4 Things Prenuptial Agreements Cannot Address
Although no one wants to go into a marriage thinking that it will ever end, the sad reality is that roughly half of all marriages will end in divorce.
While divorce rates overall have been declining over the past ten years, Oklahoma still has higher-than-average divorce rates compared to the rest of the country. In fact, 20 percent of marriages will end within five years, and the other 30 percent will end within ten years.
Today, family structures are continuing to increase in complexity. It is not uncommon for individuals to be married several times. Pew Research reported that four in ten marriages involve a remarriage for at least one spouse. As families join together, spouses may want to think about using a premarital agreement to address concerns with splitting assets and liabilities now, rather than as part of the divorce process.
A prenuptial agreement or premarital agreement can help accomplish that goal. However, there are a few things that a prenuptial agreement cannot address under Oklahoma law.
What Can’t a Premarital Agreement Do?
1. Go against public policy.
A prenuptial agreement cannot go against public policy. That means that even if you and your soon-to-be spouse agree to the terms, it might still be invalid. Examples of provisions that would likely go against public policy include things like commitments regarding sexual intercourse or fidelity.
2. Contain provisions that limit child support or child custody.
Child support is calculated based on Oklahoma law. Any provision that limits child support in a prenuptial agreement will not be valid. The couple also cannot specifically set out who will get child custody in the event of a divorce.
3. Include provisions that encourage divorce.
Anything that offers an incentive to divorce could invalidate a prenuptial agreement. For example, if one spouse automatically gets a disproportionately large portion of the assets or income, that could be considered a provision that would encourage divorce.
4. Unfairly benefit one spouse.
Prenuptial agreements must be fair. If the agreement is unreasonable or blatantly unfair, it will be set aside. The agreement must also include full disclosure of assets and liabilities so both parties can fully understand their rights and obligations under the agreement.