RESPECTED GUIDance THROUGH MARITAL AGREEMENTS in Larimer County
In addition to uniting two people in love, marriage is a legal contract with serious implications for the finances of each spouse. The family law attorneys at Shufflebarger Law Office, P.C. in Fort Collins, Colorado draft prenuptial and postnuptial agreements to help individuals and couples make smart choices for their financial future. Whether signed before a marriage (prenuptial) or after your vows (postnuptial), these legally binding documents set terms for each spouse's property rights if the marriage ever ends in divorce.
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What is a Prenuptial Agreement?
Prenuptial agreements, or “prenups,” have become common. In many cases, they help couples maintain civility during breakups, allowing each spouse to move forward with a sense of financial stability.
Marital agreements typically include terms for the following:
- Assets — A prenup can provide rules for the division of real estate, vehicle ownership, bank accounts and other important assets.
- Debts — A plan can be set forth to designate responsibility for student loan debt and other forms of debt acquired before and during the marriage.
- Alimony — Spousal support instructions included in a prenup remain enforceable as long as a judge does not object to their fairness at the time of the divorce.
- Businesses — A partner who owns a business may wish to keep his or her business finances separate from marital finances, and may seek the right to maintain full ownership of the business if a divorce occurs.
- Children — The contract may address how a stay-at-home parent will be compensated for their role raising the kids. Inheritance rights for children of a prior marriage can also be laid out in a prenup. However, a prenup or postnup cannot control the payment of child support.
What is the Difference Between a Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreement?
Postnuptial agreements are like prenups except that they are entered after the parties are married. Often, what prompts a postnup is a change of family or financial circumstances. Sometimes, it is used to settle issues concerning property division and spousal support in anticipation of a divorce.
MAKING SURE YOUR AGREEMENT IS LEGALLY BINDING
For a prenup or postnup to be valid and enforceable in Colorado, it must meet these requirements:
- It must be in writing.
- It must be entered voluntarily.
- There must be fair disclosure of assets and liabilities by both parties.
- It cannot be unconscionable.
- It cannot violate law or public policy.
An agreement can be declared invalid if either spouse did not secure guidance from their own attorney before signing. An agreement that includes unclear language can also be deemed unenforceable. If an agreement gives one spouse a far greater advantage than the other, a judge may throw it out.
The legal team at Shufflebarger Law Office has extensive experience advising engaged and married couples. We are meticulous in our creation and review of prenups and postnups.
THE PROS AND CONS OF A PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENT
A prenup can be advisable if spouses enter the marriage on unequal financial footing. The agreement can make each spouse responsible for his or her own debt. If either partner has children, the prenup can set aside certain property for those children so that the assets do not go to the other spouse in a divorce. Prenups can also give each spouse a full picture of the other's finances.
Some people may choose not to sign prenups because it is difficult for these agreements to account for the unexpected. Over the course of a marriage, financial circumstances can change in drastic ways.
Contact Our Experienced Attorney Today
At Shufflebarger Law Office, P.C. in Fort Collins, Colorado, we provide dedicated and focused support to clients in need of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. To schedule a consultation with our office, call (970) 232-9732 or contact us online. We advise clients in Larimer and Weld Counties.