Postnuptial Agreements in Colorado
A postnuptial agreement is a contract made after marriage that specifies how certain legal matters will be handled in the case of a divorce, such as the distribution of property or other assets.
A postnuptial agreement can be written at any time after a couple gets married. A postnuptial agreement (postnup) could help couples inheriting property or starting a new business after getting married. It might also help those who want to protect their assets or avoid being held responsible for their spouse’s debts or liabilities.
Because they may not have had significant property or economic interests prior to marriage, a couple may decide later to create a postnup instead of a prenup. Any kind of financial change after marriage might cause a couple to think then about what their best interests would be if they had to divorce.
A postnuptial agreement could include items like:
Debt responsibility – When a marriage ends, the parties involved may decide who is responsible for certain debts.
Retirement accounts – The couple may decide that each person keeps the retirement plan they contributed to.
Business investments – The pair may decide that the business belongs to the spouse who has a larger ownership stake in it.
Marital property – The couple can decide who keeps the assets acquired during their marriage.
Pet ownership: When it comes to keeping a family pet, the couple can decide who gets to keep it.
Are postnuptial agreements enforceable in Colorado?
As long as they are not in anticipation of divorce, carefully written, and adhere to Colorado law, postnuptial agreements are legally enforceable.
The Court will not uphold some types of conditions, such as those relating to parenting time or child support. To prevent the parties’ agreement from being deemed invalid in the future, other clauses, such as those regarding property distribution, must be properly drawn up.
In order to be enforceable in Colorado, a postnuptial contract must:
- Be in writing and signed – The couple’s decisions regarding how to divide their assets and debts must be in writing. Oral contracts are not enforceable in court. The postnuptial agreement must be signed by both spouses to demonstrate their understanding of its contents. The document also has to be notarized.
- Both parties must have voluntarily engaged into and signed the contract; neither spouse may have been coerced or forced to do so.
- Include fair conditions
- Include both parties’ reasonable and fair disclosures of their respective assets and liabilities.
- Be a just distribution of assets and liabilities – This doesn’t always mean that everything must be shared equally, but it does indicate that one spouse cannot be left with nothing or with all liabilities and no assets.
- Not break any laws or public policy
- Allow enough time for both parties to evaluate the terms.
As long as they adhere to the 2020 Colorado Revised Statutes Title 14, Article 2, courts will uphold postnuptial agreements in divorce proceedings or upon death.
How do I get a postnuptial agreement in Colorado?
Similar to pre-marital agreements, post-marital agreements must meet certain criteria in order to be enforceable.
- must be put in writing and both parties must sign it;
- must be voluntarily signed;
- must allow for parties to have access to impartial legal advice. The other party shall pay for counsel to advise the unrepresented party on the agreement if the unrepresented party lacks the financial resources to retain its own counsel. A notice of the potential loss of marital rights by signing a postnuptial agreement must also be included in the agreement if one party chooses not to be represented and ;
- must include a declaration of income, assets, and obligations, together with an estimate of their values, provided by each party.
Real estate, banks, retirement accounts, investments, company ownerships, credit card debt, mortgages, personal loans, student loans, and all other assets and liabilities should be disclosed. The court may rule that your agreement is unenforceable if you or your spouse neglect to reveal all of your debts and assets.
What cannot be included in a Colorado postnuptial agreement?
A postnuptial agreement typically deals with money and property issues. It cannot be used to decide issues like child support, visitation rights, or custody. A contract made before a divorce may not take into account the current situation and how it can affect the child, thus these decisions must be made based on what is best for the child.
Contact a Colorado Postnuptial Agreement Attorney
Without legal counsel, you shouldn’t engage into a marital agreement. The attorneys at Goldman Law have the experience and expertise with drafting postnuptial agreements. These are legally binding contracts, hence it is important that they are correctly drawn up because your financial future is at stake.
Call our Colorado office at (303) 656-9529 if you need legal assistance with your postnuptial agreement, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.