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In re Marriage of Zander.

2021 CO 12. No. 19SC854.  Uniform Dissolution of Marriage Act—Colorado Marital Agreement Act—Exceptions to Presumption of Marital Property—“Valid Agreement” Exception—Partial Performance Doctrine.

February 16, 2021

All property acquired by either spouse during a marriage is generally considered marital property subject to equitable division during a dissolution of marriage proceeding. But there are four statutory exceptions to this rule, one of which is property excluded from the marital estate by a “valid agreement” of the parties. The parties in this case entered into an oral agreement in 2007 to exclude their retirement accounts and inheritances from the marital estate. The Supreme Court held that the parties’ oral agreement was not a valid agreement because, at the time, Colorado statutory law required that all agreements between spouses be in writing and signed by both parties. The Court further held that the parties’ conduct after entering into the oral agreement could not be treated as partial performance that satisfied the writing and signature requirements.

The Court of Appeals’ judgment was affirmed and the case was remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Official Colorado Supreme Court proceedings can be found at the Colorado Supreme Court website.

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