Prenuptial agreements (often referred to as prenup agreements) often come with negative connotations from the general public. Many people look at a prenup agreement as a safety blanket that means one spouse does not trust the person they are set to marry. However, obtaining a prenup agreement can be one of the smartest financial decisions someone will ever make. A prenup is essentially a contract that two people enter into before they get married in order to protect their assets, should something go wrong. While there is a stigma that prenups are only for the wealthy, this is simply not the case. In fact, anybody could benefit from having a prenup in place, as it will protect their property, finances, and other assets should something go awry. Furthermore, today prenups serve as a great way for couples to agree on what would happen with their property, future kids, and finances, should they end their marriage. They can also cover pets, household items, and anything else that may come into question in the event of a divorce. It is important to note that, unlike many other states, Oklahoma has not adopted the Uniform Prenuptial Agreement Act (UPAA), which governs how these agreements are carried out. In Oklahoma, prenups must follow state laws and both spouses must enter into the agreement mutually.
While many consider a prenup agreement unromantic and downright inappropriate, it is important that you understand the various ins and outs of this type of contract before you decide whether or not to have one drawn up. Joining your life with another is certainly not an easy decision to make. Over the last 10 years or so, we have seen a rise in the number of prenup agreements among the soon-to-be-wed. This is for numerous reasons, from the heightened divorce rate to couples simply thinking ahead and planning for the future.
Let’s now look at some of the items and assets that are commonly included in prenup agreements:
- Retirement benefits/accounts
- Separate business assets
- Income, deductions, and claims on tax returns
- Management of household bills and other expenses
- Management of joint bank accounts
- Purchases for home improvement or business projects
- Management of credit card payments and spending
- Child care concerns
- Settlement of any potential disagreements (this may include a clause about mediation or arbitration)
Let’s now look at what cannot be included in a prenup agreement. Please keep in mind that state laws can vary, so be sure to check with your local government entity or a lawyer:
- Anything illegal
- Decisions pertaining to child support or custody
- Waiving rights to alimony
- Anything that may financially encourage divorce
- Anything that indicates personal preferences over financial matters
- Such as whose family you will spend the holidays with or how to raise any future children
As you can see, prenup agreements are complicated matters that are often misunderstood. Even though they are commonly associated with the rich, anyone can benefit from having a prenup agreement in place. To learn more about prenups in Oklahoma, please contact Atkins & Markoff today. We are here to ensure you have everything you need to make an informed decision about your future, which may or may not include a prenup agreement.