Step into the heart of Oklahoma—whether you call it OK, Okla, or embrace its legendary moniker, ‘The Sooner State’—where the echoes of college football cheers, the hum of tornado warnings, and the timeless notes of cowboy culture reign. Yet, amidst these iconic themes, a pressing question may arise for newly engaged couples: What about prenuptial agreements in OK (or “antenuptial agreements” as they’re called in the Sooner State)? How do you get one? Is an attorney required? For the newly engaged couple seeking clarity on prenups in Oklahoma, your search ends here. We’re ready to pour you a refreshing glass of sweet tea, serving you up all you need to know about navigating prenups in OK. Let’s jump in.
Do I need a prenup lawyer in Oklahoma?
In the world of prenups in OK, no, you’re not obligated to hire a prenuptial agreement attorney to make your agreement valid and enforceable. But consider this: having a prenup attorney by your side might just be the secret sauce to a smoother prenup ride. Why? Well, for one, they can provide legal advice and customize your prenup to fit your specific needs, wants, and goals. Plus, having a legal expert ensures your agreement is state-compliant, ticking all the boxes of Oklahoma’s prenup laws. It’s like having a legal GPS system making sure you are on the right path and giving you that extra dose of peace of mind.
Remember, if you are choosing to hire a prenup lawyer for your agreement, you and your partner cannot share one attorney. This is because it would cause a conflict of interest. An attorney cannot advocate for two parties’ needs at one time. It would be like playing tennis or chess against themselves. For example, if one partner wanted to waive alimony and the other didn’t, how could the attorney advocate for both people at the same time? It would be impossible, the attorney would have to side with one person over the other. Hence the need for your own attorneys!
How do I find a prenup attorney in OK?
Finding an OK prenuptial agreement attorney may sound daunting, but hear us out. Start out by asking for recommendations from friends, family, neighbors, colleagues, friends of friends, etc., who have treaded this legal ground before you. Having a pre-vetted prenup attorney handed to you by a trusted person in your network is a great way to skip all the hassle. You will know that this attorney is great from the get-go.
You can also turn to online legal directories, such as Avvo or LegalMatch to search out prenup attorneys near you in Oklahoma. You can also check out their reviews on many of the legal directories which can also be valuable resources, providing insights into the experiences of other clients.
Another great way to find prenup lawyers is to check out Oklahoma’s state bar association for a list of qualified attorneys specializing in family law. You can use their Find A Lawyer page and filter down by specialty, city, county, language, and more. Local legal aid organizations may offer assistance or point you in the right direction if you’re on a budget, as well.
Don’t forget good ol’ Google search! You can type in “Oklahoma prenuptial agreement attorneys” or “Tulsa prenup attorneys” or any other similar search right into Google. You’ll likely see a list of family law attorneys pop up. Make sure to check out their website to ensure they actually practice prenups. And definitely check out their Google reviews to understand how other clients’ experiences with them have gone.
What are the benefits of hiring a prenup attorney in OK?
While a prenuptial agreement can be created without legal assistance, engaging an attorney offers several advantages. First and foremost, a seasoned prenup lawyer can provide valuable legal advice, ensuring your agreement aligns with your unique circumstances and needs. Should you keep certain property separate? What should you include in your prenup based on your finances? How do you fill out your financial disclosure form properly? And so on, so forth.
Beyond personalized guidance, having a legal professional on your side instills confidence that your agreement complies with all the required Oklahoma prenup laws. In Oklahoma, there are certain requirements a prenup must meet in order to be considered enforceable. Making sure you meet these requirements safeguards its enforceability and provides you with peace of mind, knowing you’ve dotted all the legal i’s and crossed the necessary legal t’s.
Not only that, but an attorney can also help mediate discussions between you and your partner, facilitating open communication and ensuring both parties fully understand the terms of the agreement. Many prenup lawyers actually have a background in mediation, which means they put a focus on problem solving rather than hostility. This type of communication clarity is crucial for a prenup that stands the test of time.
What are the legal requirements of a prenup in OK?
Understanding the legal requirements of a prenuptial agreement in Oklahoma is so important to its validity and enforceability. While the state doesn’t mandate the involvement of an attorney, certain conditions must be met.
A valid prenup in Oklahoma should be in writing and signed voluntarily by both parties, without any duress or coercion. Full disclosure of assets and debts is required, promoting financial transparency (each party should know what they’re getting into). It’s advisable to execute the agreement well in advance of the wedding to avoid any perception of pressure.
Ensuring fairness in the terms of the agreement is also important, as any provisions deemed unconscionable by the court may be rendered unenforceable, in part or in whole. The terms should be fair and reasonable at the time of signing the agreement. And leave out anything that is unlawful, against public policy, or addressing child support/custody matters.
Important Oklahoma case law
In the OK case of Estate of Burgess, 646 P.2d 623 (1982), an Oklahoma court of appeals was tasked with determining the enforceability of a prenup contract between the Burgess’. The couple, both in their fifties with previous marriages and grown children, agreed in their prenup that neither would claim rights to the other’s property in the event of divorce or death. Mr. Burgess had slightly more property than Mrs. Burgess.
After Mr. Burgess’ death without a will, a dispute arose in probate court between Mrs. Burgess and Mr. Burgess’ daughters from a previous marriage, who were the administrators of his estate. Mrs. Burgess argued that the prenup should be invalidated.
The court examined the specific case, and stated that just because Mr. Burgess had more property than his wife and that their prenup said, “what’s his was his, and what’s hers was hers,” was not inherently unfair just because he had more. It also dismisses claims of fraud, duress, or coercion, even though Mrs. Burgess claimed she didn’t know what she was signing. On this reasoning, the court concluded that the prenup was valid and should have been enforced.
Cost of a prenup lawyer in Oklahoma
We’ll get right down to it: what’ll it cost ya for a prenup in The Sooner State? Well, unfortunately, the answer is “it depends.” It depends on where you are in Oklahoma, Tulsa (the big city) or a rural town. It will also depend on what attorney you hire. The accolades, skill, and experience will all play a part in how much they charge. Typically, prenup lawyers charge by the hour. The average hourly rate for a lawyer in OK is $235. Let’s say your prenup is straightforward: you have simple requests, basic finances, and little negotiations. In that case, it may take your lawyer around 12 hours from start to finish (say, 2 hours of consultations, 2 hours of drafting, 4 hours of negotiations, 2 hours of review, and 2 hours of finalization/signatures). If that’s the case, your OK prenup may cost around $2,820 (12 hours x $235/hr). Keep in mind, that number can fluctuate greatly depending on your specific situation and the lawyer you hire!
You are writing your life story.
Get on the same page with a prenup.
For love that lasts a lifetime, preparation is key. Safeguard your shared tomorrows, starting today.
Nicole Sheehey is the Head of Legal Content at HelloPrenup, and an Illinois licensed attorney. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to prenuptial agreements. Nicole has Juris Doctor from John Marshall Law School. She has a deep understanding of the legal and financial implications of prenuptial agreements, and enjoys writing and collaborating with other attorneys on the nuances of the law. Nicole is passionate about helping couples locate the information they need when it comes to prenuptial agreements. You can reach Nicole here: [email protected]