Action Line: Celebrity or not, prenuptials can be in order
BY PHIL MULKINS World Action Line Editor
Friday, January 04, 2013
1/04/13 at 4:42 AM
Dear Action Line: We aren't celebrities and no photo- graphers await our return from clubbing. Regardless, my aunt tells us we need a prenuptial agreement before getting married in the spring. What about prenups? - S.R., Broken Arrow.
Any couple bringing personal or business assets to a marriage benefits from a prenuptial agreement, writes Los Angeles attorney Bob Nachshin, partner in Nachshin & Langlois LLP and co-author of "I Do, You Do - but Just Sign Here: A Quick and Easy Guide to Cohabitation, Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements," as quoted on Bankrate.com. The most basic of these contracts lists an inventory of premarital assets that in the event of a divorce will remain the property of its original owners.
Oklahoma laws of descent & distribution: The Oklahoma Bar Association brochure "Is probate needed?" tulsaworld.com/OBAprenups states that when a person dies without a will, Oklahoma law determines how that person's estate will be distributed at death but the estate will be subject to any prenuptial marriage contract. With no prenuptial contract, when the deceased leaves a spouse and children of their marriage, the surviving spouse receives one-half of the deceased's property, "whether acquired by the joint industry of the husband and wife during marriage or otherwise. The remaining one-half of the estate passes in equal shares to surviving children."
Oklahoma prenuptial agreements: See FreeLegalAid.com's treatise, "Prenuptial agreements in Oklahoma," at tulsaworld.com/FLAprenupsOK
It says that in most jurisdictions, there are four requirements for a "validly executed prenuptial agreement." First, the agreement must be in writing. Second, the agreement must be executed voluntarily and if it is found later that either party signed the agreement under duress or unfair pressure from the other, it will not be enforced. Third, the agreement must not be unconscionable; if it leaves one party destitute or places an unreasonable burden on one party, it will not be enforced. Fourth, the agreement must be validly executed by both parties "in the manner for a deed to be recorded;" in other words, the prenup must be notarized.
"The aforementioned prenuptial requisites not only are necessary at the time of the agreement's signing, but they must also be sustained for the duration of the marriage in order for the agreement to be enforceable should the marriage be dissolved. For instance, one of the conditions of a valid prenuptial agreement might be that the marital home go to one of the parties upon the dissolution of the marriage. This might be conditioned upon that party making the mortgage payments from his or her income. However, if the couple decides to co-mingle their income and use that co-mingled income pool to make mortgage payments, the otherwise valid prenuptial agreement may be held unenforceable."
Uniform prenup law: The Uniform Law Commission approved the Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act at its 121st annual meeting in Nashville (July 2012) "to bring clarity and consistency to a range of legal agreements between spouses or those who are about to become spouses" tulsaworld.com/ULCprenup It has yet to be enacted by the Oklahoma Legislature.
Original Print Headline: Celebrity or not, prenuptials can be in order
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