Denver Marital Agreements Lawyer
Getting married comes with a wide range of details and responsibilities that a couple needs to consider, from financial matters to individual assets. Before getting married, many couples decide to create a marital agreement to help protect themselves and their future if, for some reason, they end up getting a divorce. Because almost half of the current marriages that occur in the United States ultimately end in divorce, more couples are deciding to create marital agreements to help give them some peace of mind for the future. If you are looking to create a prenuptial agreement in Denver, Colorado, our team can help you draft a valid document that fits your unique circumstances.
The Woody Law Firm, LLC: Denver Prenuptial Agreement Lawyers
Prenuptial agreements are becoming increasingly popular, especially here in Colorado. At the Woody Law Firm, LLC, our team of attorneys has decades of shared experience working in family law. This has allowed us to help countless clients with their unique needs, including couples looking to create marital agreements in and around Denver. Our team can work with you to create a marital agreement that suits your individual needs and provides you and your partner with some comfort for the future, as well as assist you throughout the legal process of it all. For help crafting a marital agreement that you can trust, see how our team of family law attorneys can assist you.
What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?
Prenuptial agreements, otherwise known as premarital agreements, are legal documents created by couples to set out guidelines for their futures if they were to divorce. A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract that both partners enter once they marry. It outlines how issues such as property division and alimony may be handled if the couple ends up separating. Because the future can be so unpredictable, many couples decide to draft prenups for their own peace of mind.
What Are the Requirements for a Prenup in Colorado?
In Colorado, there are a few requirements that must be met for a prenup to be seen as legally valid:
- The prenup must be written; it cannot be oral.
- Both parties must sign the written contract.
- Both parties are entering the agreement voluntarily, with no coercion involved.
- The document does not interfere with other marital agreements previously created.
- Both parties must disclose all necessary financial information.
What Is the Difference Between a Postnuptial Agreement and a Prenuptial Agreement?
A postnuptial agreement details the same arrangements as a prenup. The main difference between a postnuptial agreement and a prenuptial agreement is that the postnup is drafted after a couple has already been legally married. While both documents outline the same agreements if a divorce occurs, a postnuptial agreement may not be as enforceable if one partner tries to dispute it in court. However, both are legally binding contracts that couples enter once they create them in Colorado, and they should hold up in court.
The Advantages of Working With a Marital Agreements Attorney
When it comes to creating any type of marital agreement, it is in your best interest to work with an experienced family law attorney who can help you with the process. There are many advantages that come along with hiring a marital agreement attorney, like one of our team members here at the Woody Law Firm, LLC:
Ensure That Everything Is Done Legally
Creating a marital agreement comes with a variety of small, important details that all need to be addressed properly for the document to be valid. By hiring one of our marital agreement lawyers, we can work with you to ensure that whatever kind of marital agreement you are creating follows all legal requirements. With our experience in family law, we know each issue that needs to be addressed and how to do so properly.
Help You Protect Your Own Interests
Marital agreements are made so that if a couple divorces in the future, both spouses have some form of protection for themselves and their assets. At the Woody Law Firm, LLC, we understand just how important it is to make sure that your marital agreement is fair and that it protects your own interests just as well as your spouse’s. We can work with you to outline whatever assets are meaningful to you and to go over all agreements, ensuring that they are fair.
Create a Document Unique to Your Situation
Every marital agreement is unique to the couple creating it. This means that each agreement might address different topics or have different guidelines laid out. At the Woody Law Firm, LLC, we have handled a wide range of marital agreement cases and can ensure that you create one that works best for your individual circumstances. Whether you want to create a waiver of alimony or want to address multiple aspects of a potential property division, our lawyers are prepared to help.
What Can Be Addressed in a Prenup?
A prenup is used to address the common issues that arise when a couple divorces. The main aspects of a prenuptial agreement often include:
Alimony (Spousal Support)
While alimony is not required to be addressed in a prenup, it is often included in most agreements. This is because if the couple does not set up specific guidelines for spousal support in the case of a divorce, the decision will ultimately be left up to the court when it comes time to finalize the separation. In a prenup, couples can address proposed alimony payments for the future or sign a waiver of alimony. If the couple decides to include a waiver of alimony, they both agree that neither spouse will receive spousal support if a divorce occurs.
Identifying Separate Property
Many couples decide to create a prenup before marriage if they already have a great deal of their own separate property. This way, if a divorce happens, none of the property an individual owned before the marriage will be classified as marital property by accident, and it will not be subject to division. Many people like to keep their cars, bank accounts, and other important assets that they acquired before marriage under their own name so that they stay classified as separate property.
Property and Debt Division
Property and debt division can be one of the most complicated aspects of a divorce. Because Colorado is not a community property state, it divides property through a method known as “equitable distribution.” The biggest difference with the equitable distribution method is that the property division that occurs is not always 50/50 or equal, but instead must be considered “fair” by both parties. This also means that if a couple is unable to come to an agreement on property division during their separation, the court will have to take over dividing property equitably. Because of this, many couples create prenups to outline how property and debt division should take place if they separate. This way, they can avoid disputes and extra court dates in the future.
It is a requirement in Colorado that both individuals in a relationship disclose their basic financial information when creating a prenuptial agreement. This information usually includes a fair estimate of the value of separate property owned by each party, their income, and other financial assets. A prenup can also be used to address future financial responsibilities, such as who makes the home payments or what is to happen if one spouse passes away.
What Can You Not Address in a Prenup?
There are some topics that you are legally not allowed to address in a Colorado marital agreement. These topics include:
Child Support or Child Custody Matters
Child support or child custody matters cannot be mentioned in a prenup or postnup. This is because child custody and child support are not only public matters, but it is also the duty of the court to always keep the children’s best interests in mind during a divorce case. This means that a couple cannot prematurely make decisions regarding their children before they are born or before a divorce even occurs, as the parents do not know what the future circumstances will be like.
It is off-limits to include any kind of personal matter or preference in a marital agreement. In general, marital agreements deal mostly with financial matters. Personal preferences such as what spouse’s name is legally used, what spouse does what “chores,” what relationships should exist between family members, etc., cannot be legally addressed in a prenup or postnup.
Unfair or Illegal Decisions
Of course, there should be no illegal matters in your marital agreement. Otherwise, it cannot be finalized, and you may have to forfeit your ability to create a prenuptial agreement in the future. Your marital agreement must also be fair and signed by both parties voluntarily. If a prenuptial agreement favors one spouse more than the other, the attorneys involved as well as the court may not allow it to be finalized.
Property and Debt Division in Colorado
Colorado divides property and debts in divorces through a method known as “equitable distribution.” It is a fair, but not always equal, process that provides each spouse with an equitable amount of their estate. To determine property division in Colorado, all marital property must be identified and valued during the beginning stages of a divorce. Marital property is any kind of asset that was acquired by the spouses while they were still married.
In a prenup, most couples detail all their separate premarital assets. This avoids confusion about what is marital property in the event of a divorce. This way, their separate property is identified and protected in the future.
Family Law Attorney FAQs
Q: What Is a Waiver of Alimony?
A: Some couples come to an agreement that alimony does not need to be paid if they divorce in the future. If this occurs, they can sign a waiver of alimony while drafting their prenup that states their decision. Unfortunately, waivers of alimony do not always hold up in court during a divorce.
Q: Can My Prenup Still Be Enforced in Colorado If It Was Created Out of State?
A: Yes. Colorado recognizes all valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, even if they were created in another state. If your marital agreement was created and finalized legally, it will be valid in Colorado. If you have concerns about your marital agreement, especially concerning any provisions that may not be allowed under Colorado law, you should contact an expert Denver marital agreement attorney.
Q: Can a Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement Be Oral Instead of Written in Colorado?
A: No. One of the main requirements for both prenuptial and postnuptial agreements is that they must be in writing and voluntarily signed by both partners involved. If you have an unwritten prenup or postnup, you should consult a Denver family law attorney who is an expert in Colorado family law.
Q: Are Postnuptial Agreements Enforceable in Colorado?
A: Yes, postnuptial agreements are enforceable in Colorado, regardless of what state they were created in. In some cases, though, a postnuptial agreement may be easier to dispute if a divorce does occur. You should consult a Denver marital agreement lawyer to make sure that a postup only contains provisions that are allowable under Colorado law.
Q: Can I Write My Own Prenup Without a Lawyer in Colorado?
A: Technically, an individual can draft their own marital agreement without a lawyer. However, if the other spouse decides to use an attorney, then you will most likely be required to have your own, or the agreement may be viewed as unfair or coerced. Working with an experienced marital agreement lawyer can also help ensure that you create a valid document that follows the state requirements.
Denver Prenuptial Agreement Attorney
It is never a bad idea to consider drafting a marital agreement, whether you are thinking about getting married or already are. At the Woody Law Firm, LLC, our team is dedicated to helping our clients through family law matters, such as creating marital agreements, here in Denver. We understand that marriages can come with a great deal of responsibility and oftentimes worry about the future, which is why we help our clients craft marital agreements that can bring them some comfort for years to come. To learn more about our services or our team, contact us today for more information.