A prenuptial agreement, often called a “prenup,”is a contract two people enter into before marriage to outline how assets will be divided in the event the marriage later ends in divorce. Prenuptial agreements provide security when some assets the parties have before the marriage may be in jeopardy if a divorce were to occur.
It is essential for both people entering into a prenuptial agreement have their own attorney review and give insight into the contract. The attorneys at the Gasper Law Group have provided representation in family law matters for decades in Colorado Springs. We assist with both drafting and reviewing prenuptial agreements, ensuring our clients understand the nuances of the concessions they are making.
Colorado Prenuptial Agreement Process
There are many reasons why two people getting married might draft a prenup. For one, they may have assets like a large family trust for which they are a beneficiary, and as a result they may be required to protect that asset and avoid jeopardizing the value of the trust. Other beneficiaries, like siblings, might require them to enter into a prenuptial agreement so the trust is not considered a marital asset if the marriage were to end.
In this way, prenuptial agreements operate in the way a will might in an estate plan. Just as a will provides guidance for the distribution of assets after a person’s life ends, so too can a prenup provide guidance for the assets brought into a marriage after it ends.
Although prenups are enforceable, they are not favored by the law. The courts read them narrowly and judge them by the legal standard of the time they were written, and they must also consider whether or not to honor prenups written in other states.
In other words, the courts in Colorado can choose whether or not to enforce a prenup if it was written decades prior or submitted in another state when the divorce proceedings took place in Colorado.
Prenuptial agreements can be used to address a number of martial assets such as:
- Earned pensions
- Family trusts
- Valuable assets accrued prior to the marriage
- Property such as land, houses, boats, etc. owned before the marriage
Prenups can also be used to address spousal maintenance, often called alimony.
It should also be noted that although prenups address material items, they cannot provide guidance on issues like child support or parenting time (visitation).
Prenuptial vs. Postnuptial Agreements
If a couple marries and then decides to draft an agreement about splitting martial assets should the marriage end, they enter into a postnuptial agreement.
Some scenarios that might require a postnuptial agreement include protecting a business one of the people in the marriage owns or operates, or in the instance where circumstances after the prenup was completed require them to revise it after the marriage takes place.
Prenuptial Agreement Review
The law requires that both parties entering into either a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement have their own legal representation involved in the drafting of the document. Having only one attorney create the agreement for both parties would present a conflict of interest.
If you have been served a prenuptial agreement, it is advisable to have an experienced family law attorney review it to ensure it is fair and assist in revising it if necessary so you have your say about premarital assets in the marriage. Gasper Law Group’s attorneys have experience with documents like these and can answer any questions you might have after reading over a prenup you did not create.
Contact Our Colorado Springs Family Law Attorneys
If you are interested in drafting a prenuptial agreement, have questions about a prenup you received, or need assistance with a postnuptial agreement, contact our attorneys today to schedule a consultation. The family law attorneys at Gasper Law Group is here to answer your questions!