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A prenuptial agreement can change the outcome of a divorce

Recently, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife announced that they will end their marriage. The couple has been married for 25 years and share several children. What makes their divorce unique and somewhat interesting to millions of Americans is the fact that Bezos has also been named the richest man in the world.

Wealth and the division of assets can be contentious issues during divorces, and some couples attempt to avoid challenges in these areas by executing prenuptial or post-nuptial agreements. These agreements allow couples to establish financial and property-based decisions before or during their marriages so that their divorces, should one occur, may run more smoothly.

It may be a surprise to some readers that Bezos and his wife did not execute a prenuptial agreement prior to their union. It is unknown if they entered into a post-nuptial agreement. When a couple chooses not to use one of these marriage-related contracts and the parties do decide to divorce, the division of their assets will be based on the property division laws of their state. In Colorado, marital property is divided based on equitable distribution principles, which means that courts look to enforce fairness in the dividing up of shared assets and wealth.

Not every couple will choose to enter into a premarital or post-marital agreement. Not all will feel as though such contracts will serve their relationship needs or they may feel that such agreements may actually be detrimental to their relationships. However, men and women who plan to marry are encouraged to learn more about how prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements may serve their property and wealth expectations.

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