A prenuptial agreement is not always the first thing on the minds of newlyweds, but it is important to consider. Both prenuptial and postnuptial agreements create contracts between couples that determine how assets are separated between parties, which can protect assets and often make divorce go more smoothly. Marriage agreements can cover assets that you currently have and those that you will have in the future of your marriage.
However, martial agreements can sometimes lead to other disagreements during divorce, such as the validity of the agreement. It is important that when you make a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in Colorado Springs, you take care when executing it so that the plans it details are legally enforceable.
Both prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are written contracts that couples create to determine asset division in the event of divorce or death. Prenuptial agreements are made before the couple gets married, while postnuptial agreements are created after marriage. Postnuptial agreements can be useful if a new business or inheritance is given to one spouse after marriage, and they want to protect that asset, or the other spouse wants to avoid liability for that asset. A marital agreement’s main function is to protect assets and wealth, like a business or inheritance, and determine the inheritance of your estate.
This can be especially useful if both parties do not want to be subject to Colorado laws for divorce asset division. Colorado is an equitable distribution state, rather than a community property state, and some married couples want to decide for themselves how assets are divided. If the marriage comes to a divorce, a prenup can also decrease the cost of the divorce because there is already a plan for asset division and time in court is not needed to divide property.
The legal issues regarding prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can be very complex, and it is important that both parties have experienced legal representation. Although Colorado law does not require legal representation, it does require that both parties have access to legal representation.
While it is possible to create a marital agreement yourself, you and your spouse are more likely to overlook something or make a mistake that could make it inadmissible or unenforceable in court. If you work with an attorney with experience in material agreements, they can ensure that it is legally valid and covers the issues both parties want it to. It also makes it more likely that both parties will see a fair outcome to the agreement. An attorney is particularly useful if your circumstances are unusual or unique. They will be able to create a legally enforceable marital agreement that is adapted to fit your situation.
Some couples are wary of signing an agreement regarding potential divorce. It is important to remember that signing these papers does not mean that you are going to get a divorce; you are just preparing for uncertain life events to the best of your ability. Marital agreements can also set some expectations for a long and healthy marriage.
Marital agreements must be signed and in writing by both parties and cannot be made in anticipation of an imminent divorce. Both spouses must be honest about their assets and debts before the agreement is completed. The agreement can cover a number of topics regarding divorce and marriage, such as finances and estate issues. Some of the topics that prenuptial and postnuptial agreements cover are:
There are many other topics that a pre- or postnuptial agreement can cover. If it doesn’t violate Colorado or federal law, the agreement can cover almost anything.
Marital agreements are not the best option for everyone. Before signing a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, each couple's situation should be considered. Some positives of a legally upheld marital agreement include:
There are some negatives to marital agreements, as well. Incorrectly drafted agreements, for example, are unenforceable in court, which means the entire process was a waste of time and money. Courts are often more favorable to prenuptial agreements than postnuptial agreements, as they prefer an agreement that was made before a marriage.
An unenforceable prenuptial or postnuptial agreement means that, even if both parties who signed the contract agreed to the terms at the time of signing, a judge cannot force either party to follow the terms. This is a big reason why you want legal representation during the signing and creation of a marital agreement to prevent this from happening. Although there are many legal intricacies, there are some basic reasons a marital agreement may be considered unenforceable:
To ensure that the creation and drafting of a marital agreement are not found unenforceable by one of these errors or any others, it is important to discuss it with a marital agreement or divorce attorney.
A: If the agreement complies with Colorado law and requirements for marital agreements, the court will enforce a postnuptial agreement in divorce cases. These compliance requirements are the same as they are for prenuptial agreements and must be carefully created so that they are considered valid.
A: An attorney is not required, but legal representation can help ensure that the agreement is seen as valid and enforceable in the future. You can sign a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement without legal counsel, but the agreement must include a waiver of certain rights. Both parties must have the financial ability and opportunity to acquire legal representation, even if neither has any. The lack of legal representation may be taken into account by the court during a divorce and may affect whether the court sees it as valid.
A: A postnuptial agreement needs to be in writing and signed voluntarily by both parties. The terms of the agreements must be reasonable, and there must be full disclosure of assets and debts by both parties. If these and other legal requirements are met, you can complete a postnuptial agreement.
A: Martial agreements can’t decide future child support or child custody, or modify court-ordered separation. Terms must also not negatively impact the person who initiates divorce. The agreement also cannot violate public policy or violate Colorado or federal laws, such as domestic violence or bigamy laws.
A: If the court determines that the agreement was made under duress, or that one party misrepresented their assets, or another legal failure of the agreement, it would be overturned. That is why you want to consult a Colorado Springs martial agreement attorney to be sure that the contract is fair and legally binding in court.
At Johnson Law Group, LLC, we have the experience needed to be sure that your agreement operates under the law and is fair to you and your spouse. Contact us today.