When a couple is engaged to be married, their heads may be so up in the clouds that they may not think -- or want to think -- about the fact that their marriage might not last. However, divorce is a very real possibility for many couples in Colorado. Therefore, before saying "I do," couples may want to consider entering into a prenuptial agreement. A prenuptial agreement is essentially a contract a couple enters into prior to marriage that addresses a number of family law issues in the event of divorce. Prenuptial agreements can touch on several topics, but there are limitations as well.
One of the most widely known reasons for executing a prenuptial agreement is to lay out who gets what in the event of a divorce. This can be especially important if one or both spouses have significant assets coming into the marriage that they want to protect as separate property. In fact, prior to signing a prenuptial agreement, each party is usually required to fully disclose the entirety of their assets and debts so that both sides can make informed decisions. Spousal maintenance -- also known as alimony -- is another issue that can be addressed in a prenuptial agreement. However, child support cannot be addressed in one of these agreements as state law will dictate what amount of child support is appropriate and in the best interests of the child.
Oftentimes each side to a prenuptial agreement needs to retain individual legal counsel to ensure the final document is fair and legally sound. In addition, prenuptial agreements must be executed well before the wedding day. A prenuptial agreement that is signed the day before the marriage may be indicative of coercion or undue influence.
Prenuptial agreements may not be romantic, but they are very practical whether it is a couple's first marriage or whether one or both parties have been married before. When creating these agreements, most couples have some idea of what they want in terms of property division, spousal maintenance, and other family law issues they may face if they divorce. While no one walking down the aisle expects that their marriage will not last, should it come to that having a prenuptial agreement already in place can make the divorce process run smoother.