When you find love and decide to get married, the last thing you want to think about is divorce. Perhaps, this explains why a marital agreement is usually hard to fathom for most newly-married couples.
Entering into a marital agreement before marriage does not imply that you have trust issues as a couple. Rather, it implies that you are being forthright about your current relationship and are keen to make arrangements for your future. It also helps protect your family’s generational wealth or family business. And, if either of you have a child from a prior relationship, it ensures your child’s inheritance is protected, rather than going directly to the new spouse.
What is a prenuptial agreement and how does it work in Colorado?
Also known as prenup, a marital agreement can be considered a binding contract that spells out the rights and responsibilities of each party as they get into marriage. It can also include clauses on post-marriage support and inheritance.
In Colorado, all marital agreements are made must adopt the stipulated law. This is the legal document that standardizes all premises of premarital contracts. To be valid, a marital agreement must:
- Be in writing, not verbal
- Duly signed by both parties
- Include a mention that both parties entered into the agreement voluntarily
- Be fair, reasonable, and not unconscionable
- Advise that both parties had access to independent legal counsel
- Include a plain language advisement of waivers of rights
- Include a fair and reasonable disclosure by each party regarding assets, debts, and income
- Cannot include a reduction or eliminate child support
- Cannot be against public policy (cannot punish a spouse for initiating divorce or restrict remedies for victims of domestic violence)
Also, while preparing the prenuptial agreement, both parties are required to disclose their assets as well as any existing financial obligations. Finally, a Colorado prenup agreement can only take effect after marriage. A cohabitation agreement should be considered if you share assets, debts, or income and do not intend to marry.
What a prenup agreement can cover in Colorado
A couple has the liberty to decide the content and scope of their prenup agreement as long as those considerations are legal. A basic prenup agreement can outline the following:
- How assets and debts will be shared should the marriage end by divorce
- How assets and debts will be shared should the marriage end by death
- Whether each party will need to create a will to provide further support to the prenup agreements
- How each spouse’s retirement plans, and employee benefits will be shared
- Future spousal support payments
- Future rights for attorney fees
- Any other provisions as long as they do not conflict with Colorado state laws
If you are in a position where you are wondering whether you need a prenuptial agreement or not, you may have questions. And one of these questions is what you should or should not include in your prenuptial contract. If this describes your situation, then you need a family law expert to help you create a prenup agreement that will safeguard your interests.