What Can a Colorado Prenup Do For Me?
There’s a common misconception that premarital agreements are only for the extremely wealthy. The truth is everyone can benefit from a well drafted Colorado Prenuptial Agreement. At FlinLaw our Denver Estate Planning Attorneys will show you how a prenuptial agreement can potentially make divorce easier, faster and cheaper. This article is an introduction to the benefits of our Premarital Agreement services.
Limiting Marital Property
During divorce a court will first determine which property belongs separately to each spouse and which property is marital. Generally, marital property is everything acquired during the marriage, regardless of who pays for it. Marital property will not include gifts or inheritances, but it does include appreciation on your separate assets, so the growth on your retirement account during the marriage is marital property.
The court cannot touch your separate property, but will divide the marital property in a manner the court considers “equitable.” The results can be highly undesirable for the spouse who earns more or receives less time with the children because typically the spouse who earns less or cares for the children most of the year will receive a larger share of the marital property assets.
A Colorado Prenuptial Agreement from our Denver Estate Planning Attorneys can redefine what is marital property and what is separate in a manner that more fairly recognizes your contributions and protects the appreciation on separate property.
Alimony, which is now called spousal maintenance, is typically one of the biggest costs arising from divorce. It’s not uncommon for a court to order the payment of spousal maintenance for 5 to 10 years, and in some cases indefinitely. Spousal maintenance is awarded based on a variety of factors, but generally speaking, the larger the difference in income between you and your spouse, the more you will be required to pay.
Our Denver Estate Planning Attorneys can help you avoid these circumstances by waiving or limiting the payment alimony at the start. While a total waiver of alimony seems desirable, a court can overturn the waiver if it would leave one party so impoverished that they’d need state assistance to live after the divorce. For this reason we often recommend a limitation on spousal maintenance instead fo a full waiver.
Some common ways to limit alimony are:
- Cap the number of years you’re required to pay alimony;
- Cap the total amount of alimony to be paid in a month, year or overall;
- Restrict the amount of alimony to a percentage of the difference in your incomes; and
- Waive alimony when you and your spouse have similar incomes.
Almost every client who comes to our office for a premarital agreement does so because they have a significant asset to protect. Usually these assets include a business interests/ownership, a residence, retirement plans or an inheritance. Each of these types of assets requires a premarital agreement tailored to the unique characteristics of that asset, and may even require some redrafting of other documents, such as operating agreements, deeds or beneficiary designations.
As experienced Denver Estate Planning Attorneys we have the broad range of legal knowledge needed to prepare a premarital agreement that protects your assets, whatever they may be. There’s no reason to let your business, home or retirement plan be lost or divided in a divorce battle. With our advice you can protect these assets and your future.
Making Divorce Easier
Aside from all of the previously mentioned benefits that a Denver Prenup can offer there’s one more benefit that people frequently forget, premarital agreements can make divorce easier, faster and cheaper. Few divorces actually go to trial, most are settled through a process of negotiation and mediation. For some couples the issues are settled quickly, but frequently divorcing couples are contentious and motivated by spite or bitterness, which creates emotional turmoil for the parties, significantly lengthens the process and thereby increases the bill from your attorney.
Issues such as property division and the award of alimony are typically the most contentious issues in a divorce, but with a premarital agreement they can be settled in advance while everyone is getting along and acting rationally. By taking issues such as property division and alimony off the table before your marriage begins you allow for a divorce to be settled in a relatively smoother and fairer manner. This means you could save thousands of dollars in legal fees later.
Contact Us Today
This is just a brief summary of what Colorado Prenuptial Agreement can do for you. If you’d like to know more about how you could benefit from a premarital agreement, contact us today to schedule your free consultation.