Colorado couples who are getting married or are already married and have concerns about the ramifications of a divorce may want to protect themselves with prenuptial/postnuptial agreements. Often, this is categorized as something high-earners or people with significant financial resources will consider in case there is a high-asset divorce, but anyone with assets or property at stake will likely consider such an agreement. The mere act of asking for a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can be contentious. Once the document is in place and the marriage comes undone, the validity of the agreement could be in question.
It is important for both spouses to understand when the agreement may be unenforceable. When the agreement is signed, a fundamental aspect of its validity is if it agreed to voluntarily. Some people are compelled to sign the agreement under some level of duress. If it is found to have been signed in this way, it could be invalid. Another key aspect is having legal advice before signing it. If the person agreed to the parameters of the prenuptial or postnuptial agreement without fully grasping its consequences with help from a legal professional, this too can invalidate it.
The requirement for independent legal representation will be met if the person had sufficient time to determine whether to have a lawyer and was able to find a lawyer, get advice and consider what the document entailed. The signing party must have full financial disclosure beforehand. This should include an accurate list of the income, property and liabilities of the other person or adequate information as to these matters. Since property and finances are often at the center of any divorce dispute and will have a significant impact on how much each side receives or retains in property division, how much alimony will be paid and for how long, these are vital parts of a case.
In many instances, a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is a useful document. For those who are concerned about the future, it is a shield against an unfavorable outcome when property and assets are divided in a divorce. Still, there can be acrimonious disagreements regarding prenuptial/postnuptial agreements. Before signing or when there are questions about the document’s validity, having legal advice from an experienced family law firm may be useful.