practical—at least from our perspective. According to a recent survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, a professional group based in Chicago that a handful of our lawyer belong to, 63% of the respondents reported an increase in prenups over the previous three years. As part of this collaborative process, Gevurtz Menashe family law and estate planning lawyers assist clients in constructing a financial foundation for their relationship with an agreement that both parties can equally and willingly endorse. 

Prenuptial Agreements

Premarital Agreements—also called Prenuptial Agreements or Prenups—are agreements decided upon prior to the actual marriage. Essentially, it serves as a financial contract between both spouses in order to establish certain rules about how assets or debts get divided should the marriage dissolve, as well as issues related to support. A prenuptial agreement also helps to protect each spouse from their partner’s debts and liabilities that may have been incurred prior to the marriage or solely by a spouse during the marriage. These agreements can also help protect family heirlooms and inheritance, may be used in conjunction with asset protection plans, and estate planning documents, and can define what will and will not be divided should the couple ever divorce or upon the death of one or both spouses.
 
Oregon’s Uniform Premarital Act helps to simplify the process of a prenup agreement, protecting both parties involved, and helps couples understand their own financial rights when they become married. However, because of the varying possibilities that may occur at the time of a divorce and the growth in assets that may occur during the marriage, it is very important that couples not use a standardized form when completing their prenuptial agreements and seek the advice of counsel before signing anything.

Domestic Partnership Agreements


A domestic partnership agreement serves much the same function as a premarital agreement, but is used by parties who intend not to marry, or who intend to register a domestic partnership (civil union) with the state. Just like a prenup, a domestic partnership agreement allows a couple to keep finances and debts separate, and protect themselves in case the domestic partnership is dissolved in the future, or upon the death of one of them. Learn more about domestic partnerships here

Postnuptial Agreements

Post-marital agreements cover the same issues as premarital agreements, but are negotiated and signed after the parties have married. Post-marital agreements (also known as postnuptial or postnup) have grown in popularity as couples utilize this tool to provide predictability in the handling of inheritances or gifts received during a marriage, or in the allocation of their business interests. Sometimes, the parties have endured a period of marital discord but have reconciled and wish to formalize any new understanding about financial issues they have reached.
 
The courts have not squarely addressed the enforceability of postnup agreements in Oregon, so skilled legal representation is essential. In Washington, all post-marital agreements are clearly enforceable. Even when two people love each other and get married, they still need to protect their assets and finances, taking steps to ensure stability in the relationship and security should that relationship end. 

Contact Gevurtz Menashe Today.

Our family law attorneys can help prepare and understand relationship agreements while our estate planning lawyers work to ensure these agreements are coordinated with your overall estate plan.

If you’re interested in learning more about prenupts, postnups, domestic partnerhsips, or other relationship agreements, please call our Portland office at 503-227-1515, our Vancouver office at 360-823-0410, or schedule a consultation online.

Call our Portland, OR offices at: 503-227-1515
and our Vancouver, WA office at 360-823-0410
or contact us to request a consultation.