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A prenuptial agreement may protect your interests during divorce

If you are planning to walk down the aisle, divorce is probably the last thing you would like to think about. However, the reality is that many marriages today end in divorce, so it only makes sense to be prepared for such a situation by creating a prenuptial agreement.

A prenuptial agreement will essentially establish particular terms that will go into effect if your marriage ends. For instance, perhaps you would like to protect your family business assets from your spouse if you decide to get a divorce. Here is a look at what you can and cannot include in this type of legal agreement in Colorado.

What can you include in a prenuptial agreement?

Colorado is an equitable distribution state, meaning that a court will split marital assets in a fair, or equitable, manner during a divorce proceeding. However, you may not necessarily want this to happen. For instance, perhaps you would like to keep a future inheritance, family business or family heirloom in your family. In this situation, you can simply spell out in your prenuptial agreement, or your premarital agreement, exactly how you want to divide this property, which prevents the court from making this determination for you.

Along the same lines, you can use your prenuptial agreement to limit your liability for the other person's debts. If you do not do this, a creditor can go after your marital property even if only the other party happens to be the debtor. You can also use the agreement to explain what your spouse's responsibilities are during your marriage, including what you expect him or her to contribute in the way of household bill management or even retirement benefit contributions.

What can you not include in your prenuptial agreement?

Your prenuptial agreement will be invalid if you include any illegal action in it. Likewise, prenuptial agreements cannot feature child custody or child support problems. The reason for this is that the court must make the final decisions concerning these issues since they are public policy issues.

In other words, it is within the court's power to determine what custody or support decision is ultimately in a child's best interest during a divorce proceeding. However, you still have the right during such a proceeding to push for the most personally favorable outcome given the circumstances surrounding your marital breakup in Colorado.

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