Colorado Marital Agreements
Premarital and marital agreements in Colorado are governed by the Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act (UPMAA). A premarital agreement is effective upon marriage or civil union, and a marital agreement is effective upon signing by both parties. Both parties do not actually have to be represented by counsel, though this is the best practice.
In order for an agreement to be valid, four factors must be met:
- Both parties must have had access to legal representation.
- The agreement must be written and signed by both parties.
- The agreement must be voluntary
- Both parties must have provided financial disclosure of assets, liabilities and income.
It is important to set forth separate and marital property in an agreement and to specify all waivers and modifications to the law agreed upon. Marital property is all property acquired by either spouse after marriage except:
- property acquired by gift or inheritance
- property acquired in exchange for property acquired prior to the marriage or by gift or inheritance
- property acquired after legal separation, and
- property excluded by agreement
Colorado is an equitable distribution state at dissolution, AKA divorce, so parties should look at whether they prefer an equal or equitable distribution upon dissolution or some other arrangement. If one of the parties has substantially more separate property than the other, an equitable division of property and debt may be more appropriate. If the parties have unequal interests in any property held as joint tenants with right of survivorship, or unequal interests in property held as tenants in common, the interests can be set forth in an agreement.
For example, if the parties did not contribute equally to the purchase of a home that is titled in both of their names as joint tenants with right of survivorship, they may want to specify to amount and reason for their separate interests.Unenforceable Provisions
Although many default legal provisions can be modified by parties in the course of creating a premarital or marital agreement, there are some that can not. For example, child support is an aspect that remains under court jurisdiction as it is considered the right of the child. Payment of attorney's fees are another if the agreement would be unconscionable at the time of a dissolution. The factors affecting a court determination of an award of attorney fees is dependent on the economic circumstances of the parties at the time of dissolution, rather than at the time of agreement.Janko Family Law - Is it Time For a Change?
Divorce and family law matters are difficult to navigate alone. The court system is more complex than it should be. With offices in Colorado Springs, we can guide you through the experience by handling pleading and motion preparation and filing, negotiation, mediation, and court proceedings from start to finish. This allows you to focus on moving forward to a better future rather than on trying to figure out how the overly complex court system works. Remember that change often creates new opportunity and a better future. Janko Family Law can help ensure that your best interests and the best interests of your family are protected. Contact us at 719-344-5523 or complete our online form to set up a free thirty-minute informational consultation.