Protecting Your Property With A Marital Agreement
A premarital agreement is a marital contract entered before marriage. Spouses might enter a postmarital agreement after a marriage commences. Both premarital and postmarital agreements are written agreements that govern how spouses will divide assets and handle financial affairs in the event of a divorce or the death of a spouse. If you need assistance drafting or reviewing a marital agreement, seek guidance from the attorneys at Bradley Devitt Haas & Watkins, P.C. Located in Golden, we serve residents throughout Jefferson County.
A marital agreement allows you to protect the assets you bring into the marriage. The agreement documents the things you owned before the marriage that you are entitled to retain if the marriage ends, thereby preventing a spouse from making a claim to those assets.
Marital agreements benefit spouses of all income levels, although the benefits can be especially helpful for those who own a business or have significant assets. A marital agreement can prevent the sale of your business or division of your separate assets should you part ways. Agreements are also helpful in situations where there are children from a previous relationship and you want to designate specific assets to pass on.
Colorado law recognizes and enforces valid marital agreements. The law will not enforce agreements signed involuntarily, or when a party did not have access to independent legal representation. In the event a party does waive independent legal representation, the agreement must include an explanation of waived rights in plain language. Failure to adequately disclose finances can also make an agreement invalid. Unenforceable provisions include those that:
- Adversely affect child support or custody
- Limit the resources available to domestic violence victims
- Penalize a spouse who files for divorce or separation
- Force a spouse to perform illegal or unconscionable acts
- Violate public policy
Unenforceable provisions too deeply entwined with valid portions of the agreement can invalidate the entire document.
Seek Legal Advice
Seek legal counsel before drafting or signing a marital agreement. You could waive important rights or sign away something of value without realizing it. For further assistance with family law matters, please contact us via email or call 303-552-2615 to speak with a lawyer.