Premarital Agreements in Colorado Divorce Cases
In the past, premarital agreements were associated with celebrities and the very wealthy. Over the years, however, they have become more common in Colorado, among all kinds of couples, in order to reduce unpleasant surprises and antagonism in the event of divorce proceedings. The primary purpose underlying most premarital agreement is asset protection.
The Denver premarital agreement attorneys at Plog & Stein, P.C. can help you draft, enforce, or challenge a premarital agreement. These agreements can also be revised subsequent to marriage if both parties so desire. Marital agreements in Colorado are governed under C.R.S. 14-2-301, et. Seq., which sets forth statutory parameters your attorney must adhere to, both substantively and procedurally, to ensure the viability of your agreement should you one day divorce.
Interested in establishing a premarital agreement? Call us at (303) 781-0322 to discuss the process and our rates.
Enforceability of Premarital Agreements
The Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act governs most aspects of premarital agreements in Colorado. Premarital agreements can be crucial during a divorce or if one spouse dies. A premarital agreement can cover a wide range of matters that can save you a great deal of headache and distress in the future. Unlike other contracts, no “consideration” or quid pro quo is required to make a premarital agreement enforceable. C.R.S. 14-2-303 requires that (1) a premarital agreement be in writing and (2) be entered into voluntarily by both spouses in order to be enforceable. The premarital agreement attorneys at our Denver firm can explain to you everything you need to know about the Act.
A premarital agreement can cover the following aspects:
- Division of property and debt
- Rights under wills
- Benefit plans
- Insurance policies
- Spousal maintenance
When a court is examining whether a premarital agreement was entered into voluntarily, many factors, including timing and the opportunity for reflection and legal representation prior to signing will be considered. Both parties should have the chance to consult with an attorney and the opportunity to consider and negotiate any changes before signing an agreement. Colorado law upholds the notion that premarital agreements are binding and enforceable, so long as they are entered into voluntarily and after adequate disclose of resources and debt. A divorce court is much more likely to enforce a premarital agreement that has been openly negotiated with the assistance of attorneys than one in which a party with greater financial resources simply presents an agreement to be signed to an unrepresented and less well-off fiancé.
Disclosure of Assets & Liabilities
Before executing a premarital agreement, statute requires both parties to truthfully disclose their assets and liabilities. Failure to properly disclose one’s financial position may render an agreement invalid. Conversely, if full disclosure has been made, the court should enforce property division terms, even if they seem unfair at the time of divorce.
However, the terms of the agreements can’t do the following:
- Violate public policy
- Be unconscionable (particularly as relates to spousal support)
- Violate any laws
For example, a premarital agreement cannot adversely affect any child’s right to child support. Likewise, though parties can waive maintenance or contract to specific terms regarding spousal support, courts are not bound to follow such provisions if it is determined to be unconscionable at the time of divorce.
Under the Colorado Premarital and Marital Agreements Act, a premarital agreement may be signed after the marriage ceremony has taken place, but bargaining positions and other issues may change once the ceremony has happened. Therefore, it is generally preferable for it to be executed by both parties before the ceremony.
Colorado statute also authorizes intra-marital or “post-nuptial” agreements to also be entered into. The formality and substance may be the same as agreements entered into prior to a marriage. However, post-nuptial agreements cannot be done in anticipation of a divorce or as a “separation agreement.” If you are married and contemplating formulating an agreement during the marriage, we can help.
Contact Our Experienced & Strategic Denver Premarital Agreement Lawyers!
Although they make some people uncomfortable, premarital agreements can be an effective way to protect your assets in case of divorce. It is important for both partners to consult with their own attorneys before finalizing a premarital agreement. Our Denver firm’s experienced premarital agreement lawyers can help draft, challenge or enforce a premarital agreement.
Call our office without delay in order to enlist our top-notch legal services.