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Why You Might Need a Divorce Lawyer Even with a Prenup

What is a Prenup?

A prenup or prenuptial agreement is a legal contract signed by future spouses before marriage created by the Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act in 1983. Colorado adopted this act in 2014 under Colorado Stat. §14-2-301. A prenup defines property rights and financial obligations between future spouses. It designates the division of assets and liabilities in the event of divorce, separation, or the death of a spouse.

Why Should You Have a Prenup?

Prenuptial agreements can provide future spouses with peace of mind. Spouses with extensive asset holdings can ensure their finances are protected. In return, spouses with few assets can secure fair treatment should the marriage dissolve.

Why You Might Need a Divorce Lawyer Even with a Prenup Agreement

Prenups are Limited in Scope

While prenuptial agreements can define property division, spousal maintenance, and other financial matters, they are limited in their scope. There are some aspects of marriage and divorce that prenups are legally precluded from addressing.

These include:

  • Child support: Child support in Boulder or parenting time cannot be limited or waived in a prenuptial agreement, nor can it be predetermined;
  • Spousal maintenance: The amount and duration of spousal maintenance (alimony) may be agreed upon in a prenup. However, spousal maintenance may not be waived or eliminated. The court will determine if any spousal maintenance provisions are fair and reasonable; and
  • Child custody and visitation: Child custody in Boulder and visitation are based on the child’s best interests during divorce. Prenups cannot predetermine child custody and visitation.

Child custody, child support, and spousal maintenance issues can quickly become contentious. It is wise to have a Boulder divorce lawyer on hand to advise you of your rights as a parent and spouse.

A Prenup’s Validity May Be Challenged

If a spouse no longer wishes to be held to the terms of a prenup, they may challenge the contract’s validity. There are legally accepted reasons a spouse may do so.

A spouse may contest a prenup for any of the following reasons:

  • The spouse signed the prenup under duress or coercion. Duress is a threat to a person’s physical or psychological well-being;
  • The spouse was not allowed reasonable time to retain an attorney or did not have the funds to hire independent legal counsel;
  • The unrepresented spouse did not sign a waiver of marital rights and the right to counsel;
  • One spouse, typically the asset-holding spouse, failed to fully disclose their assets or hid property from the other;
  • A spouse may also contest a prenup if the non-asset-holding spouse failed to disclose extensive debts or liabilities; and
  • The court has broad discretion to invalidate a prenup for unconscionability at the time of enforcement.

If you are considering a Colorado divorce and have questions about your prenup, consult an experienced family lawyer before taking action.

Contact an Experienced Boulder Family Law Lawyer Today

If you are going through a divorce in Boulder and you are dealing with child custody, child support, or spousal support issues that your prenup agreement doesn’t cover, consider speaking with a skilled Boulder family law lawyer to help you with your next steps.

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