The family law attorneys at Rotole, Rotole & Blanchard, L.L.C. assist clients throughout the Denver metropolitan area with crafting prenuptial agreements that will protect the interests of both spouses.
The Colorado Marital Agreement Act governs premarital (prenuptial) agreements made in contemplation of marriage. The law also allows for similar agreements to be made during marriage, as long as they are executed before any petition for divorce or legal separation has been filed. In order to be valid, a prenuptial agreement must be in writing, and entered into voluntarily following a fair and reasonable disclosure of the other party's assets and debts. Even so, a provision that is valid when it is made may later go unenforced if circumstances have changed so that the court deems it would be unconscionable to enforce.
A prenuptial or pre-marital agreement may address any issues of property distribution or spousal maintenance (alimony), including what the initial determination will be, or regarding the possibility of a later modification or elimination of support altogether. A pre-marital agreement may not, however, decide issues regarding child custody or child support or other matters directly affecting any children of the marriage.
Why would I want a prenuptial agreement?
When there is an economic disparity between the parties before marriage, a prenuptial agreement can be advantageous to both parties. The spouse with the greater income can protect wealth from being lost in the event of a divorce, while the other spouse can gain assurance in advance of a fair settlement. If either spouse has been married and divorced before, a prenuptial agreement may help ease any stress or insecurity about a second marriage, and allow the parties to enter into the marriage with peace of mind.
Do I need an attorney to complete a prenuptial agreement?
While not required by the Marital Agreement Act in order to be valid, having an attorney prepare the document will help to ensure its validity and enforceability. Even more importantly, by reviewing the document with independent legal counsel before signing, you can be assured that you fully understand and appreciate its legal consequences. Given that the parties to a prenuptial agreement are often of unequal bargaining power, having both people represented by counsel levels the playing field and helps ensure both the appearance and actuality of fairness.
At Rotole, Rotole & Blanchard, L.L.C., our experienced divorce lawyers have an in-depth understanding of the issues that arise in a divorce and how best to address them through a prenuptial agreement. For assistance in drafting a pre-nuptial or pre-marital agreement, contact our firm to speak with one of our family law attorneys.