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Prenup or Postnup? Pros and Cons

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b2ap3 thumbnail Happy Couple 2According to a survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, more and more couples are ensuring their financial futures post-divorce by signing prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. More than half of the attorneys surveyed noted an increase in postnuptial agreements from 2009-2012, and 63 percent reported an increase in prenuptial agreements from 2009-2012.
Have you considered one of the two for your marriage? If not, here is a simple breakdown of what these agreements are and which one is right for you.

What is a Prenup?

Prenups are essentially private contracts signed before marriage and determine how a couple will divide property upon the dissolution of the marriage. Many people don’t like to think about prenups ”“ it is definitely not a romantic conversation to have ”“ but prenups serve an important role and can help make divorce a much cleaner, less contentious process. Additionally, prenups can be used to make financial decisions in the event of one spouse’s death; this is important if you have a significant estate and wish to ensure that your assets are distributed to the parties you want them to go to.

For younger couples, prenups can also be beneficial. One way to look at the idea of a prenup is it is a contract the couple draws up themselves, instead of using Colorado’s divorce laws as a default. Couples getting married are typically generous with each other when drafting a prenup, which avoids arguments and drawn out disputes in the event of a divorce.

What is a Postnup?

Postnuptial agreements are essentially private contracts made after the wedding. The difference is postnuptial agreements can be used as a type of legal separation: couples can stop the marital property from accumulating, or agree that one pays spousal support if the couple wishes to physically separate, but not divorce. Sometimes, if one spouse is entering into a business or equity partnership, the postnup may be required to ensure the business will not be affected in the event of divorce. For these purposes, post-nuptials are very effective, but should only be entered into if each spouse has their own individual lawyer to make sure they are upheld in court.

The divorce attorneys at Divorce Matters provide professional advice to divorcing couples throughout the state of Colorado.