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Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements in Colorado

Greenwood Village firm has extensive experience drafting and enforcing marital agreements

The Law Offices of Leonard R. Higdon in Greenwood Village works with clients who are contemplating marriage and want to protect their separate property in the event of a divorce or legal separation. Prenuptial agreements offer many benefits and have become fairly standard for two-career couples, spouses coming to the marriage with disparate levels of wealth and those who have children from a previous marriage. Even couples who are already married can safeguard their interests by drafting a post-nuptial agreement. In addition to drafting these documents, our attorneys frequently litigate the validity of agreements for clients challenging and defending the contract. This experience makes us well suited to advise you on your marital agreement, so you can be confident about your financial stability no matter what the future holds.

What are the enforceable and unenforceable provisions of a marital agreement in Colorado?

Couples in Colorado can use a prenuptial agreement to set forth terms on many matters, including:

  • Distribution of marital property
  • How to handle finances and assets during the marriage
  • Spousal support terms
  • Business ownership issues
  • Disposition of a spouse’s estate in the event of death
  • The treatment of gifts, inheritances or trusts
  • Disability benefits and insurance coverage

Though you can address parenting issues in a marital agreement, courts are not bound by them. For example, couples cannot negotiate terms of child support that would deprive children of their rights under the law. Likewise, a marital agreement cannot:

  • Modify the grounds for a divorce so a spouse does not get the full benefit of the law
  • Penalize a spouse for initiating divorce proceedings
  • Violate public policy

A family law attorney at our firm can explain how a comprehensive prenup can help you avoid disagreement or conflict later on.

Terms of a post-nuptial agreement

Married couples who have decided to create post-nuptial agreements are considered fiduciaries of each other, and they are therefore required by law to provide each other with full disclosure of all information and issues pertaining to the drafting of the post-nuptial agreement. The terms that can be settled by a post-nuptial agreement are similar to the ones included in a prenuptial agreement.

Challenging and enforcing prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements

Marital agreements are meant to avert conflict, but some spouses do choose to challenge their validity in divorce proceedings. Even if a marital agreement does not contain unenforceable provisions, a court could void the contract for several reasons:

  • Lack of financial transparency or full disclosure when the agreement was made
  • Coercion or compulsion forcing a spouse to sign
  • Fraud or deception
  • Provisions that are so one-sided that enforcement would be unconscionable

Our litigators can help you challenge the terms of a defective prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement and, if necessary, argue your case to court. We also represent clients who wish to enforce the terms of their prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement that a soon-to-be ex-spouse might now wish to contest.

Many marital agreements have a “choice of law” provision indicating they were formed under the laws of one state and should be enforced under those laws. Colorado courts honor a choice of law provision if the couple had a significant relationship to that state when the contract was made and enforcement would not be contrary to Colorado law or public policy. If a couple does not have a choice of law provision, a Colorado court will apply this state’s law when interpreting the document.

Contact a Greenwood Village marital agreement lawyer today for a free consultation

The Law Offices of Leonard R. Higdon in Greenwood Village advises Colorado clients on prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements. Call 303-740-1966 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Our office is conveniently located at 6565 S. Dayton Street, just off I-25.