Premarital agreements, also known as prenuptial agreements, may not be romantic, but they can be useful and beneficial to both parties. Given the increase in divorce and corresponding harsh court battles, an increasing number of couples are seeking out these agreements as a preventative and preemptive measure.
Since people are waiting longer to get married, they have more time to build careers and start businesses before tying the knot. No one plans on a divorce, but many prefer to have an agreement in place in case the worst happens. Fact is, no one knows what the future holds or the type of person you or your significant other will be in five, ten or twenty years down the road.
At Naidu Law, Family law attorneys, our family lawyers in OKC have extensive experience drawing up premarital and postmarital agreements. We’re happy to work with you to ensure that your needs are represented in the agreement and as an advocate for your best interests.
WHAT IS A PREMARITAL AGREEMENT?
A premarital agreement is a legal document that discusses how assets will be divided in the event of a divorce or in the event of the death of one of the spouses. Exactly what is addressed within a premarital agreement is up to the parties involved. The agreement may include property that each spouse owns, business interests, an inheritance, and alimony. A premarital agreement is only binding if the couple marries, and once signed, it can’t be changed post ceremony.
A premarital agreement may include considerations such as:
- What would be considered separate or marital property
- How assets would be divided if there was a divorce
- Business ownership in the event of divorce or death
- The use and sale of property
A premarital agreement can’t address child custody. This is because decisions around child custody are based on the best interests of the child, and there is no way to know those interests in advance.
WHY CONSIDER A PREMARITAL AGREEMENT?
A premarital agreement provides protection in the event of a death or divorce. Divorces can be drawn out and messy. Oklahoma is not a community property state, so the division of assets is at the discretion of a judge if the divorcing parties can’t come to an agreement on their own.
ENFORCING A PREMARITAL AGREEMENT
Although many states participate in the Uniform Prenuptial Agreement Act, Oklahoma is not one of them. That is one of the reasons why it is critical to consult a family law attorney in OKC who knows Oklahoma law.
According to Oklahoma law, a premarital agreement will be upheld in most cases if:
- The agreement is fair
- Each spouse signed the agreement of their own free will
- Each spouse disclosed their financial situation before signing the agreement
- Each spouse has a general understanding of the other spouse’s financial status
You don’t have to know every detail of each other’s finances; you just need a general idea.
A postmarital or postnuptial agreement functions exactly like a premarital agreement. The only difference is that it is signed after you have already gotten married. It still addresses the same issues, such as the division of assets in the event of a death or divorce.
Each party in a premarital agreement should have an attorney review the contract. This ensures that your rights are protected and that the contract serves the best interests of both parties involved.
Our family lawyers in OKC are ready to help. We can assist you in addressing a single issue by providing limited scope representation, or we can take on a more complex case. Call us for a consultation at 405-792-2400.