We often hear in the news about the next celebrity couple who is divorcing. For celebrity couples and others on the higher-end of the earning scale, they will want to protect their assets and their earning power. What about the average Joe or Jane? Prenuptial agreements can still help to divide those assets prior to marriage, in the event that a couple divorces or one or the other passes on prematurely.
What is “equitable distribution of assets?”
Without a prenuptial agreement, once the marriage has dissolved, the assets of the marriage will be subjected to the laws of the state. When the case is brought before a judge, he or she will look at the following elements of the divorce to determine how best to divide property. This is called an equitable distribution of assets.
- The economic status of each spouse
- Any increase or decrease in value of the couple’s property
- If any spouse’s property depleted during the marriage
- The property’s value and what is owed to each spouse
- How much should be awarded to the spouse who will have majority custody of children
Colorado recognizes that there is separate property, as well as marital property, which includes any assets accumulated during the course of the marriage. There is, also, however, separate property. Let’s say that you were given a gift before you were married—a large inheritance or perhaps another home that belonged solely to you. This is considered separate property, and would remain in your possession.
Should I have a prenuptial agreement?
Deciding on a prenuptial agreement is an immensely personal decision, and you will have to weigh the pros and cons. Do they apply to your current situation? While not the most romantic of ideas to talk about with your spouse in the days before marriage, so be sure that you are ready to discuss those ideas. If you are not ready to dive in, or if the timing does not seem right, you can also take wait until after you are married to decide in a postnuptial agreement.
We also suggest you take the time to review the laws. You may find that they will work well for your situation, and that can certainly save you the extra step of creating a prenuptial agreement. Whichever you do decide, we strongly advise you consult with a Colorado family law attorney to help you make the right decision for you and your future.
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