Reasons to have a Premarital Agreement

Mar 26, 2024 | Prenuptial Agreements

Did you know that the most popular month to propose, not only in the US but world-wide, is December according to (2019) followed by February and August.  What is the most popular month to get married?  October followed by September in second place. (2023)  Now that December is over and these newly engaged couples are beginning to think of everything that needs to be done in order to plan a wedding: the location, the guest list, the reception, the invitations, the wedding dress, the honeymoon, and don’t forget the prenuptial agreement.  It may not be the most sexy or glamorous topic to discuss, however it could be the most important conversation throughout the entire wedding planning process.

In Colorado, premarital agreements as well as marital agreements are controlled by the Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act effective July 1, 2014.  C.R.S. § 14-2-301, et seq., which sets forth the formation requirements, when the agreement is effective, what are unenforceable terms, the right of each party to be represented by an attorney and who pays for the attorney, and the determination of adequate financial disclosure.

A premarital agreement is not necessary in all situations; however, if any of the following scenarios apply, you probably need a premarital agreement:

  • Either party has children from a previous relationship
  • A party owns a business or is involved in a family-run business
  • Either party has significant assets that they want to protect
  • One party is concerned about the other party’s debt
  • A party is giving up a lucrative career to get married

I don’t view premarital agreements as negative or that having one leads to divorce, rather I view a premarital agreement as a positive in which the parties discuss today while they are in love, not angry or driven by emotion to jointly make the rules that will control tomorrow if the marriage does come to an end.

The conversation may be uncomfortable or may be a delicate situation indicating lack of trust.  However, the conversation should be addressed earlier rather than later.  Each party needs ample time to discuss the subject at length, review the other party’s financial disclosures, and obtain legal counsel in order to reach an understanding together.  It is never a good idea to take a last minute approach in the preparation of a premarital agreement because that could give the appearance of one party trying to coerce the other to sign the agreement without adequate time thereby making the agreement null and void.

Having a premarital agreement can be a powerful tool not only in the divorce process if it comes to that but it can be a powerful tool in the estate planning strategy of each spouse.   Having a formal agreement will allow each party to maintain control over their assets and can serve as protection against state law that may otherwise dictate the estate distribution upon your passing.

A premarital agreement can provide both parties peace of mind.  Contact Duncan Legal to schedule a consultation to discuss planning for your marital future.

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