Prenuptial agreements may have a negative connotation, but they are critical to protecting a person’s assets in the event of a divorce. Having a prenup does not mean that you don’t have faith in your marriage; it means you are protected and prepared for any outcome. If you wish to create a prenuptial agreement in Colorado, it is vital to do so in a way that ensures the document’s validity should you ever need to use it. Do not make the mistake of writing your own prenuptial agreement without being 100 percent certain that the document will hold up in court.
What Makes a Prenuptial Agreement Legally Enforceable in Colorado?
A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract that should be binding and enforceable if a marriage ends in divorce. It has the power to protect the creator’s estate and hard-earned assets from being shared with an ex-spouse – but only if it is done correctly and is valid in the eyes of the law. Otherwise, the prenup can be challenged in the courts and found unenforceable. A prenuptial agreement in Colorado must meet the following conditions for the courts to enforce it during a divorce or legal separation:
It must be in writing.
It must bear the signatures of both parties.
It must state that both parties are entering the prenuptial agreement voluntarily.
It must not interfere with other marital agreements previously signed.
A prenup should not contain any language that could be viewed as ambiguous or unfair (unconscionable) to one or both parties. It cannot enforce personal rules, such as a requirement to bear a son or maintain a certain weight. It also cannot contain terms that encourage divorce. Both parties must make financial disclosures before entering into the agreement. Finally, it must be signed only after the other spouse has the chance to consult with an independent attorney.
Pros and Cons of Writing Your Own Prenup
If you are considering writing your own prenuptial agreement in Colorado, be sure to weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks of doing so alone. While the cost of hiring a lawyer is generally the only thing that prevents people from seeking legal counsel for prenups, the price of having a judge refuse to enforce the contract can be significantly greater. Keep this in mind when comparing the pros and cons of writing your own document.
You save money by avoiding the fee a lawyer charges to draft your prenuptial agreement.
You may save time by skipping visits with a lawyer, although creating the prenup yourself can also be time-consuming.
Without a lawyer’s expertise, you can miss opportunities to protect your assets.
The language of the prenuptial agreement might not be accepted by the courts.
If you make even a minor mistake, you risk having the courts throw out the entire document.
You can ultimately lose much more money than you would have spent in attorney’s fees if your prenup is deemed legally invalid or unenforceable.
If you have a simple estate and perform due diligence on how to create and legalize a prenuptial agreement in Colorado, you and your spouse may be able to do it on your own. Without having a lawyer at least review the prenuptial agreement that you’ve drafted, however, you are at risk of discovering that your document is not legally enforceable – only after it’s too late to make any changes and protect your assets.
If you have high-value assets, business ventures, investment accounts, a significant amount of property or simply want the peace of mind of knowing without a doubt that your document is legally enforceable should your marriage end in divorce, call an attorney. A high-asset divorce attorney can work with you and create your prenuptial agreement. When your financial future could be on the line, don’t make this decision lightly.