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Money can be a major point of contention in a marriage. Financial issues are one of the most common things spouses fight about, and one of the most frequently cited reasons for divorce. In fact, according to some studies, disagreements over finances are the second leading cause of divorce, just behind infidelity.
Concerned about money matters looming large over their upcoming marriage, many couples are eager to find a way to protect their relationship from damaging financial-related conflict and safeguard their finances and future in the event that the marriage comes to an end. Fortunately, this can be achieved with a well-crafted premarital agreement, which allows you to address — and establish rules and guidelines for — sensitive financial issues before you walk down the aisle.
Contrary to popular belief, a premarital (also known as a prenuptial or antenuptial) agreement isn't a romance killer or an indication that you don't trust your soon-to-be spouse. Quite the opposite — it's a practical solution that provides security and peace of mind, as well as a very public declaration that you're both marrying for love, rather than financial gain.
Issues a Premarital Agreement Can Resolve
In Oklahoma, premarital agreements generally cover issues that would otherwise be determined by a judge, either during a divorce or in the event that a spouse dies without a will.
These issues can include:
- Division of assets and debts
- Each spouse's right to separate or marital property
- Alimony entitlement, amount, and duration
- Each spouse's right to use or sell property during the marriage
- Each spouse's right to the other's gifts or inheritance
- Each spouse's right to death benefits from the other's insurance policy
- Each spouse's share of the other spouse's estate at death
- Ownership and management of a family business
A premarital agreement can also establish rules for future financial issues that may arise, including those involving credit cards, mortgages, school loans, and other liabilities.
What a Premarital Agreement Can't Do
Though Oklahoma premarital agreements can cover a wide range of matters, there are a few things they can't do, such as:
- Address child custody or support issues
- Determine the manner in which children will be raised or who has the legal authority to make important decisions on their behalf
- Establish the roles of each spouse in the marriage
Everyone Can Benefit from the Security a Premarital Agreement Provides
One of the most common misconceptions about premarital agreements is that they're only useful for the extremely wealthy. The reality is that anyone who has assets they want to protect — or who wants to reduce the potential for conflict in divorce — can benefit from the sense of security a premarital agreement provides. While a very wealthy individual may use a prenup to safeguard multiple homes and other assets, an individual of more modest means may use one to successfully protect inheritance. Premarital agreements come in all shapes and sizes, and we're committed to helping you craft the agreement that's right for you.
Ensuring the Enforceability of a Premarital Agreement in Oklahoma
Premarital agreements in Oklahoma must comply with state law in order to be enforceable. In addition to the requirements that the contract must be in writing and signed by both parties prior to marriage, the terms of the agreement can't promote divorce, must be reasonably fair and voluntarily entered into by both parties, and should involve the full disclosure of each spouse's assets and liabilities so that the other has a generally accurate understanding of their partner's finances.
Our Skilled Attorneys Create Effective Premarital Agreements
Getting married in Oklahoma and considering a premarital agreement? Find out more about how our knowledgeable and accomplished attorneys can help.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a private consultation.