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Denver Marital Agreement Lawyer

Denver Marital Agreement Lawyer

Becoming a community of two in a marriage is also a binding legal contract in the eyes of the law, with potential consequences for the future. It’s important to speak to a marital agreement lawyer in Denver about your options. The Denver martial agreement attorneys at the full-service law firm of Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C. in Denver are ready to proactively protect your rights and assets against any future eventuality.

Prenuptial agreements once had a reputation as financial documents meant to protect wealthy individuals from untrustworthy spouses, but today’s marital agreements have become more widely popular because today’s common-sense couples understand that a well-executed marital agreement protects both spouses. In fact, choosing to protect yourself, your loved one, and often your children from future contention is an important act of caring and common sense.

Marriage is not only the joining of two lives and the creation of a family, but it’s also a legal contract between two individuals who may be entering the marriage with their own hard-earned assets or inherited family property.

If the worst-case scenario of a divorce occurs later, the broken contract has legal ramifications for both parties, including the distribution of their marital debts and assets by an impartial judge. Instead of leaving such important matters in the hands of a family court judge in Denver, wise Colorado couples consult with an experienced Denver marital agreement attorney before taking vows.

Denver Marital Agreement Attorney

How Can a Denver Marital Agreement Attorney Help?

Marital agreements have increased in popularity, especially in divorce states like Colorado which requires equitable distribution of marital property. Many couples now prefer to set their own rules for their property, income, and responsibilities while they’re in their best circumstances rather than letting the state’s default rules define these issues for them in the worst circumstances should they occur.

If you wish to enter marriage with clearly defined boundaries for separate property there are many details to carefully consider. A marital agreement attorney in Denver can help ensure a flawlessly executed legal contract that meets all requirements to ensure your desired outcomes for you and for your spouse.

The experienced Denver family law attorneys at Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C. have decades of experience in this specialized legal area, with knowledge and insights that can help you and your spouse carefully craft a personalized prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that will hold up strongly in court no matter what occurs in the future.

Because a poorly written prenup can cause more anguish and contention than it prevents, it’s important to seek an experienced attorney with a strong reputation for success.

If you and/or your spouse have assets or an inheritance to protect, we offer customized solutions for mutual protection in a binding contract.

When Should I Contact a Marital Agreement Lawyer?

There are many reasons couples decide to protect themselves and their loved ones with a marital agreement. You should contact a Denver marital agreement attorney from the family law firm of Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C. if marriage is in the near future for you, or if you’re already married and wish to minimize the risk of later contention by setting clearly defined legal boundaries for your financial interest now and in the future.

Contact an experienced attorney to discuss your options for a marital agreement for one or more of the following reasons:

  • To safeguard significant existing assets such as real estate, inherited property, or retirement accounts
  • To put protections in place for future assets or property you’ll one day inherit
  • To protect property for your children from a previous marriage
  • To specify how your income and your spouse’s income would be divided in the event of a future divorce
  • To pre-define any spousal maintenance paid from one spouse to the other after a divorce should one occur
  • To legally waive any future right to claim spousal support
  • To set clearly defined obligations for each spouse during the marriage by specifying how each party’s income contributes to the household, defining financial obligations for each partner, and determining guidelines for how you and your spouse will make future financial decisions
  • For protection against a spouse’s existing or future debt
  • To protect a business as your separate property
  • To set boundaries for pet ownership; for example, if one person enters the marriage with a dog, the other has no claim on the pet in the event of a divorce

Some prenuptial or postnuptial agreements also include confidentiality clauses to prevent a spouse from divulging personal, professional, or financial information or from sharing damaging information on social media.

The knowledgeable attorneys at Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C. will guide you through the process and protect your rights and best interests today and into the unforeseeable future.

Couple on couch looking at phone together

What is a Marital Agreement?

When engaged couples seek to define their separate properties before marriage or to protect their business interests, safeguard an inheritance for their children, or preserve other interests, they can consult with a Colorado family lawyer to draft a binding legal agreement. A prenuptial agreement (prenup) is created and signed by both parties before the marriage takes place.

In other cases, already-married spouses decide to protect their separate and mutual interests by drafting a post-nuptial marital agreement. Both marital agreements are legally binding in the event of a divorce as long as they are in writing and willingly signed by both partners. To be legally enforceable in Colorado, both spouses must sign a statement that they are not agreeing to the document under duress and that they have no other signed agreements or prior legal documents in conflict with the new marital agreement.

Does a marital agreement mean that one or both parties believe the marriage is doomed to divorce? No; in the vast majority of cases, marital agreements protect the interests of both parties in the marriage. Signing one while you’re happily in love serves as a means to protect yourself and your loved one against any future circumstance, while your feelings are at their height.

Types of Marital Agreements

A marital agreement is a contract between spouses that clearly defines each spouse’s financial rights and responsibilities during the marriage and in the event of a divorce. When both spouses enter into a marital agreement in Colorado either before or during the marriage, Colorado courts uphold and enforce the agreement as long as it’s not egregiously unfair to one spouse, or the court has reason to believe one spouse signed the agreement under duress.

Marital agreements signed before the marriage takes place are prenuptial agreements, while those signed at any point after the marriage has taken place are postnuptial agreements. Both types of marital agreements allow each spouse to understand what to expect during the marriage and in the event of a divorce.

A marital agreement does not cover matters of child custody or child support for a future divorce. The courts prioritize the best interests of children in a divorce, and this depends on the circumstances at the time of the divorce, so it cannot be legally predetermined.

What is the Difference Between a Prenuptial Agreement and a Postnuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial contract is a marital agreement executed and signed before marriage to define separate assets and to put a structure in place for a positive outcome for both spouses in the event of a future divorce. It may also define specific responsibilities and obligations for each spouse during the marriage

A postnuptial contract is similar, but the spouses draft this agreement together with an attorney after they’re already married. Some married spouses decide to create a marital agreement at a point in their marriage when one spouse opens a business, inherits property, or simply wishes to define their separate and joint assets while they’re on good terms. This puts protections in place for the future, so the courts won’t have to decide for them in the event of a divorce.

What’s Included in a Marital Agreement?

Because each couple’s assets, debts, and finances are unique, no two marital agreements are alike. Most marital agreements protect both parties in the marriage, so each spouse knows what’s expected and required of them during the marriage and in the event of a future divorce. Having these parameters in place minimizes conflicts that could otherwise arise in the marriage, offering not only financial protection but actual prevention of potential sources of marital friction.

Marital agreements commonly include many of the following terms:

  • Full financial disclosures by both parties so the agreement is fair, legal, and binding
  • Identification of separate property belonging to each spouse
  • An outline for the division of property and debts in the event of a future divorce
  • A map for financial responsibilities during the marriage, such as which spouse pays the mortgage, and which pays for their children’s education
  • A plan for separate assets if one spouse dies
  • A specification for an amount of alimony paid from one spouse to the other in the event of a divorce
  • The voluntary waiving of future alimony claims
  • Protection for a business owned by one spouse or one spouse’s family business
  • Penalties for violating agreements such as confidentiality clauses in the marital agreement

It’s important to periodically revisit an existing marital agreement with your Denver prenuptial agreement lawyer at Ciancio Ciancio Brown, PC. to provide any necessary updates such as protections for new property, gifts, businesses, or in the event of additional children.

Couple smiling at table

Who Should Have a Marital Agreement?

Deciding whether a marital agreement is appropriate is a matter of personal choice, but there are specific circumstances in which attorneys might especially recommend putting a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in place for your protection including:

  • One spouse has significantly more assets than the other or assets of higher value
  • For second or third marriages, especially when there are children from prior marriages
  • Older adults or senior citizens planning to marry who wish to protect their retirement accounts, life savings, or future legacies intended for their children
  • Individuals who own a business of substantial value or one that’s likely to grow in value
  • When one spouse stands to inherit a family business
  • A spouse inherits or stands to inherit property and/or other assets
  • A spouse has a significant amount of individual debt
  • One or both spouses wish to protect their assets in the event of a future divorce or define how they’ll be divided, so the courts don’t have to decide for them
  • Spouses wish to offer each other specific rights and protections against future contention while they’re in a close and loving relationship

It may seem like taking the pragmatic steps to enter a marriage with an agreement in place isn’t romantic, but it’s important to remember that most couples draft these agreements while they are on the best of terms before marriage, and what they put into place in their marital agreement typically reflects not only their love and caring for each other but also mutual respect for each other’s goals and achievements.

Contact a Denver Marital Agreement Lawyer Today

Marital agreements are a good way for engaged couples or spouses to consider the financial implications of marriage and minimize the risk of conflict later. A well-executed marital agreement reduces conflict, protects assets, and keeps the decisions about your assets in your hands rather than in the court’s should anything change between you and your spouse in the future.

If you think a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement might be right for you and your loved one, contact Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C. today for a consultation. Our team has over 100 years of combined experience navigating Colorado’s legal system, including assisting couples in drafting well-crafted marital agreements. We will make sure your agreement meets all Colorado legal requirements to stand up in court under any future eventuality.

Our full-service law firm is there for you and your family in any legal circumstances you might encounter today or in the future. We are ready to help you achieve your goals with honesty, open communication, and experienced counsel.