Nobody likes talking about prenuptial agreements (prenups). It’s just about the least romantic conversation you can have with the person you are planning to spend the rest of your life with. And yet, prenups are an incredibly versatile tool for helping someone protect his or her finances if the marriage does not work out or as part of an estate plan.
Some fiancÃ©s may be intimidated if presented with a prenup draft and not know what to do. A person may feel like they must sign the document as presented. However, this is not the case. Both parties should each have a lawyer, and a first draft can be just the starting point of a negotiation where both parties are satisfied with the end result.
Colorado Prenup Process
For a prenup to be valid, though, there is a specific process that must be followed. Colorado governs prenups under the terms of the Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act, which sets forth the guidelines that determine the validity of a prenup. Knowing these guidelines ”“ and whether your prenup is valid or not ”“ can save you and your pocketbook a lot of stress if and when divorce arises. Here are the key points of the act summed up:
- The prenuptial agreement is not enforceable if either party signs it under duress. Prenups must be voluntarily entered into by both parties. If duress can be proven, the prenup can be voided.
- Before signing the prenup, both parties are required to fully disclose all property and assets. If either spouse has hidden property or simply fails to disclose everything, then it is possible for the prenup to be thrown out.
- Prenups are official, legally binding agreements and must be in writing. Oral agreements cannot be enforced.
- Prenups can be challenged if one spouse did not have access to legal representation prior to signing the agreement. This discourages one spouse from, for example, springing the prenup on his or her spouse the day before the wedding. Always present and negotiate a prenup long before the actual wedding date.
- The prenup can be challenged partially or entirely if it contains unlawful clauses. This may include, but is not limited to, clauses regarding child support or child custody.
Contact a Denver Prenuptial Agreement Attorney
The Denver divorce attorneys at Divorce Matters can help you craft the right prenuptial agreement to ensure that your separate property is protected.