Relationship Contracts

Relationship Contracts

The creation of a family means looking forward and taking steps to protect your relationship and your future. Colbert Family Law, LLC offers a variety of legal services to help new families start life together with confidence and peace of mind.

Couples who choose not to marry may want to establish ground rules for their relationship by creating a relationship contract. Making sure you're on the same page as your partner, and that you understand each other's intentions, needs and expectations, can promote the success of your relationship. Relationship contracts can also serve as an outward symbol of your commitment to each other in the absence of a traditional marriage.

At Colbert Family Law, LLC, we help parties identify the issues they want to address in a relationship contract and negotiate terms that work for them. As with prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, relationship contracts can be negotiated using collaborative process.

Colbert Family Law, LLC serves clients throughout Alaska, from Anchorage and the Mat-Su Valley to remote villages. If you are interested in prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, a relationship contract, or essential estate planning, contact Colbert Family Law, LLC online or at (907) 279-5001 to schedule a consultation to learn more about how we can serve your family.

Schedule a Consultation

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Common Relationship Contracts Concerns

Should I get a prenuptial agreement?

A prenuptial agreement is a contract about what will happen with property, earnings, support and other issues if your planned marriage ends in divorce or death.  A prenuptial agreement is a very good idea if one or both partners have personal wealth before the marriage, if either partner has children before the marriage, or if the partners want to establish a way of dealing with their assets that is different than what the law would impose.  For an agreement to be valid and enforceable later, at death or divorce when it really matters, BOTH partners have to consult lawyers.  An agreement drafted by one partner’s lawyer, and not reviewed by a lawyer for the other, is probably not worth entering into.  Also, both partners have to be willing to give the other full disclosure of assets and debts; without this the agreement is probably worthless.

Obtaining a prenuptial agreement need not be expensive and can pay for itself many times over.  Also, negotiating an agreement is a perfect subject for the collaborative process.  With collaborative lawyers, the soon-to-be married partners can meet together with both lawyers in a civilized and friendly environment to work out the agreement.

Many people fear that entering into a prenuptial agreement will cast a cloud over the upcoming marriage, implying that the marriage won’t last and that divorce is inevitable.  This fear is misplaced.  Talking about finances before the marriage is usually very healthy for the relationship, and may actually prevent problems later on because the partners talk about their financial assumptions in advance.

Consulting a lawyer about a prenuptial agreement is a very small investment in something that could prove extremely valuable later, even if the parties never divorce and the marriage endures the test of time.

Should I marry my same-sex partner?

Same-sex marriage is legal and recognized in all fifty states since the United States Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges was decided on June 26, 2015.  Same-sex married couples are entitled to all the rights and benefits to which any married couples is legally entitled, both under state and federal law.  You may be entitled to various benefits retroactively, depending on the circumstances.  Married people enjoy various legal privileges that unmarried couples can only get through contracts or other legal documents, and in some instances they may not be able to get them at all.  These include inheritance by intestacy (without a will), joint tax filings, spousal benefits in various public and private benefit programs, access to step-parent adoption, etc.  There may also be financial costs to married couples, such as the so-called federal “marriage tax penalty.”  Whether it is a good idea, legally or financially, to marry your partner is a question you should put to a lawyer and an accountant.  Whether you want to marry, of course, is a question only you can answer. Under no circumstances should you marry your spouse again, if you are already married in any state or country.  Celebrating your marriage twice, even if it is possible, will only create problems in the long run.