You Say “I Do,” We Say “Prenup”: Things to Know Before Deciding If You Need a Prenuptial Agreement

By Beth Andersen, Andersen Law PC

So you are planning to get married? While a premarital or prenuptial agreement (often called a “prenup”) may not sound like the most romantic thing in the world, I believe these agreements can actually make the marriage more likely to succeed. Continue reading “You Say “I Do,” We Say “Prenup”: Things to Know Before Deciding If You Need a Prenuptial Agreement”

12 STEPS OF DIVORCE: THE BASICS – Step 2 – Response to Petition for Dissolution

Each month for one year, the Andersen Law PC blog will spell out the 12 steps of divorce.

The following is a roadmap with the basics for 12 steps of a divorce proceeding. The intent is to walk you through the process a simple step at a time.

(To see the process in a more personalized, real world context, follow the blogs on the Aingel and DeVille families: the Aingels relatively soaring through the process while the DeVilles crash and burn.)

 And if you want to divorce in less than a year, feel free to call me at 720-922-3880 or email with questions specific to your situation. I am happy to walk you through your own next steps and to answer questions in your complimentary initial phone or videoconference consult.

Here is where the year will take us:

January – serving and filing a petition for dissolution

February – responding to the petition Continue reading “12 STEPS OF DIVORCE: THE BASICS – Step 2 – Response to Petition for Dissolution”

Yours, Mine & Ours: Estate Planning for Married Couples

When it comes time for couples to consider estate planning, there are several aspects of it that must be looked at and decided on. Below are 16 points of estate planning that you and your spouse may need to address, depending on your situation. YoursMineOurs.Estate-Planning-for-married-couples.AndersenLawPC.4.11.16

Preserving the Estate on the Second Death: If a spouse changes their will on a second marriage, it is possible that the children of the first marriage will not get anything. This happens because the first spouse’s children from a prior marriage did not inherit; their parent’s spouse got everything. That person may well remarry and leave everything to their new spouse, not to their stepchildren from a prior marriage. To avoid this problem, communicate, use a marital agreement, use life insurance, consider QTIP trusts.

Life Insurance: You may want to get a life insurance policy to protect your children from a prior marriage, naming them or a trust protecting them if they are minors, as the beneficiary of that policy. This way you protect “yours” from the scenario set forth in No. 1. Continue reading “Yours, Mine & Ours: Estate Planning for Married Couples”

Are You Married? You Might Be Surprised to Learn the Answer


Are you married? When did you get married? In Colorado, people may not know the answers to these simple questions. That is because we are in a Common Law Marriage state. Whether you are married is an issue of facts.

It’s not just whether you were married seven years  — that is not the standard. Whether or not a couple is married includes an examination of facts such as:

—   Are you cohabitating (living together)?

—   Do you hold each other out as “husband” and “wife” in public?

—   Did you complete a form that indicates that you are married?

—   Do you share bank accounts?

—   Do you list each other as beneficiaries on your insurance and other benefits programs?

The truth is that many of my clients did not know they were married until they broke up and their former partner sued them for divorce. Or, similarly, they found out they were “married” 20 years earlier than they thought. Common Law Marriage is not just a ceremony in a church or synagogue or a marriage certificate.

You could have been common law married years earlier, and if you divorce, owe maintentence or half of appreciated property values going back to an earlier estate.

A well-written cohabitation agreement will protect you from being “accidentally married.” This protects your rights as a couple, as well as your rights and assets as an individual.

Andersen Law PC: When I write your cohabitation agreement, I protect your family, your finances and your future.