Reasons For Signing A Prenuptial Agreement
Prenuptial agreements serve many purposes. The primary purpose for most people is to protect a spouse’s family assets, income, and businesses from claims by the other spouse in a divorce and even death of a spouse. Prenuptial agreements can also provide some certainty with respect to how property gets divided and sets out upfront, expectations regarding spousal maintenance should a couple decide to get a divorce.
The goal of a prenuptial agreement is to reduce or avoid litigation during a divorce proceeding.
Before you enter into a prenuptial agreement, it is critical to understand what you may be giving up by opting for a prenuptial instead of using the regular dissolution of marriage laws. Colorado statutes section 14-2-309(3) sets out what legal rights you may be waiving:
- Your right to be supported by the person you are marrying or to whom you are married.
- Your right to ownership or control of money and property.
- Agreeing to pay bills and debts of the person you are marrying or to whom you are married.
- Your right to money and property if your marriage ends or the person to whom you are married dies.
- Giving up your right to have your legal fees paid
You cannot decide upon child support or custody through a prenuptial agreement. A prenuptial agreement is void if the parties fail to marry.
If you are thinking about signing a prenuptial agreement or you are going through a divorce with a previously executed agreement, Colorado family law attorney Cindy Perusse at Perusse Nixon can help by advocating for your rights and protecting your interests. Keep reading below for your guide to understanding Colorado prenuptial agreement laws and enforcement.
Enforceability Of Prenuptial Agreements
In Colorado, prenuptial agreements must be in writing and signed by both parties. In order for the agreement to be enforceable the parties must also have signed it “voluntarily,” had access to independent legal counsel, the document must contain a notice of a list of the rights they may be giving up by signing the agreement and financial disclosure of income and assets and debts from each party.
A prenuptial agreement is a good tool for creating an understanding upfront about expectations upon divorce or death. But, a prenuptial or marital agreement can be challenged upon a divorce. If the effect of enforcing the terms would be so unfair as to be “unconscionable,” the court will not enforce that term of the contract.
It is important that a prenuptial agreement is carefully drafted for a couple’s particular circumstances with terms that achieve their goals. You want a family law attorney to draft your agreement. Cindy Perusse at Perusse Nixon, PLLC, has drafted many prenuptial agreements over the years and will help you put together a solid marital contract.
Enforcing Out Of State Prenuptial Agreements
When going through a divorce in Colorado, courts can enforce choice-of-law provisions by applying another state’s marital agreement laws so long as the agreement is not contrary to Colorado laws or public policy. If there is no choice-of-law provision in the agreement, Colorado law can be applied to enforce the contract, so long as the terms and formation of the agreement comply with Colorado law.
Colorado Prenuptial Agreements Attorney
If you have questions or need help with a prenuptial agreement matter, Colorado family law attorneys at Perusse Nixon can help. Contact our Colorado office at 303-228-2285 or submit a completed online form, and we will get in touch with you. Follow us on Facebook to learn more about our law firm and legal practice areas.