In Colorado, the validity of a prenup, or premarital agreement, is determined by the law that was standing at the time the agreement became effective. Premarital agreements become effective upon the marriage of the couple. If the agreement became effective between 1984 and June 30, 2014, the Colorado Marital Agreement Act (CMAA) governs. If the effective date is July 1, 2014, or thereafter, the Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act (UPMAA) governs.
In a nutshell, under the CMAA, the agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties. If an agreement contains any provisions regarding spousal support or the allocation of attorney’s fees, the court must find these provisions to be “conscionable” to be enforceable. In addition, if a party seeks to invalidate an agreement, that party must prove that the agreement was not entered into voluntarily or that there was a lack of financial disclosure by the other party prior to entering into the agreement.
If a premarital agreement is governed by the UPMAA, the agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties. If the agreement is in writing and signed by the parties, the agreement is presumed to be valid.
If a party contests the validity of the agreement under UPMAA, they must prove:
- Their consent to the agreement was involuntary or the result of duress;
- They did not have access to independent legal representation;
- If they had independent legal representation at the time the agreement was signed, the agreement did not include a notice of waiver of rights or an explanation in plain language of the marital rights or obligations being modified or waived by the agreement; or
- Before signing the agreement, they did not receive adequate financial disclosure.
If a party can establish any one of these four factors, the agreement may not be enforceable.
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