Prenuptial Agreements Oklahoma Family Law

by Zach Waxman on January 20, 2014

Zac Waxaman Family AttorneyOklahoma Premarital Agreement Law – Should I Have a Prenuptial Agreement?

Because divorce rates are fairly high in Oklahoma and across the United States, many engaged couples are considering creating premarital agreements, most often referred to as “prenuptial agreements.”  This decision may be better for some couples than for others.  There are pros and cons to having a prenuptial agreement.

In Oklahoma, the state has not yet adopted the federal Uniform Premarital Agreement Act.  This Act is designed to make the policies and procedures the same across the country when addressing and interpreting premarital agreements.  Many states have adopted the Act, but not Oklahoma.  However, premarital agreements are valid under Oklahoma law so long as the following prerequisites are met:

The agreement must be in writing;

  • The agreement must not be made with underlying fraud or duress, meaning, one spouse cannot be forced to sign the agreement; and

  • Each spouse must have the opportunity to consult with an attorney if they so desire and have sufficient time to review the agreement prior to the marriage

The above requirements are typically the standard for most states.  So what is a premarital agreement?  A premarital agreement is a written contract between two people that are planning to marry.  The agreement defines who owns what property, and what property and other assets are to be shared during the marriage.  Typically, any property owned by one spouse prior to the marriage remains that spouse’s property during the marriage.  Any property purchased during the marriage tends to be termed “marital property,” and is shared by both spouses.

A premarital agreement provides the opportunities for couples to make clear what property each spouse is to receive should the couple end up divorcing.  This agreement may prevent unnecessary, stressful legal proceedings that are often the result of a couple’s decision to divorce.  If you believe a premarital agreement would be essential to your situation, it is best to have an attorney look at the agreement to ensure that it would be enforceable under Oklahoma law.  Both spouses should retain their separate counsel so that all bases are covered in the unfortunate event that the couple decides to divorce.

While there are many advantages to having a premarital agreement, such as financial certainty, and decisions involving children (if the couple has children prior to being married), there are some disadvantages.  One huge disadvantage is that the agreement may give the perception that the marriage is doomed to fail.  It is hard to not think about the possibility of divorce when signing a premarital agreement, because the precise reason behind the agreement is to protect assets and other property in the event of divorce.

While a negative connotation inevitably attaches to premarital agreements, it is important to remember that all couples are different, and not all marriages end in divorce.  Further, it may turn out a premarital agreement is not best for your situation.  And, premarital agreements can be amended by agreement of both spouses during a marriage, just like any other contract.

 If you are planning to marry and want additional information or advice on the advantages and disadvantages of having an enforceable premarital agreement, contact the experienced Tulsa County family law attorneys at Tulsa Family Lawyers Group today for a free consultation.  Our seasoned legal staff will provide you with all of the knowledge you need to determine if a premarital agreement is the right step for you as you plan your marriage.  Call us today to schedule your free consultation.  You may fill out our online form and someone from our office will respond to you promptly, or you may call us at (918) 742-3555.  We provide bilingual services for our clients, in both English and Spanish.

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