We hear about “prenups” all the time in celebrity divorce cases. A Hollywood star couple marry and then split. Each party comes into the union with significant personal assets and upon divorcing, they retain their assets.
You might wonder how that happens. Well, some of the answer lies in excellent planning and advice from their attorneys before the wedding.
An Oklahoma prenup isn’t just for the wealthy residents of Wagoner and other communities. Here are some of the reasons why you might consider a “prenup.”
What is an Oklahoma Prenup?
An Oklahoma prenup or prenuptial agreement is entered into before marriage. It is sometimes also called an ante-nuptial agreement.
Basically, a “prenup” is an agreement between two people regarding how they will handle certain things if they later decide to pursue an Oklahoma divorce. Contrary to popular thought, they don’t promote divorce.
A good Oklahoma prenup can provide a great deal of clarity and comfort and can address your individual needs as a couple.
The Legal Nature of a Prenuptial Agreement
Prenuptial agreements are valid and enforceable in Oklahoma. A “prenup” is a contract. It can cover a number of issues such as how property, inheritance, alimony, and the like will be handled during the marriage, in the case of a divorce, and in the case of death.
An Oklahoma prenup can specify that certain assets retain their separate property characterization during the marriage, even if those assets are co-mingled. It can specify that all assets be treated as marital property or as separate property. It can specify that alimony will be denied or granted to a divorcing spouse.
Besides covering the characterization of property at divorce, it can be used to dictate how a spouse’s business will be handled at death or divorce. An Oklahoma prenup can be used to adjust inheritance rights in cases in which a spouse might need more financial help, or less.
Couples are able to agree to more rights or fewer rights than they would have under the law. Because you can waive existing rights, it is important that you have a trusted Wagoner family law attorney help you draft and review any “prenup” that you and your partner are considering.
Elements of a Valid Prenuptial Agreement
An Oklahoma prenup must be freely entered into by the parties after negotiating its terms. That means that there can be no threat, pressure, duress, or coercion involved.
These issues can come into play in situations where there is a big income disparity between the spouses. A court may invalidate the “prenup” if it feels that pressure was used.
In order to be held valid, the parties need to make a full disclosure of all assets and liabilities to each other before the document is executed. The disposition of the property in the proposed document must be generally fair to both parties. If these elements are not met, a court may hold the “prenup” invalid.
Finally, a valid Oklahoma prenup is in writing and signed by both parties. It is not an oral agreement. It must be executed before the marriage and once entered into, it cannot be amended or altered.
It is important to know that “prenups” cannot be used to cover any matter pertaining to child custody, visitation, or support. Children retain rights to adequate support and care, and spouses cannot alter those rights.
Free Consultation: Wagoner Divorce Attorney
When your marriage plans unravel, get the best legal counsel available. Don’t go it alone. Get an experienced, reliable Wagoner divorce attorney on your side.
Contact the Wirth Law Office – Wagoner at 918-485-0335 today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.