Prenuptial or Premarital Agreements are specifically authorized by Colorado law. Whether the court will uphold them if challenged (and they often are), depends on whether they are done properly. Attorneys at Buchholz, McDowell & Norman have drafted, reviewed, and litigated prenuptial agreements in many cases.
Why would a person intending to be married want to do a prenuptial, or for short, "prenup"? Generally, it is because they want to control what happens to property or income in the event of a divorce or death, and don't want the court to make those decisions for them.
If neither person enters a marriage with much property, and everything they are likely to accumulate during the marriage will be earned by them, there may not be much incentive to enter into a prenup. But if any of the following situations apply, you should consider talking with an attorney about a Prenuptial Agreement.
- You own all or part of a business.
- You have significant assets, especially a house or retirement.
- You have children from a prior relationship.
- One of you is much wealthier than the other.
- One of you is the beneficiary of a trust or expects a large inheritance.
It is critical that you not try to write the Prenuptial Agreement yourself or from a book or internet forms. Why not? Because there are two main inquiries to determine whether a Prenuptial Agreement will be upheld in court. First, there has to be a documented, complete and accurate exchange of all financial information. Second, the Prenuptial Agreement will only be upheld if the party signing it understood what rights were waived by signing it. If that party had an attorney, the court will assume that the party understood their rights. If no attorney signed the Prenuptial Agreement, the court may assume that the person signing did not know their rights and the Agreement may be struck down. A waiver of right to seek an attorney usually does not change this result.
We, at Buchholz, McDowell & Norman, understand that a Prenuptial Agreement often requires tact and planning to approach this with a fiancé. We can help find ways to overcome some of those issues. In reality, a Prenuptial Agreement can, if skillfully drafted, remove uncertainty and be a positive factor in the parties' marriage.
If you are getting married and considering a Prenuptial Agreement, please contact us to discuss it confidentially.