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Challenging A Prenuptial Agreement

Reuters reports that the divorce settlement between billionaire Harold Hamm and his wife Sue Ann, a former attorney, may be the biggest in history — it appears that the Oklahoma couple did not sign a prenuptial agreement before they married 25 years ago.

Once considered the preserve of the wealthy, prenuptial agreements are now frequently used by couples of more modest means, to clearly delineate who gets what if the marriage ends. A prenuptial agreement is a binding contract that, for the most part, is difficult to invalidate. Although prenuptial agreements are recognized by the Oklahoma courts, there are ways that you can challenge your prenup, if necessary. Here are some of the more common grounds:

  • Duress: Duress does not necessarily mean you were physically coerced into signing the document. Duress can be more subtle than that. If, for example, you were first presented with the prenup an hour before the marriage ceremony was due to begin and signed it without having had enough time to consider it properly, you could argue that you signed it under duress.
  • Failure to disclose: If your spouse did not disclose all of their assets when you signed the prenup, you could claim that you did not know what you were giving up by signing it. However, sometimes the agreement itself waives the disclosure requirement, in which case this ground may unavailable.
  • Unconscionability: If the agreement excessively favors your spouse, making it grossly unfair, it may be invalidated. For example, if you waived any claim to all or the vast majority of the marital assets, a court may find the terms unconscionable.

Other grounds such as fraud and mistake are less common and are usually very difficult to prove. An experienced Oklahoma City family law attorney can advise you of your particular circumstances.

For advice about prenuptial agreements and a wide range of family law matters, speak to one of the experienced and compassionate Butler & Flynn PLLC family law attorneys.

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