Divorce is rarely pondered before marriage, and when it is, a prenup is commonly used to protect personal assets. Prenups are entered into before the marriage and used to protect bank accounts and other assets in case of divorce, especially when one spouse has significantly more assets than the other. They are now very common, but some couples just cannot fathom entering in such an agreement when they are about to be married. These same people commonly regret not having a prenup down the road when divorce is being contemplated. However, if you are regretting not completing and signing a prenup, you can still enter in a postnuptial agreement. Colorado accepts the validity of postnuptial agreements under Colorado Marital Agreement Act, and supported by In re Estate of Lewin, 595 P.2d 1055, 1057 (Colo.1979), which states “Nuptial agreements, whether executed before or after the marriage, are enforceable in Colorado and a nuptial agreement will be upheld unless the person attacking it proves fraud, concealment, or failure to disclose material information.”
Postnuptial agreements are basically a post-marital contract instead of pre-martial agreement. They are much less popular than a prenup, but are being more popular as they are seen as useful to protect assets after you have married. Prenups and postnups accomplish the same thing, but a postnup is made after a couple has been married, instead of being signed before the wedding. They are frequently used in community property states where marriage automatically entitles one spouse to the other’s spouse assets.
Postnups are most useful when one party is trying to protect a business, to help resolve disputes about a surge in finances, used in managing the finances of an unfaithful spouse, and can be used to revise an existing prenup. Postnups are not for everyone and it doesn’t mean that your marriage will end in divorce. They are commonly used to reduce the risk and stress of losing assets down the road. While they are not for everyone, they should definitely be considered in situations where a business is involved or to revise an existing prenup that doesn’t address a significant shift in finances either up or down.
As always you should consult an attorney in writing up your postnup agreement. Again for them to be enforceable both parties should have legal counsel and there should be a full disclosure of each party’s finances. While it may not save a marriage, it will definitely make the dissolution of the marriage much more manageable.