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Divorce & Finances

blog-logoIt may be a little late to find this out now; but the best way to avoid complications with a marital agreement is to have a pre-nuptial agreement.  Not that “pre-nups” are foolproof, as they are often discredited even after they are signed; but they lay a foundation for what to expect in the event of a divorce.

The average couple may not quibble as much over the division of assets and liabilities, or they may find a way to compromise through mediation.  But a marriage can become more financially complicated if the couple owns a family business or a diverse portfolio of investments.  When this occurs, having a pre-nuptial agreement in place will prevent a lot of the confusion and provide a clear path to resolution.

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blog-logoWe’ve all heard the horror stories from couples who have suffered great financial hardships after going through a divorce, often requiring a significant reduction in their standard of living. The realities of living separately, paying child support or losing money on a marital home are not unfamiliar to Colorado Springs divorce attorneys.  Over the last few years, many couples have either delayed divorce because it wouldn’t work financially, or they’ve suffered the consequences of post-divorce bankruptcy.

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blog-logoBesides the emotional trauma and family upheaval, one of the costliest effects of divorce is the financial burden it places on families.  Whether you are the Plaintiff or the Defendant in a divorce case, it is easy to rack up the divorce attorneys’ fees if you are not careful.

Thanks to the availability of information on the Internet, the parties involved in a divorce are much savvier than they used to be when it comes to the legal processes involved.  Many of the standard petitions and agreements that are common in a divorce are easily accessible on legal websites, which can help keep legal fees down, but even if your divorce is too complex to be handled this way, there are still ways to save on divorce attorneys’ fees.

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blog-logoWhether you are recently divorced, or just getting started on the whole process, you may need to start looking at affordable family health coverage.  If you have children, the burden of providing health insurance will fall on the parent who is most capable of providing coverage, but this doesn’t always mean it will be affordable.  Colorado health insurance brokers are often a great source of information on this subject, and can become an invaluable resource for you and your family. 

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blog-logoIt only makes sense when you think about it, that bankruptcy and divorce would go hand in hand.  After all, money problems are often a major cause of stress in a marriage, and they are one of the most common reasons for seeking a divorce.  As a family law attorney at a Colorado Springs law firm, I see some couples who don’t know which to do first – file for a divorce or file for bankruptcy. 

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blog-logoDividing the marital property may be the most difficult part of getting a divorce, and divorce attorneys in Colorado Springs realize that.  But being a party to a divorce will require swift and decisive action to take care of these matters, especially when the Colorado real estate market is continuously changing.  In many cases, a property settlement will require that the marital home be sold as a means of dividing the property equitably, but with so many homes for sale in Colorado Springs, this may not be so easy.

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blog-logoIt goes without saying that divorce can have a devastating impact on family finances.  Running two separate households is always more expensive than running one, especially when there are children involved.  As a Colorado Springs divorce attorney, I have dealt with many couples who have taken steps to improve the “post-divorce financial picture”.   Not all of this advice will work for everyone, but here are the highlights of what I’ve learned.

Women are far more vulnerable than men to the financial devastation of a divorce.  In fact, 27% of women will experience a significant decrease in their living standard, while only 10% of men will.  Part of the reason for this is that many women decide to stay home and raise children while relying on their husband’s income for security.  When this security disappears, it can take a while to establish financial solvency while establishing a career.

 

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blog-logoColorado Springs area divorce settlements and their related support orders can affect a lot more than just the present financial status of a family; they can also have a long-term impact on personal income tax liabilities.  Few Colorado Springs couples really consider this when they first consult with an attorney, but there are some very specific questions that must be answered before the final papers are signed.  Remember, tax considerations also play into the determination of who gets the marital home and the investment accounts.  

I often hear similar concerns from people who are seeking a divorce, so I will attempt to answer some of them here.

How do we determine the value of what we own? 

Start by compiling a list of assets and attach a value to them as of the date of separation.  Revalue them again at the date of the trial, and plan on revaluing those several more times during divorce proceedings.  Remember that capital gains tax can erode up to 25% of the value of certain investments.  Any jointly owned businesses will need to be valued both on an historical basis as well as on projected future revenues.

 

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blog-logoGiven the state of the economy, more and more Colorado residents are facing bankruptcy.  While filing for bankruptcy can provide a fresh start after prolonged unemployment or a serious illness, it cannot be used as a way to escape court-ordered child support or spousal maintenance.  However, if your former spouse is planning to claim personal bankruptcy, there are steps you can take to prevent a disruption in support.  A Colorado Springs divorce attorney can help you protect yourself.

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blog-logoMost Colorado Springs family lawyers will tell you the more complicated your finances are during marriage, the more complex your divorce settlement will be.  Problem is, most couples don’t foresee the possibility of divorce when there is still time to take preventative measures, which also means they don’t consider the benefits of a prenuptial agreement.  Marital agreements are not usually the best subject to bring up when you’re planning a wedding, but they can save a lot of aggravation down the road.

In terms of protecting personal property, a prenuptial agreement clearly defines what is considered marital property and allows the couple to decide who this property is to be divided.  However, there are certain requirements that must be met in order for a prenuptial agreement to be legally valid and binding.

 

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MPatMarrisonFor over a quarter century, we have helped people during what is often the darkest time in their lives. Divorce is not easy even under the best of circumstances. For most people, family is central. Having something go wrong in the family can have a ripple effect that extends beyond the home and into other areas.

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