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Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements in Colorado


Summary:  For many couples, a well-done Pre-Nuptial or Post-Nuptial Agreement strengthens a marriage because it reduces the stress of unknown financial consequences if the parties divorce or separate. It encourages couples to marry without the fear of financial loss.


Colorado Marital Agreements

CRS §14-2-301, the Colorado Marital Agreement Act, provides that couples may contract with respect to their rights and responsibilities as to the management and division of their property should they divorce or separate, or if one of the parties dies. Such a contract is commonly called a Pre-Nuptial Agreement (before marriage) or a Post-Nuptial Agreement (after marriage.)

Such an Agreement may include provisions which govern:

1. The division of property in the event of divorce or legal separation;

2. A waiver of all or a portion of the appreciation or earnings of separate property;

3. A waiver (or prior determination) of maintenance (alimony);

4. The ownership and beneficiary rights of retirement benefits and life insurance proceeds;

5. The distribution of assets in the event of the death of one of the parties, other than what is provided in a will, trust, or other testamentary document;

6. A waiver of any right to be a fiduciary of the other’s estate; and

7. A waiver of any right to an elective share of the other’s estate.

The Agreement can be done either before or after marriage. However, such an Agreement is much easier to do before marriage.

Such Agreements are common when one of the parties has more assets than the other party.

And whenever there are children from a prior marriage or relationship.

The Agreements are enforceable as long as full financial disclosure of both parties is made, they are in writing, and there is no surprise, duress, undue influence, or overreaching. (Don’t propose a Pre-Nuptial Agreement just prior to the wedding.) As with all legal agreements, an attorney fee provision should be included, so that the risk of challenge can be costly to the loser of a legal challenge (the loser pays the winner’s attorney fee.)

Except that the Colorado Court of Appeals has recently held that maintenance may be reviewed and ordered even though an otherwise valid Pre-Nuptial Agreement is in place.

In many cases, a marriage can be strengthened where a reasonable Agreement is in place, because it reduces the stress of unknown financial consequences if the parties divorce or separate. It also encourages men and women to marry without the fear of unknown financial loss.

GIF The material on this web site is for informational purposes only. This law firm practices only in Colorado. An attorney-client relationship is established only when an agreement as to the scope of representation and fees has been signed and a retainer paid. Colorado law may consider these web site materials to be attorney advertising. GIF
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