A prenuptial agreement is a contract created by two people who are engaged to be married. The purpose of the agreement is to settle how the couple will handle their finances and property if they divorce or separate. Although some people view prenups as unromantic, they are a smart way to protect yourself, your spouse, and your children.
Basic Requirements of a Prenup in Colorado
Although prenups are not required by law, they are authorized, provided the legal requirements for a valid agreement have been met. For a prenup to be valid in Colorado, it must meet the following criteria:
Must Be in Writing
An oral agreement between the parties will not hold up in court. Therefore, it is essential to have your prenup drawn up by an experienced attorney who can ensure that all the necessary language is included.
Must Be Signed Voluntarily
Each party must sign the prenup of their own free will and not under duress from the other party. If it can be shown that one party was coerced into signing the prenup, the entire agreement may be invalidated.
The agreement cannot interfere with any other agreements or contracts that either party has entered into, including previous marriage agreements or settlements.
Must Be Signed Before a Notary Public
This is another way of ensuring that both parties have freely and willingly signed the agreement.
Why a Prenup is So Important
While prenuptial agreements are not for everyone, they can be essential for protecting yourself in divorce. Here’s why you should consider one:
1. A prenup can protect your assets
If you own a home, have savings or investment accounts, or even just a few pieces of valuable jewelry, you need to think about how those things would be treated in the case of a divorce. Without a prenup, state laws would determine how your assets are divided, which may not be fair or what you want. With a prenup, you and your spouse can decide ahead of time how to divide your assets so that there are no surprises later on.
2. A prenup can protect your business
If you own or plan to start a business or are involved in a professional practice, it’s important to have a prenup in place so that you can protect your business interests in the event of a divorce. Without a prenup, you could end up dealing with a complicated business valuation in the event of divorce, as well as facing the prospect of owing your spouse payments based on the results of that valuation.
3. A prenup can protect your future earnings
If you anticipate earning more money in the future than you do currently, you may want to consider getting a prenup so that future earnings are protected in the case of a divorce. Without a prenup, future earnings during the marriage will be considered marital property and whatever was acquired with those earnings will be subject to division in the case of divorce. With a prenup, you can specify that future earnings are separate property and not subject to division.
4. A prenup can help avoid conflict
If there’s one thing we know about divorces, it’s that they can involve conflict and hurt feelings. By having a prenup in place, you and your spouse can minimize or avoid conflict over financial matters because everything will already be decided ahead of time. This can make for a less stressful divorce process overall.
Hire Hogan Omidi, PC, For Your Family Law Needs
When dealing with a prenuptial agreement – or any other family law issues – you want the best legal representation possible. We understand that no two situations are exactly alike, so we take the time to get to know you and your unique situation. We then find the method of representation that fits your need. Whether that means aggressively fighting for your rights in court or working tirelessly to negotiate outside of court, we are here to help. Contact us to schedule a consultation.