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Common divorce issues

For Colorado couples preparing to end their marriage, it may seem overwhelming to consider the financial and emotional ramifications of the process. For those who have never been through one, it is important to understand the common issues of divorce. One of the most basic is property division. In states such as Colorado that follow equitable distribution principles, marital assets will, absent an agreement between the spouses, be divided by the court in what it determines to be a fair and equitable manner. Gifts, inheritances, and property acquired before the marriage are considered separately-owned property. The process of property division can be lengthy, and depending on the quality of the relationship between the spouses, it can be stressful.

Many couples want to know how the home will be handled. It is often customary for one member of the couple to remain in the house and for one to move out. This functions as a non-taxable transfer of assets. However, in some cases, the home is sold and the revenue split between the spouses.

Child custody often becomes the most heated part of a divorce. In some cases, each spouse seeks full custody, or one wants joint custody and the other seeks sole custody. Child custody battles often are time consuming and can be extremely trying. Alimony presents a similar issue - if there's a substantial earnings gap between the members of the couple, then one may be court-ordered to pay alimony to the other for a certain amount of time.

For those who are undergoing a divorce but want more guidance through the process, it may be helpful to talk to a lawyer about the specifics. A lawyer may be able to help lay out a tailored plan for the divorce and help clarify any questions the client has.

Source: Nerd Wallet, "Divorce: Making Sense of the Confusion", J. Kevin Stophel, June 03, 2014

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