If you are contemplating marriage, you should know that financial issues are a frequent source of marital stress. Taking the time to set reasonable expectations with each other could go a long way toward easing resentment and anger in a marriage.
Smart couples always consider a premarital agreement or prenup before they get married. A prenup is a contract that describes the couple’s financial agreements upon entering a marriage. A prenup is an excellent tool for exploring financial issues and problem-solving before they cause marital problems.
Speak with a seasoned family attorney about how a marital contract could help you and your spouse resolve financial concerns before they damage your relationship. An Oklahoma City marital agreements lawyer from The Smith Firm could guide you in negotiations, reduce your agreement to a legal document, and, if necessary, enforce your agreement in court.
Oklahoma does not have a law that governs marital agreements, so basic rules of contract law apply. An enforceable marital agreement must be in writing, signed by both parties, and include some consideration for the contract. Working with a knowledgeable Oklahoma City martial agreements attorney ensures that a contract will meet all legal requirements and be enforceable.
Courts will not enforce an “unconscionable” contract. The law does not define this word, but it usually means so one-sided that it shocks the conscience. The agreement need not treat both parties equally but should provide a benefit to the party who is giving up rights.
Full disclosure of all assets and debts is necessary so that each party has a clear picture of the other’s finances. Each party should have an independent attorney review the agreement, provide an explanation of its terms, and suggest edits or addendums. Neither party should feel pressure to sign—if someone feels coerced or manipulated into signing a marital contract, they could challenge the agreement’s validity, and a court might discard it as unenforceable.
Prenups were once a tool that only wealthy people used, but now, most couples could benefit from having a prenup. The prenup establishes in writing a couple’s agreement about how they will treat their property during the marriage and in case of a divorce. It is critical for business owners, people with substantial assets, and people with children from a prior relationship to create a prenuptial contract.
When couples get married, each spouse might have separate property. It could be a bank account, stock left by a relative, or a house or other parcel of real estate. A prenuptial agreement requires both parties to disclose the property they own and the debts they have. The couple could agree to assume each other’s debts and pay them as a couple or keep the debt with the party that incurred it. Similarly, each spouse should disclose and identify any property they plan to keep separate.
The couple could decide how to manage their money and include that information in the prenup, but they should carefully consider what they choose to include. The contract is not valid until marriage and cannot be modified after marriage. A dedicated marital contracts attorney in Oklahoma City could ensure that a spouse understands exactly what a premarital agreement calls for before signing.
It is easy to get caught up in the romance of marriage but keeping your financial feet on the ground is always a wise move. You and your beloved will benefit from having frank discussions about money before and during their marriage.
An Oklahoma City marital agreements lawyer could guide your discussions and reduce your agreements to a contract that will hold up in court. Call today to discuss your situation with a committed attorney at The Smith Firm.