Prenuptial Agreements in Oklahoma
CANNON & ASSOCIATES is dedicated to protecting the interest and assets of family law clients in central Oklahoma. Often times one party to a marriage will have substantially greater assets than their soon to be spouse and desire to protect these interests. The best way to do so is by enter into a mutually agreed upon prenuptial agreement. Yes, prenuptial agreements are valid in Oklahoma.
Both parties to a prenuptial agreement have interests that can be protected or memorialized in the agreement, such as a percentage of an estate or assets that will be transferred to one spouse upon the occurrence of a condition terminating the marriage or allowing for dissolution of marriage. Entering into a prenuptial agreement does not mean you do not trust your future spouse, rather it is a way for both sides to protect their separate interests and state they are getting married for love, not financial gain.
Contact an experienced Oklahoma Family Law Attorney, if you are interested in entering into a prenuptial agreement before your wedding date.
What is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A Prenuptial agreement, on its most basic level, is as simple as it sounds; an agreement or contract before “nuptial” (marriage); between the parties to be married. Oklahoma law allows for parties to contract to almost anything, as long as it is not unconscionable, unacceptable on its face. However, Oklahoma prenuptial law requires certain requirements are met before establishing an enforceable prenuptial agreement due to the potential for divesting one party of their marital share or interest in assets, income, or property.
Prenuptial agreements determine the sharing of finances during marriage and the division of assets and accounts upon divorce in Oklahoma.
What is Required for a Valid Prenuptial Agreement?
Oklahoma law requires many things in order to make an Oklahoma prenuptial agreement valid. Oklahoma law requires a prenuptial agreement be in writing. As stated above prenuptial agreements are similar to contracts and Oklahoma Courts require agreements not be made under fraud, duress, or coercion. Courts have routinely enforced prenuptial agreements against the objecting spouse and other family, if the prenuptial agreement accurately reflects the desired financial agreement between the parties prior to entering into marriage.
Are Prenuptial Agreements Enforceable?
The Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals held in Francis v. Francis, 285 P.3d 707 that prenuptial agreements are analyzed as contracts “to give effect to the mutual intention of the parties, as it existed at the time of contracting. The rule applies to prenuptial agreements.” Prenuptial agreements are enforceable, if not coerced or fraudulent and in writing.
Oklahoma Statutes state prenuptial agreements must be signed and specifically states the following:
- Every estate in property may be disposed of by will; provided however, that a will shall be subservient to any antenuptial marriage contract in writing; but no spouse shall bequeath or devise away from the other so much of the estate of the testator that the other spouse would receive less in value than would be obtained through succession by law; provided, however, that of the property not acquired by joint industry during coverture the testator be not required to devise or bequeath more than one-half (1/2) thereof in value to the surviving spouse; provided further, that no person shall by will dispose of property which could not be by the testator alienated, encumbered or conveyed while living, except that the homestead may be devised by one spouse to the other. This subsection shall not apply to the estate of a decedent who dies on or after July 1, 1985.
- This subsection shall apply to the estate of a decedent who dies on or after July 1, 1985.
- Every estate in property may be disposed of by will except that a will shall be subservient to any antenuptial marriage contract in writing. In addition, no spouse shall bequeath or devise away from the other so much of the estate of the testator that the other spouse would receive less in value than an undivided one-half (1/2) interest in the property acquired by the joint industry of the husband and wife during coverture. No person shall by will dispose of property which could not be by the testator alienated, encumbered or conveyed while living, except that the homestead may be devised by one spouse to the other.
OKLA. STAT. tit. 84 § 44 (emphasis added)
What are the Benefits to a Prenuptial Agreement?
- Clearly defines the finances of each individual and the collective finances of the marriage;
- Clarifies much of the uncertainty of finances, if the marriage ends in divorce;
- Define how financial gains after marriage are handled in the case of divorce;
- Creates a fair agreement for both parties;
- Peace of mind that marriage is entered into for love, not financial gain.
What Is a Prenuptial Agreement unable to do?
- Address child custody or child support
- Determine the manner you raise your children or make decisions
- Establish the roles parties will hold in the marriage.
How do I get a Prenuptial Agreement?
You should discuss your desires concerning a prenuptial agreement with your fiancé before seeking advice from an attorney. Specifically, you need to discuss how finances, assets, and accounts will be divided or distributed upon divorce or the death of one party. Both parties should seek separate attorneys to assist in the formation of your prenuptial agreement to ensure it complies with the substantive and procedural requirements of Oklahoma law governing prenuptial agreements.
Are prenuptial agreements signed immediately before wedding valid?
Yes, as long as both parties fully understand the contract and its terms it will be held to be valid. There is no hard rule about the timing of signing a prenuptial agreement; however, it is a best practice to sign the contract days or weeks before the wedding to ensure there is not undue pressure.
You should seek the advice of an attorney experienced in the formation and enforcement of prenuptial agreements in Oklahoma prior to marriage, if you are interested in entering into such an agreement. Keep in mind, both parties must agree in writing to abide by the terms. It is my hope this page has answered some of your questions regarding prenuptial agreements in Oklahoma, if not please contact CANNON & ASSOCIATES for a free consultation on your case.
Experience matters when considering entering into a prenuptial agreement. John Cannon, owner of CANNON & ASSOCIATES, PLLC, will personally represent you, work along-side you during the entire process, and do everything allowed under Oklahoma law to ensure your prenuptial agreement protects your interests and is enforceable. John has the experience you need and will bring it to bear in your case. Additionally, he has an outstanding record of reaching the best possible outcome for hundreds of clients, evidenced by receiving the highest possible AVVO rating – 10 (superb). Contact CANNON & ASSOCIATES to protect your child custody rights and fight your case. You may send an email inquiry, complete the contact form on our website, or call at (405) 657-2323 for a free confidential consultation.
Our Client Reviews
MORE 5-STAR REVIEWS REVIEWS THAN 99% of LAWYERS IN OKLAHOMA
"John has shown nothing but compassion and professional guidance in my case. He truly cares about his clients and is exceptionally understanding when it comes to any case he is representing. He communicates genuinely as well as in a timely matter. If I were able to give his firm any more than 5 stars, I most definitely would. He is incredible."
"John Cannon is an awesome attorney. He is very professional and honest. He really cares about his clients. John always gets back to you quickly to answer any questions you have regarding your case. I highly recommend CANNON & ASSOCIATES for any legal needs you may have."
"John Cannon has helped me through the hardest time in my life. He helped me through my divorce and custody case. He truly cares about his clients and it made me so happy he always put my daughter first and wanted what was in her best interest as a child. He is very sharp and resourceful and he has been very attentive and responsive to my needs, John is very polite and professional and he always has a great attitude. John always took the time to go over everything and explain everything in depth. I've enjoyed working with John and his team and would recommend him to other clients."
"I have known John for about 6 years now in his capacity as a Judge Advocate and a civilian attorney. John has a rare blend of both sharp analytical and interpersonal skills. I have seen John achieve positive outcomes for clients in complex scenarios and If you need an attorney who can do the same for you - this is your guy."
"John did a very good job. Although the outcome was not 100% what we expected(strange judgement) it was overall positive. I would, have and will continue to recommended him. Although I certainly hope to not need his services again in the capacity I hired him for I would not hesitate to call if I do. Thanks John"
"I signed up with John June 25th, July 5th I received an email that my case is in line to be DISMISSED, within a 2 week time period John made what was one of the most stressful times in my life better! Every case is different but he handled my case with care and he was extremely open in his communication throughout the whole process. I hope to never have to have a criminal attorney again but if I do I will definitely go back to John. I highly recommend him to anyone else who is needing an attorney!"
"John is a highly respected attorney. Professional and compassionate. He has a wealth of knowledge, being a military officer and having served as an Assistant District Attorney, a Public Defender, and an Assistant Attorney General. He helped a friend's son who was headed down the wrong path, but through John's legal defense the young man is now a successful business owner."
"John is a very professional attorney, who is not only concerned about the welfare of his client but very attentive and considerate of the family, or other bodies that are in the face of the adversity. While working on my family members case, John took time out to take a class that would educate him on how to approach the many different types of cases tried in the court room. John proved his sincerity to the calling of his job, being an attorney. I would definitely recommend him to anyone."
"Mr. Cannon went above and beyond for my wife. She was facing some pretty hard fines and prison time with the US Marshalls. Mr. Cannon fought a hard fight and got her a GREAT offer. Words cannot express how much I appreciate him and what he did for my wife. I would give 10 stars and I will be promoting him. He's that awesome. He keeps you informed, he will text or call you back, and he goes above what he is asked to do and I can reassure you"HE WILL FIGHT FOR YOU OR YOUR FAMILY MEMBER". I will continue retaining him for other things my wife is battling. High five and a great big hug to Mr. Cannon. Thank you!!! John took the reigns and provided us instant peace of mind. He was timely, respectful, transparent, very professional, honest and courteous. The service he provided was above and beyond our expectations. Can’t believe professionals like him are around. Highly highly without reservations recommend him and his team."
"John Cannon is an excellent attorney. He takes sincere interest in your needs. He maintains communication and provides all the information you might want to fully understand the legal process. He also suggests alternative resolutions to your legal needs so that you can make informed choices. I definitely recommend John."
"My experience with CANNON & ASSOCIATES was absolutely amazing. I hired John Cannon two days before my rebuttal statement was due back to the Staff Judge Advocate. Within that time frame he was able to talk to my Battery and Battalion Commanders, review my evidence, and help me write a rebuttal statement that help prove my case to them, the Brigade Commander and the Post Commanding General. Cannon worked thru the night to help me get the best results for me and my family. Due to his hard work and attention to detail I am still able to continue to serve my country and progress in my military career with no adverse actions on my record. I can not thank him enough on a job well done. Cannon showed me that he was invested in my case and I highly recommend you hire him when you need someone to represent you in a legal matter."
"John Cannon assisted me through a very difficult time in my military career. He worked tirelessly with me on my case and kept me informed during the entire process. I can't say enough good things about Mr. Cannon. He's incredibly knowledgeable with regards to military justice. The outcome of my case was successful and I attribute that to Mr. Cannon's professionalism and expertise in dealing with military law. I would highly recommend Mr. Cannon to anyone with military justice or criminal defense needs."
"Hands down the best lawyer. Mr.Cannon accepted my case and got on it the same day. I would give him 10 stars if I could. I really appreciate the dedication on how he handles things with a short time frame."
"Mr. Cannon has represented me on 2 criminal cases and one civil case over the past 4 years. He has always served me honestly, speedily and with good moral direction. John has integrity and humility. He has never belittled me or treated me in an unfair manor. I appreciate all that he has done for me and I most certainly recommend him to family, strangers and friends. I will definitely use Mr. Cannon in the future for any and all of my family's legal matters."
"Mr. Cannon went above and beyond for my wife. She was facing some pretty hard fines and prison time with the US Marshalls. Mr. Cannon fought a hard fight and got her a GREAT offer. Words cannot express how much I appreciate him and what he did for my wife. I would give 10 stars and I will be promoting him. He's that awesome. He keeps you informed, he will text or call you back, and he goes above what he is asked to do and I can reassure you"HE WILL FIGHT FOR YOU OR YOUR FAMILY MEMBER". I will continue retaining him for other things my wife is battling. High five and a great big hug to Mr. Cannon. Thank you!!!"
"I had a great experience with John. He is very personable and helped me a lot. I’m really grateful I found him. He made me feel confident that he was the right lawyer for my case and that he wasn’t trying to sell me but genuinely just wanted to help me. I would highly recommend John to anyone!"
"Working with Mr. Cannon has been a real life-saving experience for me and my family. He provides the knowledge of the possibilities as soon as he can get them, then works tirelessly to ensure that any concerns or questions are addressed immediately. He has been a great asset to us not only in the face of legal troubles, but in providing a sense of security that is truly reassuring in the face of the uncertain.Mr. Cannon has been a great resource and has been very patient with me. From the start he provided a list of things to do that would help me help him with my case and since the beginning has continued to give advice or suggestions on any matter that has bothered me with my situation, large or small. He is gentle, yet realistic, and this combination really does become a rock in tumultuous times such as these.I would highly recommend Mr. Cannon to anyone who needs a vigilant and committed attorney, especially one that stands by your side until your issue is resolved. He goes above and beyond not only to work, but to care for his clients!"
"John Cannon assisted me through a very difficult time in my military career. He worked tirelessly with me on my case and kept me informed during the entire process. I can't say enough good things about Mr. Cannon. He's incredibly knowledgeable with regards to military justice. The outcome of my case was successful and I attribute that to Mr. Cannon's professionalism and expertise in dealing with military law. I highly recommend Mr. Cannon to anyone with military justice or criminal defense needs."