Category Archives: Marital Agreement Resources

Marital Agreement Resources page links to Marital Agreements.

What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenup or premarital agreement is a contract between you and your perspective spouse. Why would you want to do this? You would want to do this if you had been married before and you had assets and children from a prior relationship and you wanted to protect those assets and you also wanted to provide for your children.

Another reason why you would want to do a premarital agreement or same thing as a prenup is if there is going to be a disparity in income or earning ability between the parties. Perhaps, you want to protect a family inheritance. You want to protect a family business. You want to clearly delineate your rights and responsibilities going into a marriage relationship.

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How Can a Marital Agreement Benefit You?

A marital agreement is a contract between 2 parties. It’s typically what we call a pre-marital agreement which is a contract between 2 parties who are contemplating marriage.

Colorado has enacted a Colorado marital agreement act so there are specific provisions. In this act that govern marital agreements. Parties who are already married may decide that they want to go ahead and enter into a marital agreement in order to define their rights and responsibilities moving forward.

For example, the parties have been married and one of the parties stands to inherit money from a relative. Perhaps the parties are married and they want to make provisions for children who are step- children, not born of the marriage.

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What Factors Determine Maintenance and Alimony?

Maintenance and alimony is determined in Colorado based upon several different factors. The first factor is looking at the gross income of the parties. In other words, there is a formula that is utilized. There is a formula that is available online, and I have the family law software. If you come in and see me, I can run a maintenance alimony where the terms are interchangeable, but basically, it’s a maintenance worksheet on the spot.

We look at the gross income of the parties, not the net income of the parties and then we also look at other factors. Ones that basically worksheet number has been determined, we look at need and ability to pay. We look at your need. If you are requesting maintenance, what is your need? Do you need the maintenance? Then we look at the other party’s ability to pay. Does the other party have the ability to pay maintenance and meet the other obligations that are required?

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What Marital Assets Can You Claim Without a Pre-Martial Agreement? – Lewis & Matthews

What assets can you claim in a divorce without a pre-marital agreement?

Under Colorado, parties can enter into a contract called a pre-marital or prenuptial agreement. In that contract they can agree regarding how their property and assets are going to be divided in the event that there is a dissolution of marriage. Also, in a pre-marital agreement, the parties can agree regarding maintenance, which is spousal support, and also provide a waiver of attorneys fees.

The court generally will enforce a pre-martial agreement if there has been a full and complete disclosure by the parties, and a party has had an opportunity to review the agreement in advance of signing it, and furthermore, that there has been no duress. In other words, the party hasn’t been forced to sign that agreement. Without a pre-martial or prenuptial agreement, the court considers all property that the parties have regardless of how it’s titled, as martial property. Sometimes when you get married, you bring in separate property.

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Can you be common law married in Colorado?

common law coloradoCan you be common law married in Colorado? Yes, you can be common law married in Colorado. It’s actually easier here in Colorado to be common law married than it is in a lot of other states. We have a very simple law regarding it.

In order to be common law married you only have to live together, hold yourself as married, and you have to have an intention to be married.

As you can see, number three is subjective. An intention to be married, that’s in your head. The way the courts look at it is they look for evidence of your intent to be married. Let’s say you live together and you know that’s true. You may even have people that think you’re married because you live together and you certainly look like you’re married and act like you’re married, but is there any other evidence that shows that intent to be married? I’ll give you a few examples that actually does show your intent to be married.

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How is a Legal Separation Different from Divorce in Colorado?

A lot of people think that legal separation is a step towards divorce. First you get legally separated, then you get divorced. But in Colorado, that’s not the case at all. There is no stair step to divorce. Legal separation is an alternative to divorce … very different. However, you have to go through the exact same process that you would go through if you were getting a divorce.

Divorce requires financial disclosures at the beginning. You have to do that as well in a legal separation. If you have children, you have to do a parenting plan. You have to figure out child support. If maintenance was an issue, you’d have to figure out maintenance. The process is exactly the same.

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