A Last Minute Marital Agreement is Not in Your Interest!

Kim Raemdonck

Share Post:

Marital agreements, often called “prenups”, can be tricky to navigate. Love is in the air, but that doesn’t mean you have to leave discussions regarding your marriage up in the air, also. Often clients will contact our firm with questions about marital agreements. Below are some tidbits for thoughtful consideration! 

Pre-Marital vs. Post-Marital: Which is right for us?

A marital agreement can be an effective estate planning tool for many couples.  

A premarital agreement (prenup) is a contract that a couple enters into prior to marriage that outlines all the terms, financial rights & obligations of each in the event of dissolution (divorce & sometimes death). A postmarital agreement (postnup) is a prenup that is created after the marriage takes place.

Regardless of on which side of “I do” the document is executed, basic requirements of the Colorado Premarital and Marital Agreements Act are: 

  1.  Both parties must have had meaningful access to independent legal representation. 

  2. The agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties. 

  3. The consent to the agreement must be voluntary and not the result of duress. 

Marital agreements can eliminate expensive and acrimonious divorce battles. If a marriage succeeds until death, this document can prevent inheritance disputes between a person’s surviving spouse and their heirs.

Truly consider your timeline.

Allowing four to six months for the entire process is not far fetched. As soon as you’ve concluded that a marital agreement is a wise next step, book a consultation with us as soon as possible. This is not a conversation you want have the evening of your rehearsal dinner. Remember that the revision process can often be the bulk of the timeline. By allowing proper lead up, you permit the proper allotment in your schedule to make a choice you’re both 100 percent comfortable with.  

Discuss your goals with your future spouse!

Marital agreements have gotten a bad rap. Don’t tiptoe around the idea of this document just because it’s not as romantic as discussing your honeymoon dreams! Prenups are a great way to protect yourself (assets, inheritance, real estate, division of property, businesses), but they’ve earned a pretty lousy reputation from quick-draw conclusions from ill-informed postures like “feeling too awkward or callus”. Direct conversations, even with unpalatable matters like finances and business dealings, can be plain-spoken and sincere. For example, “I want the family ranch to stay within my family in the event we get divorced or upon my death. It will not go to your heirs that are not our mutual children.” Goal discussion can also include things like religion, children, prior debt assumption, future gains experienced after marriage, Estate distribution at the time of death, and even how finances are handled during the marriage. These upfront and unambiguous discussions help take stock of what’s at risk for BOTH partners in the marriage!  

Ready your financial information. 

Be prepared to discuss your financial information with your attorney AND your fiance! Though it seems like an obvious step, a lack of financial specificity could likely invalidate your agreement in the future!  

Familiarize yourself with the process.

The biggest surprise for most of our clients is that each individual should be represented by their own attorney. This is because the parties should have independent representation to ensure that their interests are protected.  A lack of dual-party legal representation could expose your agreement in the future!

Book your consultation before your cake tasting!

If you find yourself in the thick of wedding planning, and anticipate engaging in a pre/post-marital agreement with your future spouse, add a complimentary consultation to your preparation list before the Big Day. At Legacy Planning and Probate, we encourage our clients to begin the process as soon as the “save-the-dates” go out! This ensures you both have the proper amount of time to go through the process, without it adding additional stress or angst to your season of exciting anticipation!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

OF COUNSEL

Kim Raemdonck was born in Galveston, Texas, and raised in Fort Worth, Texas. She graduated magna cum laude from Texas A&M University with honors. Kim went on to attend the University of Denver Sturm College of Law where she obtained a J.D. and an L.L.M. in taxation. She is admitted to practice law in Colorado and Texas and before the United States District Court for the District of Colorado and the United States Tax Court.

More Articles

Artificial Intelligence

Potential Issues and Liabilities of Using Generative AI for Legal Document Drafting 

In recent years, the legal industry has witnessed a significant transformation, with the integration of technology and artificial intelligence (AI) into various aspects of legal practice, and while it’s unlikely that AI will kill all the lawyers, one notable advancement is the use of large language models of generative AI to draft legal documents, even by non-lawyers. While this technology offers several advantages, such as increased efficiency and reduced costs, it also brings forth a host of potential issues and liabilities that both legal professionals and non-lawyers must carefully consider. In this article, we’ll explore these concerns and provide insights into mitigating associated risks.

Read More »
Business & Corporate Law

Oversold and Underwhelmed: Why the Ripple Decision Doesn’t Live Up to the Hype

If you follow the crypto space and read the headlines about the recent decision in SEC vs. Ripple Labs, Inc., you will be grossly disappointed by the delta between hype and reality. Crypto-promoters will tell you that Ripple “won,” that tokens are not securities, and that crypto can now go on to create the New Eden that will bring freedom and prosperity to everyone. Everyone except for the teeth-gnashing demons who work at the Securities and Exchange Commission, a.k.a. the Anti-Christ.

Read More »
Real Estate Law

Psychedelic Healing Centers in Colorado: Are Landlords Prepared?

In November 2022, Colorado voters approved Proposition 122, known as the Natural Medicine Health Act of 2022 (NMHA). This legislation decriminalized the personal use and possession of certain psychedelic substances, including psilocybin and psilocin mushrooms. Additionally, the NMHA established the legal foundation for healing centers – places where adults may consume and experience the effects of regulated natural medicines (such as mushrooms) under the supervision of licensed facilitators. Given the nascent stage of the psychedelic industry in Colorado, landlords and tenants to tread carefully in negotiating a commercial lease for space to be used as a healing center.

Read More »