One way to support a long term successful relationship is to handle the business side of your marriage in a written agreement either before you marry (pre-nuptial agreement) or following your marriage (post-nuptial agreement) to agree to terms that would apply if your marriage were to end.
Having a pre or post nuptial agreement can assist in having what might be a complex divorce go smoothly but it also sets up clarity in the relationship and assists in developing the foundation for a solid long term marriage. It is a structure that requires you to address a number of issues that should be addressed before or during your marriage. Often couples that have been married before and have separate property or children from a previous marriage find marital agreements very helpful in resolving financial issues between them.
Here are a few of the things that you can choose to put in your Pre or Post-Nuptial Agreement:
- Address what property will remain separate and what will become marital
- Define responsibility for pre-existing and marital debts and other financial obligations.
- You can include an indemnity clause to protect the non-debtor party.
- You can predetermine the division of marital property on divorce.
- You can predetermine the allocation of responsibility for debt at the conclusion of a divorce proceeding
- You can make decisions regarding Maintenance.
- You can adjust the rights of the parties upon death of either spouse including the elective share under Colorado Statute or the relinquishment of marital rights at death.
- Agreements with respect to retirement accounts
- Agreements with respect to tax returns
- Agreements with respect to life insurance policies
- Agreements with respect to Attorneys Fees
- Agreements with respect to Confidentiality
Pre or Post-Nuptial Agreements are enforceable under Colorado law. To assure validity, the following need to be assured:
- The parties enter into the agreement voluntarily and without duress or undue influence
- The parties are each represented by independent legal counsel.
- Each party is provided an adequate and reasonable disclosure of the assets and obligations of the other party and each party recognizes that the values given are estimates.
- Each party waives any further financial disclosure of the other party; and
- Each party has been advised with regard to the legal effects of the agreement, including the rights that are being released by entering into the agreement (if any).
Your marital agreement must be in writing and be signed by both parties prior to filing an action for dissolution of marriage. The agreement is effective upon marriage or upon signature if the parties are already married.