Colorado Post Nuptial Agreements

According to Colorado`s status No. 14-2-309, a preliminary contract or post-uptial agreement is not applicable if the spouse asks to sign the agreement: during the turmoil that often accompanies an engagement, many couples ignore the legal consequences of marriage. This is understandable, as the most serious legal consequences of marriage usually occur when the couple is divorced at the end or if one of the spouses dies, and neither divorce or death are fun topics to discuss when you are engaged. However, the premonition of the creation of a conjugal contract can make a big difference, both in terms of divorce and death. These increasingly important marriage contracts exist in two forms: pre-marital and post-marriage agreements. Marital agreements (marriage contracts and post-ascendant agreements) signed after July 1, 2014 will be subject to the new laws to be discussed in this article. These new laws create some sort of considerable uncertainty about the application of such agreements and add a level of protection to a party that may not be able to afford to have the agreement reviewed by a lawyer. Contracting parties should enter into marital and post-married agreements with a complete understanding of the risks and benefits of entering into these agreements. How is a post-marriage agreement different from a separation agreement? A separation agreement has already taken the decision to dissolve the marriage and the agreement aims to put an end to its differences in ownership. A post-marriage contract is like insurance, at a time when everything is fine, but it works if the marriage were to end in the future.

A marital agreement known as a “premarital agreement” in Colorado is “an agreement between persons who wish to marry by confirming, changing or renouncing a marital obligation during marriage or upon separation, dissolution, death of one spouse or occurrence or absence of another event.” C.R.S. 14-2-302 (5). Since there are no cases of the new matrimonial agreement and the laws relating to post-puptial agreements, there is uncertainty as to the application of marital and post-postuptial agreements under the new law. The Colorado Legislature passed the Premarital and Marital Agreements Act effective July 1, 2014. Under this statute, post-marital agreements are now called marriage contracts. By law, a pre-marital contract or marital contract is not applicable if: (a) the consent of the party to the agreement was involuntary or the result of coercion; (b) the party did not have access to independent representation; and/or c) prior to the signing of the agreement, the party did not receive adequate financial information. No one knows what is considered a “reasonable time” to decide whether to have a lawyer, find a lawyer, seek advice and review the advice. In addition, the period considered “appropriate” is taken into account by the judge who verifies the application of the agreement on a case-by-case basis.

If one party has had a lawyer when the marriage contract or post-ascendancy agreement has been signed, and the other party has not, then a judge who must rule on the application issues as part of the agreement will have to decide on a case-by-case basis whether the party with the lawyer had the financial capacity to retain a lawyer for the party without a lawyer. If you and your spouse have children, if you decide to dissolve your marriage, the court presiding over your divorce will deal with custody of the children and custody of the children.