Prenuptial Agreements

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Prenuptial Agreements, known in Colorado as Premarital Agreements, and Marital Agreements can be very useful tools to ensure that married couples retain property and other rights as desired. It is important to understand Colorado law as it applies to both divorce and death of a spouse, as well as options to modify those rights as appropriate for one’s situation.

Who Needs a “Prenup” in the State of Colorado?

Believe it or not, premarital agreements are not a form of asset control reserved exclusively for the very wealthy. There are many situations that could benefit dramatically from these agreements. Even couples with modest assets can leverage prenuptial agreements to properly handle their assets in the event of a death or divorce.

Protection from Debts

In some cases, a premarital agreement can be used to protect oneself from a spouse’s debt. This is often overlooked by couples. Unfortunately, it is not impossible for a person to be left with debt they did not themselves accrue. If your spouse to be has significant debt, it is highly recommended that you speak to an attorney about your options.

Protect Family Heirlooms

Some families have sentimental and valuable property that they want to see kept with specific members of the family. Because property may be shared or commingled within a marriage, if that marriage dissolves situations like this can become challenging. 

Children From Prior a Marriage

Sometimes property is already established as intended to go to children a person has from a prior marriage. Even more complicated, this can often be the case for both spouses entering a marriage. To navigate this properly, it is important to sit down with a professional and flesh out these situations in a methodical way.

How to Get a Prenuptial Agreement in Colorado

Historically, courts have been somewhat suspicious of premarital agreements. Concern over these agreements encouraging divorce, or worse, allowing a more wealthy person to exert unfair control over their spouse fueled significant scrutiny. Because of this, it is important to get professional assistance when approaching this subject with your spouse.

This is not something to be taken lightly, and it is critical for each of the parties to have effective representation before signing such an agreement. At Brestel Bucar, our attorneys are here to educate and advise so that you can make informed decisions regarding a Premarital or Marital Agreement in order to achieve your goals.

What Happens if I Don’t Get a Premarital Agreement?

If a prenuptial agreement is not in place and your marriage ends in death or divorce, Colorado state law may determine what happens to your property. In some cases, these laws may handle things in a perfectly fair manner. However, there are many situations that are simply too complex to not address specifically. If you are interested in learning more, please don’t hesitate to contact our attorneys.

Prenuptial Agreements in Colorado: What You Need to Know

Prenups offer an effective way to define certain financial aspects of a relationship before getting married, should that union end in divorce. Also referred to as premarital agreements in Colorado, prenups have to be crafted and fully executed—and the marriage has to occur—in order for these agreements to be valid. Revealing more, the following FAQs share helpful answers about premarital agreements in Colorado.

What Can a Colorado Prenuptial Agreement Cover?

The terms of prenups can cover various property and financial matters, including (but not limited to): 

  • Separate vs marital property: Prenuptial agreements are contracts that can specify what property will remain separate and not become part of the marital estate. This can include anything from homes, vehicles, and bank accounts to stocks, investments, and family heirlooms. 
  • Alimony/Maintenance: Prenups can dictate the terms and amounts of spousal support, including when alimony will not be paid, whether these payments increase if the marriage lasts for a certain period of time, and more. 
  • Benefits: How the end of a marriage will (or will not) impact health care coverage, retirement plan benefits, and life insurance proceeds can all be detailed in prenups. 
  • Debt: Prenups can explain who will be responsible for any debt accumulated during the marriage, including mortgages and credit card debt.  
  • Business interests: Premarital agreements can also set out clear guidelines for how either spouse’s interests in a business will be handled if the marriage ends. While this can mean keeping business interests separate, prenups may also include terms for divvying up portions of or interests in a business in the event of divorce.

Though not the most romantic idea, prenups can do a lot to protect both spouses’ interests if the marriage doesn’t last. As such, they can be useful beyond just the uber-wealthy crowd. In fact, premarital agreements in Colorado can benefit business owners, those going into a second or subsequent marriage, parents who want to earmark certain assets or heirlooms for children from another marriage, and many others.

Do Prenuptial Agreements in Colorado Cover Child Custody?

No. Child custody, as well as child support, cannot be included in a Colorado prenuptial agreement, and any terms that relate to these issues can be invalid. The reasons for this are that: 

  • Colorado family courts generally want to preserve children’s relationships with both parents, whenever possible (and safe). 
  • Custody and support issues need to be determined in the moment and in the best interests of the children, after evaluating the current needs and circumstances of the children and parents involved. Consequently, these matters can’t be predicted ahead of time and included in prenups.

Should I Sign a Prenuptial Agreement?

Not without reviewing the agreement with an experienced lawyer. There can be many good reasons to sign prenuptial agreements in Colorado, but you need to make sure that you fully understand what you may be agreeing to. You also need the opportunity to consider whether the terms of the prenup are fair to you. An attorney can help you sift through the jargon and give you a definitive answer here. 

Ultimately, however, it’s important to remember that a well-crafted prenup can simplify and expedite the dissolution of a relationship later if a marriage doesn’t work out. While you never want to plan for divorce, it can be a real possibility, and having a prenup (no matter how starry-eyed fiancés may be) can be one of the best ways to protect yourself and your assets if that possibility becomes a reality. 

What Can Invalidate a Colorado Prenuptial Agreement?

Certain terms or entire prenups can be invalidated in Colorado if or when: 

  • They contain terms that violate the law. 
  • They have not been fully executed.
  • They include “unconscionable” terms concerning spousal maintenance, meaning they are grossly unreasonable. 
  • One party did not have sufficient time to find an attorney to help review the prenup. This can occur if a prenup is sprung onto someone the day before or of the wedding, for instance.
  • One party has failed to provide the proper and necessary financial disclosures to the other party. This could include disclosures related to assets and debts.
  • One party used coercion or duress to force the other party into signing the prenup. 

It’s important to note that making a marriage contingent on signing a prenup is generally not sufficient to constitute “coercion” or “duress.” 

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Colorado Prenup?

The cost of premarital agreements in Colorado will depend on how complicated the agreement needs to be and the negotiation involved. Generally, basic prenups are fairly affordable.

Can Prenups Be Oral?

No. Colorado law requires that premarital agreements are written. 

Get More Answers from an Experienced Broomfield Lawyer at Brestel Bucar

Whether you need answers about prenups or it’s time to review or develop a premarital agreement, you can count on the trusted team at Brestel Bucar. We offer exceptional counsel and client-focused solutions for our clients’ prenuptial agreement needs. 

Call 303-731-4402 or contact us online for a confidential consultation with an experienced Broomfield lawyer. 

At Brestel Bucar, we take a unique approach that provides better experiences and better results for our clients. Strategic and solutions-based, we are highly efficient at identifying key issues and proposing simple yet effective plans to help our clients protect their interests and achieve their goals. Along the way, we always strive to simplify and demystify the process, keep our clients informed, and instill confidence and comfort on the road to favorable resolutions.​ Find out how we can help you by contacting us today.

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