Are There Limitations on Post Nuptial Agreements in Colorado?

December 1, 2023

Marriage is supposed to be a wonderful union that lasts the rest of your life, but that isn't always the case. Over ten percent of all marriages have failed in states like Arkansas, Oklahoma, Nevada, and New Mexico. Even Maine has almost five percent of all marriages fail at some point.

The best way to prepare for the worst is with a postnup agreement. These are most common with couplings that have begun to struggle in their relationship and prepare themselves for their financial future.

Here's how to set up a postnuptial agreement in Colorado and its limitations.

What is a Postnup Agreement?

Most people know of a prenuptial agreement, a contract signed between two partners who are about to marry. They decide in the contract who gets what in the case of a divorce, which can help make that process much easier should it happen.

In contrast, a postnup agreement is signed between two partners who are already married. It outlines the ownership of financial assets if a divorce happens. Suppose one of the partners owns a company. In that case, they may put in their postnup that their partner would not retain partial ownership of the company.

This postnuptial agreement may be a good option for couples.

First, it can protect both partners if there's a big difference in financial assets or if one of them is in severe debt. Second, you'll avoid a lengthy legal battle if one of you wants to take advantage of the divorce and take more than they went into the relationship with.

Finally, it can help protect your children if you outline how assets will be divided in the case of your passing. The only limit to your postnup is what the two partners in this marriage agree upon.

Some states do not officially recognize postnuptial agreements as set in stone. As such, you'll still want to hire legal assistance in the case of a divorce.

Separation Agreement vs Postnuptial

In most cases, a postnuptial agreement is signed as an alternative to a prenup. Maybe they didn't consider a prenuptial until after the marriage. There's also the possibility that one of their situations changed and prompted an update to their contract.

Alternatively, there's the option of signing a separation agreement. This type of contract is signed by married couples who want to parse out their finances but avoid a full divorce. They may remain married due to health benefits, Social Security payments, or simply to avoid public attention.

A good separation agreement should include who gets custody of any children if either spouse provides financial support and the property division. The agreement can be revoked through another written agreement between the spouses.

Standard Stipulations on Postnuptial Agreement

The kinds of stipulations you can put into your postnuptial agreement will depend on both state and federal law. In Colorado, a postnup cannot determine parenting or child support issues. Note that you can only decide how you handle family matters like these after your divorce.

Instead, some more common stipulations include dividing up property, spouse support, and marital debts. You can determine who gets certain assets and who is responsible for the continued financial support of your shared children.

Spouses may also want to add into the postnup agreement how assets will pass if either spouse dies. For example, you may want most of your money to go into a savings account for your child.

It's also relatively common for postnuptials to act as a template for a separation agreement later on.

What Are the Limitations of a Postnup Agreement?

You may encounter certain postnuptial limitations when drafting your first contract. These limitations often prevent people from making agreements that circumvent the law or exploit one another.

Some prohibited topics include child custody as well as parenting time. Anything regarding strict financials, such as child support, is allowed.

An enforceable contract in Colorado must be in writing and signed. Oral agreements are not enforced. Both parties must also sign of their own volition without coercion or force.

The distribution of assets must be just. You can't leave one spouse with barely anything, even if they entered the relationship with minimal income.

Your agreement also shouldn't break any laws. Each postnuptial attorney needs enough time to evaluate the terms of the contract.

Why Should I Hire a Postnup Attorney?

You may wonder if there's a reason to see a postnup attorney if you and your partner know what you want to split between yourselves.

The problem is that you never know how you or your spouse will feel about the contract months or years from now. Financial situations always have the potential to change. Unfortunately, your postnup can also be changed if both parties agree to update it.

Most married couples should look for a postnup attorney if they are considering getting a divorce. Your lawyer can help you figure out how to divide up your assets in a way that is legal and easily agreed upon. They also know what kind of paperwork you'll need to file to validate your contract.

This is especially important if you're dealing with a high-conflict divorce. Your partner may not agree to certain stipulations or argue against them after it is already signed.

Most importantly, consider calling a postnup attorney if there is a lot of money and investments between the two of you. Better to deal with it now rather than argue after a divorce about whose money belongs to whom.

Get Help With Your Family Law Agreements

A postnup agreement is a good idea for any couple, as it can help protect both them and their children in the case of a divorce or even death. The only challenge you may encounter is ironing out the details so everyone walks away with what they're owed and that is why we recommend you contact our office.

If you need help with your postnup in Colorado, then look no further than Johnson Law Group. We offer wholehearted commitment to families dealing with divorce, custody, estate planning, and more. Contact us today to set up a free consultation. Zoom meeting with one our our attorneys.

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Written by Family Law Attorney Myles S. Johnson
Divorce doesn’t have to be dramatic. For the litigants, losing your spouse is significant enough. But you can choose the way it affects your daily life. The only guarantee I can give is that the feeling that you have right now will not be the feeling you end with. This is a season in your life, and it must be approached that way.
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