Prenuptial contracts are commonly misunderstood legal agreements that can provide several advantages to marrying couples in Oklahoma City, OK. Many people assume that the suggestion to draft a prenuptial contract is a sign of a lack of faith in a marriage, but the reality is that a properly constructed prenuptial contract can provide financial security and peace of mind to a couple preparing for marriage.
If you are planning to marry in Oklahoma City, OK in the near future, you should understand the benefits of prenuptial contracts and a few key concepts pertaining to their development, creation, and adjustment over time. The following frequently asked questions and their answers can provide valuable insight into the prenuptial agreement creation process and help you better understand what you can expect from your contract.
Q: Does a Prenuptial Contract Include Instructions for Divorce?
A: Many Americans assume that a prenuptial contract is nothing more than a framework for a future divorce, but this isn’t necessarily true. While it’s common for marrying couples to include postnuptial clauses in their prenuptial agreements, the main purpose of a prenup is to provide financial security to both spouses. You and your spouse may have the utmost confidence that your marriage will last
Q: How Does a Prenuptial Contract Offer Financial Security?
A: Marriage involves assuming shared responsibilities, and this can include debt in some cases. If you are marrying and either you or your spouse owes a considerable amount of debt, the other spouse may not wish to be saddled with responsibility for repaying it should the marriage fail. The prenuptial agreement can clearly define both separate property ownership rights and debt responsibility, outlining each of the spouse’s financial rights and responsibilities for their marriage.
It’s important to note that your financial situation is likely to change during your marriage. The original terms and conditions you include in your prenup may not accurately reflect your circumstances after some significant changes, so you should consider reviewing your prenuptial agreement if you and your spouse experience any major changes to your finances in the future.
Q: Can a Prenuptial Contract Cover Alimony?
A: If you and your spouse develop postnuptial clauses for your prenup, it’s wise to include provisions for alimony or spousal support in the event of divorce. It’s possible to configure specific conditions for alimony based on your unique situation. For example, you could include terms that outline actions a spouse could take that would disqualify them from seeking alimony in divorce, and you could also clearly outline how alimony is to be paid in the event one spouse qualifies to claim it in a future divorce.
Q: What Can’t Be Addressed in a Prenuptial Contract?
A: Prenuptial agreements focus on financial matters, so you cannot expect your contract to act as a full blueprint for divorce. This is especially true if you have children. While your prenuptial contract can include provisions meant to preserve your kids’ financial interests, you cannot settle anything regarding child custody in your prenuptial contract. If you develop a prenuptial agreement and you and your spouse later have children together, you will likely need to revisit the prenup and include new provisions that aim to preserve your children’s financial interests. If you have children from a previous marriage, a prenuptial agreement can effectively ensure their continued financial support if your new marriage ends in divorce.
Q: Do Prenuptial Agreements Last Forever?
A: A prenuptial agreement will not expire unless you and your spouse include a specific expiration date within the contract. The prenuptial agreement will remain valid for the duration of your marriage, but its enforceability remains a separate issue. You should periodically review your prenuptial agreement to ensure it accurately reflects your current circumstances. Experiencing a significant change in your life could affect the terms and conditions of your prenup in several ways. If you do need to change anything, both signing parties must agree to the amendment. It’s also possible for both parties to sign off on the revocation of the prenuptial agreement.
Q: Can a Prenuptial Contract Be Thrown Out of Court?
A: If you and your spouse intend to divorce and plan to use your prenuptial agreement to guide your divorce proceedings, it’s necessary to ensure the agreement remains valid and enforceable. In the event that information comes to light that proves one spouse signed the agreement under false pretenses or under the influence of fraud or coercion, this would render the agreement null and void. A prenuptial contract could also be thrown out if a judge determines that it includes unconscionable or illegal terms or that one of the signing parties intentionally omitted necessary information during the creation of the contract.
Q: Do I Need a Lawyer to Create a Prenuptial Contract?
A: There are many programs and software applications available that can help an average person with no legal experience draft a workable contract, and you can easily find options for drafting a prenuptial contract on your own. However, you should not rely on a prenup you made yourself beyond a preliminary stage. You and your spouse-to-be can use these options to create a rough draft of your prenuptial contract, but it is best to have an experienced Oklahoma City, OK family law attorney review and revise it before the two of you sign it. Your attorney can ensure the agreement aligns with state law and satisfies all applicable legal requirements. They can also help you address issues that your prenuptial contract should cover that you and your spouse may have overlooked on your own.
If you are planning to marry, do not assume that prenuptial contracts are only necessary for the very wealthy or indicate a lack of faith that a marriage will last. Taking time to develop a robust prenuptial agreement will require you and your spouse to have honest conversations about many issues that commonly cause problems in other marriages, potentially making your marriage stronger and bringing the two of you closer together with added financial security. If you are curious about the benefits a prenuptial agreement might provide, consult an experienced Oklahoma City, OK family law attorney to get the answers you need.