Marital agreements are commonly used in two situations. 1.) One person has significantly more assets than the other and wants to protect them, 2). In second (or more) marriages, one or both people want to be sure that their children from a prior marriage receive the bulk of their estate and not the new spouse.
Marital agreements can be written so that property/income divisions are determined in the event of the death of a spouse or the couple’s divorce. Some are based on splitting assets depending on the length of the marriage. They can allow for some reallocation of assets or a total “I keep mine/you keep yours” result. Obviously the latter becomes more difficult the longer the parties are married. While post-marital (after marriage) agreements are legal in Colorado, they are not legal in every state.
The objection that these agreements are not “romantic” -that it takes some of the bloom off the rose of marriage to already be discussing divorce may be true, but the ugly prolonged divorce or, maybe worse, the ugly prolonged probate contest between your children and your second spouse is not exactly “moonlight and magnolias” . We sign Wills every day that accomplish the exact same purpose or a pre-nuptual or post-nuptual without guilt or belief it belittles our relationship with our spouse and family. How is a marriage agreement really so different?
Finally, the best advice if you really want to keep the “bloom on the rose” and focus on the loving relationship is to sign the agreement weeks, not hours, before the wedding. You’d be surprised how many individuals leave it to the last minute when it can all be dealt with calmly long before that walk down the aisle.