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Prenuptial agreements can ease the pain of property division

There is nothing romantic about a prenuptial agreement. But more and more couples are entering into them nonetheless. Once the exclusive domain of the very wealthy, prenups are fast becoming accepted by middle class couples. A recent survey showed a 73 percent increase in their use over a five-year period. They are enforceable under Colorado law.

The primary purpose of a prenup is to set out how property will be divided in the event of divorce. Property division in a divorce can be a lengthy and expensive process, and having an enforceable agreement in advance can save a lot of money and heartache.

A couple drafting a prenuptial agreement will of course need to have a discussion about it. The most important aspect of that discussion is a complete disclosure of assets and debts. Everything - including all bank accounts and retirement accounts - should be disclosed. In the event of a divorce, any evidence that one party to the agreement did not make a full disclosure can void the agreement. The reason for this rule is simple: the other party can argue they would not have agreed to the prenup had they known the true facts.

A Colorado statute, the Colorado Marital Agreements Act, governs prenups in this state. The act provides they are enforceable as long as there has been a complete disclosure. Prenups in Colorado can govern certain matters, including property division and spousal support. However, the act makes clear that the right of a child to child support cannot be adversely affected by a prenup.

An experienced family law attorney can draft a prenuptial agreement. It is a small investment on the front end that can save a lot of money later on.

Source:, "Why a prenup may be right for you," Mellody Hobson, May 29, 2013