Couples in Portland who own a significant amount of assets prior to marrying may consider executing a prenuptial agreement prior to marrying to protect what they already own in the event of a divorce. However, what if you anticipate a windfall in the future? Is there a way to protect future assets in a prenuptial agreement?
Addressing future assets in a prenup
While prenups generally only protect current assets, they can also protect future assets. The key is to sufficiently describe what that future asset is, who will own it, and what will happen to it in the event of a divorce. For example, if a person expects to inherit a trust in the future, a full description on the specifics of the trust along with who will own it may be included in a prenup. Or, if you have a fledgling business, if your prenup carefully spells out how income from the business will be handled with regards to ownership, this can also help simplify the property division process in the event of a divorce.
Make sure your prenup is legally sound
Of course, any clauses in a prenup, including those involving future assets can be challenged. For this reason, it is important to ensure the prenup is clear and legally enforceable from the get-go. For this reason, it is essential that each side to a prenup hire their own legal counsel. A family law attorney can help you understand what you are agreeing to in a prenup and can ensure the final document is legally sound and enforceable.
Other options besides a prenup
If you decide to keep an anticipated asset out of a prenuptial agreement, there are still ways to protect it. Those in Oregon who have separate financial accounts, and keep these assets separate throughout the marriage may be able to keep these assets in the event of a divorce. Filing tax returns separately is another way to indicate an asset is separate rather than marital. Postnuptial agreements can be entered into while a couple is married and operate much in the same way as a prenup. Ultimately, if you anticipate a future windfall, you will want to seek legal advice on how to protect it in the event of a divorce, which this post does not provide.