Planning a wedding in Colorado? Add a prenup to your do-to list.

If your summer plans include looking for ceremony and reception sites in Colorado for your upcoming wedding, you may want to add one more important task to your to-do list: sign a prenuptial agreement.

Yes, writing your vows and planning your honeymoon may be more romantic activities to do with your partner this summer. But preparing a prenuptial agreement may also be a great communication-building activity that will help you and your fiancé to have a better understanding of each other's financial goals and values while also ensuring that your stake in your assets and property will be protected in the event of a divorce in the future.

Before getting married in Colorado, many individuals these days have already established careers, they may have purchased a home or other property, and they may have a variety of investments and financial accounts in their names. When couples marry, they may combine their properties and assets, and over the course of their marriage, they may also acquire a significant amount of assets that may be considered marital property. If a couple divorces down the road, though, spouses will need to reach a divorce settlement that includes dividing assets and liabilities that are considered to be marital property.

Discussions about property division may get heated very quickly during divorce. One spouse may argue that he or she should receive more from a settlement because he or she was the primary wage-earner during the marriage. However, another spouse may argue that he or she is entitled to more because he or she made sacrifices in order to support the other spouse's career choices.

Addressing property division issues during a divorce may involve navigating through complex financial issues and divorce laws, but when couples have already established a prenuptial agreement, they may be able to resolve their property division concerns with less conflict and less confusion since prenuptial agreements often address who gets what and how much in the event of a divorce.

The important thing to remember about prenuptial agreements, though, is that prenups are legal contracts. So, before you sign a prenup this summer, you will want to make sure that you have carefully reviewed your financial situation and have carefully considered the pros and cons of the terms of your agreement. Couples may certainly work with each other as they create their prenuptial agreements, but they should also make sure they have their own attorneys review their contracts to ensure both parties' interests will be protected in the event of a divorce.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Sign this, or else! How prenup powerplays prevail," Susan Pease Gadoua, May 22, 2013

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