What to Know About Prenuptial Agreements

A Short, Comprehensive Guide

No one anticipates their marriage ending in divorce when they first enter that relationship, so it’s not uncommon for many people to be unsure of the concept of a prenuptial agreement. However, prenuptial agreements can provide great benefits to couples ready to tie the knot.

For those who might be unsure of what a prenuptial agreement does or who could benefit from one, here’s a short guide stating what you should know about prenuptial agreements.

What a Prenuptial Agreement Does

A prenuptial agreement (sometimes called a premarital agreement) is a legal contract between a couple made before they get married. This agreement serves as a way of explaining which party has what rights and responsibilities in the event that the marriage ends via divorce.

Many people get prenuptial agreements in place in order to outline which party receives what assets in the event of divorce. A couple could also include provisions related to spousal maintenance, debt division, and distribution of retirement assets and employee benefits.

Who a Prenuptial Agreement Best Serves

While anyone entering into a marriage relationship can benefit from having a prenuptial agreement in place, couples who fall into the following categories tend to lean toward getting a prenuptial agreement:

  • A couple where each party brings a significant amount of assets into the marriage and wants to protect those assets in the event of divorce.

  • A couple where one spouse owns a business and wants to avoid that business facing division in divorce.

  • A couple where each party would prefer to have a clear outline of asset division in the event their marriage ends.

  • A couple with children from a previous marriage who want to protect them in the event of a divorce.

Again, any couple could potentially benefit from having a prenuptial agreement.

Benefits of Prenuptial Agreements

Prenuptial agreements actually provide couples with one in place a great deal of protection if their marriage ends in divorce. With so many provisions already agreed upon and put into place prior to the divorce, a couple with a prenuptial agreement can end up saving both time and money throughout their divorce because many steps are already taken care of. Additionally, individuals who bring premarital assets into the marriage and have those outlined in the agreement are better able to walk away from the divorce with those assets intact.

Creating a Prenuptial Agreement

Colorado adopted the Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act (UPPA), meaning that Colorado’s standards for prenuptial agreements are the same as the other state who have signed this act. In order to create a prenuptial agreement in Colorado, the following requirements must be met:

  • The agreement must be put in writing and signed by both parties prior to their marriage.

  • The agreement does not conflict with any other premarital agreement that may already exist.

  • Both parties must sign the agreement voluntarily, meaning they cannot be coerced or tricked into signing the agreement.

Each spouse will need to prepare financial disclosures listing all assets prior to signing the prenuptial agreement.

What Cannot Be Enforced

Prenuptial agreements cannot include everything, however. There are certain terms that will not be enforced if included in an agreement, including the following:

  • Child custody

  • Child support

  • Restriction of relief from domestic violence

  • Illegal actions

  • Penalties levied against the person who files for divorce

  • Terms that attempt to modify the grounds for divorce

Creating a Prenuptial Agreement with an Attorney

Prenuptial agreements need to meet specific requirements in order to be valid in Colorado. To better ensure that your agreement will hold up in court, you should consider working with an attorney who understands how to craft a document that meets both your needs and state requirements. At Law Office of Greg Quimby, P.C., our team is prepared to help you and your soon-to-be spouse create a prenuptial agreement that offers you protection and relief.

To learn more or to schedule a consultation, call (719) 212-4227 or visit us online.

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