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Premarital agreements in Colorado

A premarital or prenuptial agreement can be a very useful legal tool to establish property ownership before a marriage. While it is often uncomfortable for a couple to consider divorce before they have even gotten married, a premarital agreement can be one of the most stabilizing decisions a couple can make. Colorado law governs the creation and enforcement of premarital agreements.

The statute dealing with prenuptial agreements addresses their validity. An agreement is only considered valid and enforceable if both parties signed the agreement voluntarily and free of any duress or coercion. Each party must also have provided a complete disclosure of assets and property. While it may not be necessary to reveal every single item, all major assets such as real estate, bank accounts, investments and liabilities would need to be disclosed.

Another important aspect of Colorado law relating to prenuptial agreements deals specifically with alimony and spousal support. Setting up a reasonable alimony amount is a common aspect of many such agreements. However, this is one aspect of the agreement that the court can declare unenforceable if at the time of divorce the agreed-upon amount is no longer fair.

There are many reasons why the court may declare an alimony amount in the premarital agreement unconscionable or unenforceable. A common reason is a dramatic change in the financial situation of the spouses from the time before marriage to the time of divorce. For example, one of the parties may have had a very lucrative job prior to the wedding, resulting in a prenuptial agreement that provided for that party to pay a large amount alimony upon divorce. If at the time of divorce the party was no longer employed, however, it is possible that the court would not enforce that provision.

Source: Divorce Support, "Colorado Premarital and Prenuptial Agreements", September 22, 2014

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