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How prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can be beneficial

In years past, many people considered prenuptial or postnuptial agreements something only needed by a small percentage of the population, typically the very wealthy. Today, however, more and more Colorado residents are taking advantage of the protection that these documents can provide. Instead of viewing them as ways to plan a divorce, they have become smart methods to prevent unnecessary losses in already unfortunate situations.

Situations ripe for prenuptial agreements

While any marriage could be a candidate for a prenuptial agreement, there are some circumstances which may make it more important than in others. These include:

  • Remarriages with minor children: If either one or both parties have children from prior marriages, there may be a reasonable need to identify a separation of select assets for those children. This could include anything from tangible assets to financial interests. Additionally, if there are special educational or medical needs, ensuring that those will be taken care of is important.
  • Later-life marriages: If two people are getting married after their children are grown and gone, the desire to protect assets not only for their adult children but also biological grandchildren may be real. Additionally, delineating assets for retirement purposes separate for each spouse can a critical way of ensuring that one’s options for retirement are not diminished unnecessarily.
  • Business interests: When one or both potential spouses have interest in any business, a prenuptial agreement should be viewed as the responsible path to protecting the business. Maintaining the financial integrity of the business should also be viewed as necessary for any partners or others involved.

Identifying separate and marital property during a divorce is always more complicated and angst-filled than doing so ahead of time when emotions are much calmer.

A place for postnuptial agreements

One of the situations in which a postnuptial agreement can be most beneficial is when one parent quits a relatively high-earning job to stay home with children. It is common that after several years out of the workforce, that parent is likely to find him or her looking at jobs that pay substantially less than what he or she earned in the past.

A postnuptial agreement can be an effective way to facilitate an at-home parent while simultaneously protecting against a severe drop in income and lifestyle in the event that a divorce ensues later on.

Discuss your situation with a professional

You believe that a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may be right for you or maybe you do not but your spouse or future spouse may be interested in such a document. Either way, discussing your circumstances with an attorney who understands the ins and outs of marital contracts can be a wise use of your time and help protect you in the long run.