Some people vilify prenuptial and postnuptial agreements because they see these plans as a precursor to divorce.
In reality, these agreements protect a couple’s financial and business interests and cover issues that couples will have to discuss at some point in their marriage. These plans merely spark the discussion before marriage.
If a marital agreement becomes an issue, seek advice from a family law attorney at Shapiro Family Law in Denver.
Shapiro Family Law has earned a reputation for being the family law firm Denver couples trust for protecting their financial and business interests before entering a marriage.
Call us today at 303-695-0200 to schedule a free legal consultation with a prenuptial and postnuptial agreement lawyer in Denver. We serve clients throughout Colorado.
Colorado Law Regulates Marital Agreements
Colorado Statute §14-2-302(2) refers to prenuptial and postnuptial agreements as “marital agreements.” The law requires both couples to sign the agreement in order for it to be enforceable. Couples sign a prenuptial agreement before they marry, and the plan becomes effective after the marriage. Couples sign postnuptial agreements after they marry but before they divorce.
You Do Not Have to Be Wealthy to Have a Marital Agreement.
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are not just for individuals with high net worth. They are useful for any couple who wants to protect and establish their rights, or their children’s rights, before marriage. You may consider a marital agreement if:
- You own a business;
- Your prospective spouse has a high debt burden;
- You own property or have financial assets that you want to keep separate from your marital property and assets; or
- You want to protect the rights of children and other beneficiaries upon your death.
A prenuptial agreement protects couples from future conflicts in the event of a divorce or the death of one of the spouses. For instance, if you have children from a previous marriage and you want to leave them property or a financial inheritance after your death, you can indicate this in a marital agreement.
What Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements Cover
While many people see prenuptial and postnuptial agreements as benefiting only the spouse with the most assets and the most to lose in a divorce, these plans benefit both spouses.
For instance, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can cover issues including:
- How to divide marital assets in a divorce, such as bank accounts, stocks, and bonds;
- How either spouse will maintain the separate property they had before getting married;
- How to divide outstanding debts, including credit cards and student loans;
- How to divide retirement benefits like pensions and 401(k) plans;
- How to divide the marital house and other real estate property;
- Which spouse assumes tax liability for certain assets, such as bank accounts and business accounts;
- Whether a spouse will or will not remain a beneficiary on life insurance policies after divorce
- Which spouse will pay or receive spousal support (or alimony), the amount of support, and how long spousal support will be paid
We can discuss these and other issues that may impact your agreements during your free consultation.
When Colorado Law Deems a Marital Agreement Invalid
Per Colorado Statute §14-2-309, a prenuptial agreement or a postnuptial agreement is unenforceable if the spouse asked to sign the agreement:
- Involuntarily signed the agreement or signed under duress;
- Did not have access to a lawyer before signing the documents;
- Did not receive a notice of waiver of rights or an explanation of the marital rights or obligations the agreement modified or waived; or
- Did not receive a reasonably accurate description and a good-faith estimate of the other spouse’s property, liabilities, and income.
Before signing either document, we recommend you discuss your objections with a family law attorney. We will review the document with you, listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and offer legal advice before you decide whether to sign the document.
Colorado Prenuptial Agreements Do Not Include Child Support or Child Custody Issues
If you and your spouse have children when you decide to dissolve your marriage, the court presiding over your divorce will handle child support and child custody matters. In Colorado, courts must consider the best interests of the children during a divorce, whether or not parents have prenuptial or postnuptial agreements in place.
If you are considering a divorce and have concerns about child support and child custody, Shapiro Family Law can answer your questions. Our attorneys not only handle prenuptial and postnuptial agreements but other aspects of family law, including divorce, legal separation, and mediation.
Preventing Future Conflicts Through Proper Planning
Couples may find it difficult or uncomfortable to begin their life together by discussing the end of their marriage. However, having a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in place can help couples avoid conflicts in a divorce or after death.
Because these agreements can be difficult to draft, and some provisions may not be enforceable, it is essential to speak with us. We can help you write a marital agreement or scrutinize the agreement prior to signing.
Call Our Colorado Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreement Lawyers in Denver Today
Shapiro Family Law handles all aspects of family law, including divorce, legal separation, child support, child custody, mediation, and other personalized legal services. Contact us today at 303-695-0200 to schedule a free consultation with our legal team.