Before or After: Why Timing Matters When Making Marital Agreements
Marital agreements come in many forms, the best-known being a prenuptial agreement. By creating and following these agreements, it sets firm boundaries and can ease tensions between spouses, sometimes even saving their marriages.
As implied, these agreements are made and enforced before the couple is married. This agreement primarily pertains to financial assets and property owned by each individual, the status of such assets during the marriage, and the distribution (if any) of such assets after in the case of divorce or death.
A prenuptial agreement is not valid if entered through coercion or force and complete financial disclosure is required of both parties. Partners are often required to sign a waiver of marital rights should they decide to enter a prenuptial agreement.
Postnuptial agreements are arrangements that help mediate problems between spouses. The intention of this agreement is to aid a couple in settling specific issues. It is for this reason that it is of utmost importance that the terms are discussed in detail with a mediator. Denver attorneys focusing in family law say that there is no template available for such agreements since each couple and case are unique. Therefore, the terms will vary depending on the problem or problems at hand.
As with a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement details how the properties and financial assets of a couple will be handled in the case of divorce or death. Because postnuptial agreements happen after the marriage, these undergo greater scrutiny. Most states believe that there's more at stake in the creation of postnuptial agreements. This can be invalidated if one partner is secretly motivated to divorce after the agreement was made.
Each state handles legal matters differently, so where you consult and create the agreement matters. If you plan to marry and live in Denver or wherever in Colorado, consult with a local family law lawyer. This will be your best assurance that no part of your agreement will be invalidated.