Thanks to the availability of many legal documents online, it is no longer necessary to meet with a Colorado Springs divorce lawyer before putting together the basic elements of your Marital Settlement Agreement. This document, which is also known as a Marital Dissolution Agreement, is an agreement that spells out the terms of a divorce and dictates the division of property, child custody, spousal support and many other issues relevant to the legal dissolution of marriage.
Getting a divorce? Well, before you start feeling sorry for yourself and thinking you failed in your marriage, why not consider these “divorce factoids” that were recently uncovered by some Colorado Springs family law attorneys. The statistics show that there are certain lifestyle factors that may have had an impact on the life of your marriage, many of which are completely out of your control.
As most experienced attorneys will tell you, the words “easy” and divorce” rarely appear in the same sentence; unless you have no children, few assets and no interest in dragging out the process, that is. However, even the most complicated cases go more smoothly when you work with an experienced team of Colorado Springs family law attorneys. Here are some ways that a family law attorney in Colorado Springs can help you prepare ahead for a less uncomplicated divorce in Colorado.
Let’s face it. Divorce is ugly; not just for the Colorado Springs couple going through it, but for their children, extended family, friends and even their co-workers. Knowing this, many couples opt to remain in a perpetual state of denial, or relationship “limbo.” Separation agreements are pounded out, even custody and child support, but for many couples, this is where it ends.
As a Colorado Springs divorce lawyer, I’ve seen a trend emerging that is well-intended, but ultimately not such a good idea. It’s called “delayed divorce” (not be confused with “trial separation”). A delayed divorce is when a couple chooses separation instead of divorce for various reasons, most of them economic.
If you are going through a divorce, then you may have heard the term “collaborative family law”. This increasingly popular method of dispute resolution is one that encourages a compassionate respect for all participants, and advocates a spirit of forgiveness, responsibility and personal growth. When this technique is employed in a divorce case successfully, it can dramatically improve a family’s quality of life after a divorce. As a Colorado Springs divorce lawyer, I highly recommend collaborative family law to my clients, especially when there are children involved.
When the threat of divorce is looming in your marriage, the last thing you might want to think about is your current financial status; but now is the time to get organized and gather information that will secure your financial future. As a Colorado Springs property division lawyer, I am acutely aware of how important it is prepare for the financial aspects of a divorce.
Before consulting with a property division lawyer, spend some time reviewing your credit report. A decent credit score will be important when you want to rebuild financially after a divorce. It will also help you see very clearly which marital accounts are jointly held and which are in your name only. This is important, since debt allocation plays a large role in property division. A Colorado Springs property division lawyer can help you determine the right course of action for each creditor, which may include freezing accounts or removing unauthorized users. Once your property settlement is complete and a divorce decree is issued, you may want to notify the creditors and credit reporting agencies and make sure all joint accounts are closed.
It 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.
Even though divorce is final, there are some adjustments that can be made to the court orders that go along with it. One of these is spousal support, or alimony. If you are looking to make a change in your alimony or spousal support, certain circumstances must be met, and it is important to know these before moving forward with a petition. While in Colorado Springs alimony modification is one of the most common petitions filed, the law can be quite complex. For this reason, it is important to work with a well-qualified Colorado Springs divorce lawyer.
As a Colorado Springs family lawyer, I see a lot of clients rush in to file for divorce, in an attempt to beat their spouse to the punch. It is surprising how many people believe that the one who files first will be in a better position somehow in the long run. This is especially common when a marriage breaks up over infidelity.
If one is the first to file, then other dilemmas could arise; such as the decision about whether they should leave the residence. Being the first to file often puts pressure on that person to leave the family home, and this may include leaving the children behind. Some of my clients have asked if leaving the residence means the other party can claim desertion or abandonment.
Colorado 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.