Prenuptial agreements are a great way for Colorado couples to safeguard the way they feel about each other before they get married, when their love is strong and feels like it will last forever. Divorces are rarely a beautiful experience, and when money and asset division become an issue, formerly loving spouses can quickly turn against one another.
Prenuptial agreements can be used to cover a lot of different areas. However, the following things will generally be off limits in your prenuptial agreement:
Provisions that are deemed to be illegal
Everything within a Colorado prenuptial agreement needs to conform with the law. If the prenuptial agreement requires any kind of illegal action to be made by either of the spouses, it could result in the entire agreement being nullified at a later time.
Issues relating to child custody and child support
Topics relating to child custody and/or child support cannot be included a prenuptial agreement. As for child support, Colorado courts will always have the ability to make the final determination in any child support matter based on spousal income, family living standards and the best interests of the child or children involved.
As for child custody and visitation, courts will always reserve the power to determine what is best for the child or children involved - depending on the unique situations of the children and their families at the time of divorce.
Courts will often strike down a provision to waive a spouse's right to alimony payments. The reason for this is simple: Alimony prevents a spouse from being trapped inside an unhealthy marriage for financial reasons alone. As such, the principal of alimony - and a less-moneyed spouse's right to seek alimony payments - will generally be preserved regardless what was written in a prenuptial agreement.
Language that encourages divorce
When a prenuptial agreement is challenged, Colorado judges will often look for language that appears to give any kind of financial incentive that encourages divorce. Any provisions in a prenuptial agreement that appear to encourage divorce will usually be nullified.
Rules that govern personal affairs
Prenuptial agreements cannot govern personal preferences like where holidays will be spent, who will do which chores around the house, decisions on child rearing, how time will be spent with family members, and other personal issues. In fact, prenuptial agreements are specifically designed to govern financial issues. As such, provisions addressing personal matters, non-financial affairs, or private domestic matters will be nullified.
Do you want to draft a prenuptial agreement?
Future Colorado spouses, who want more information about prenuptial agreements and whether such a document could be appropriate for their marriages, may want to discuss their situations with a qualified family law attorney who is familiar with high asset divorce proceedings. A family law attorney can help soon-to-be spouses decide what to include in their prenuptial agreements to ensure that the agreement honors both spouses' legal rights and fully comports with the law.