Sending shivers down any romantic’s spine, discussing prenuptial agreements can take the wind out of any couple’s sails. But it is a responsible conversation to be had between couples, as divorce continues to be a dreadful reality for many, with the divorce rate for the US still ranging between 40% to 50%.
Yet, current misconceptions about prenuptial agreements steer the public’s negative perception about safeguarding both person’s personal and professional assets. Luckily, we are here to give you everything you need to know about prenuptial agreements and how they can benefit both parties.
First, what exactly is a prenuptial agreement?
Commonly referred to as a ‘prenup’ or ‘marital agreement’ it is a contract between two future spouses that is signed before their marriage. This contract simply determines how important components (like property, debt, and alimony) will be determined if they ever end up getting divorced.
Who should consider a prenuptial agreement?
One common error many make about prenuptial agreements is that they are only relevant for extremely wealthy people. This is simply false. Many couples may find themselves in a position that warrants protecting certain assets or interests. Below are situations that couples should consider when weighing whether they should get a marital agreement:
- if you are wanting to protect assets you had before getting married from being divided in the event of divorce
- if you want to protect the inheritances for children from a previous relationship
- if you are wanting to evade dividing premarital business interests in the future
- if both you and your future spouse are interested in determining early on how both your assets would be divided in the event of divorce
- if both your and/or your future spouse think it is best to determine whether alimony will be paid in the event of divorce
What do prenuptial agreements cover?
When it comes down to finances, prenuptial agreements are an ideal way to address issues in case a divorce does occur. There are many issues that would be covered by a marital agreement:
- the way both premarital assets and assets acquired during the marriage are handled during divorce
- the outcome of both spouse’s employee benefits or retirement plans
- the division of mortgage and credit card debt
- the requirement of both spouses to have life insurance and what happens if death or divorce occur
- the spouse’s right to direct or regulate the couple’s property
- the governing state’s laws the court will receive the agreement under
- if a spouse will pay alimony, the amount if applicable, and duration of payment
What are the notable touch points specific to Colorado law for prenuptial agreements?
While prenuptial agreements are similar from state-to-state, there are certain points you may need to know about prenups in Colorado.
Colorado prenuptial agreements cannot determine child custody or child support for couples. This is a matter that must be addressed when the separation is taking place to determine custody and child support; it is not a prearranged situation.
- The agreement must be written, as verbal agreements will not be recognized.
- Both spouses must sign the agreement, and the agreement is only valid after the couple is legally married.
- A Colorado judge cannot enforce the agreement if:
- the opposing spouse signed the agreement under duress (physically or psychologically compromised) or not at their will
- the opposing spouse couldn’t get legal representation
- the opposing spouse was not given clear financial disclosures from the other spouse before signing
If you’re hoping to gain further insight into the above issues or want to inquire about whether you and your future spouse would benefit from a prenuptial agreement, our expert team is experienced and ready to help you. Get in touch with us here at BAM Family Law for a legal consultation by calling (303) 331-6432.
The information in this post is not legal advice—it is only legal information. To obtain legal advice by hiring the attorneys of Broxterman Alicks McFarlane PC as your counsel, please contact the firm at email@example.com or 303-331-6432.