Many Colorado residents are familiar with the term "prenuptial agreement." Even if they are not married or if they are married, but did not execute a prenup prior to tying the knot, they may have a vague understanding of what these family law contracts do. Put simply, a prenuptial agreement is an agreement that two people enter into before they get married and that spells out what their financial and property rights will be during their union and what will happen with those assets if the partners choose to divorce.
Less familiar to readers of this blog may be the term "postnuptial agreement." Given its prefix, a reader may surmise that a postnuptial agreement is created after a person is married and this interpretation would be correct. Postnuptial agreements are made between married people and divide the partners' financial rights and liabilities for their marriage as well as their post-marital lives if they choose to divorce.
While prenuptial agreements are sometimes seen as unromantic, postnuptial agreements can sometimes be seen as signs of strife in marriages. Money, and how it is managed between the partners of a married couple, can be indicators of problems between spouses; this stress can impact the relationships of both same-sex and heterosexual couples. To this end, for some couples, the creation of postnuptial agreements provides a safe arena in which differences may be sorted out and agreements may be made so that marital relationships may continue to endure.
Postnuptial agreements do not save every marriage, and for those couples who cannot remain married after executing them, divorce is always an option. When couples that have created postnuptial agreements choose to divorce, their postnuptial contracts can provide guidance to Colorado courts and help ease the process of dividing their assets. Postnuptial agreements can be invalidated, though, if they are not properly executed and individuals who believe that postnuptial agreements may serve their family law needs may wish to discuss their ideas with family law attorneys.