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Colorado Divorce And Family Law Blog

Colorado physicians may owe spousal maintenance in a divorce

Becoming a licensed physician is a huge accomplishment. To become a doctor in Colorado, one must go through years of schooling to earn a medical degree, complete a residency and obtain a license to practice medicine. It is not easy to complete all these steps, but oftentimes one's hard work pays off when they are able to earn a high salary as a practicing physician.

Some people going through medical school do so with the help of a spouse. For example, the burgeoning physician's spouse might work to pay for their partner's schooling. Then, once their partner becomes a practicing physician, they may stay out of the workforce to care for the family, so their partner can focus on their career. Sometimes this means a spouse gives up his or her own career prospects for the sake of his or her partner.

Relocation with a child may be allowed in certain circumstances

It is not unusual for a person in Colorado to move to a new home. Sometimes a person gets a new job in another city. Other times a person might want to move to an area with a lower cost of living, a better commute or to be closer to family. However, if a person is a parent, is no longer in a relationship with their child's other parent and wants to move with the child, the current parenting plan will have to be modified if appropriate.

Under Colorado law, if the parent with whom the child lives with most of the time wants to move to a place that substantially changes how far apart the child lives from the child's other parent, the court will determine whether to modify the parties' parenting time based on the child's best interests. One factor the court will consider is if restricting a parent's parenting time would have a significant negative effect on the child's health or emotional development.

Being in the dark about finances could be an issue in a divorce

Every married couple in Colorado handles finances differently. Sometimes both partners share in the financial decision-making and have an equal understanding of the state of their marital finances. However, some couples delegate such duties to one partner only. While this may seem practical, it does leave the other partner in the dark when it comes to their marital finances, which could become an issue should the couple later divorce.

According to one survey, 59 percent of female respondents who were divorced or widowed stated that they wished they played a greater role in their long-term financial planning while they were married. Of those female divorcees or widows who married a second time, eight out of 10 of them reported playing a greater role in the financial decision-making in their new marriage.

Why to seek legal assistance in a high-asset divorce

Couples going through a wealthy divorce in Colorado may face issues that other divorcing couples do not. For example, property division becomes more complex when a couple has significantly valuable assets, such as real estate, investments or a business. It may be necessary to have their assets professionally valued, especially if one party does not have much -- if any -- knowledge of the extent of their marital estate. In addition, sometimes it is necessary to employ forensic experts in a high-asset divorce, particularly if one spouse is trying to hide assets from the other spouse.

Also, spousal maintenance often becomes a sticking point in a high-asset divorce. This is because both parties may be accustomed to living a more lavish lifestyle. While there is no guarantee that maintenance will be awarded to one party or the other, if it is awarded, the award may not be permanent. The party receiving maintenance may be expected to eventually get a job that allows them to support themselves. Also, there may be prenuptial agreements or postnuptial agreements in place that address a spouse's right to maintenance should they divorce.

Divorce mediation has benefits and drawbacks

Divorce is a difficult situation for everyone involved. One thing that many people contemplating filing for divorce don't realize is that working with their ex one last time might benefit them when it comes to finalizing their split.

Many divorces are resolved through mediation or other collaborative methods. This means that you and your ex will negotiate the matters at hand to reach accord about the future. Here are some points that you need to remember about collaborative divorces:

Effective parenting plans can be key to co-parenting post-divorce

When parents in Colorado divorce, it can be a difficult time not just for them but for their children as well. Sometimes parents will decide that, despite the fact that their marriage has become untenable, they still want to raise their child together in an optimal environment. Therefore, they may choose to develop a parenting plan that allows them to co-parent their children post-divorce. However, there are certain things parents who wish to pursue co-parenting should keep in mind so that the arrangement is successful.

Parents need to understand that despite the hard feelings they may have towards one another, their child needs both of them to play an active role in their life. This means they will have to cooperate with one another. This means not badmouthing each other, whether it is in front of the kids, on social media or with other people. Also, children need parents to be parents, so parents must keep in mind that they are not their child's friend post-divorce. This will help provide the child with the stability they need as they adjust to the divorce. Co-parenting only works when both parents recognize that they each deserve to have a meaningful relationship with their child, and any parenting plans developed need to reflect this.

What are some benefits to divorce mediation in Colorado?

When a couple in Colorado are so at odds with each other that they have decided to end their marriage, the idea that they could mediate their divorce legal issues may seem laughable. However, there are many positive aspects to divorce mediation that could make it a more satisfactory option than traditional litigation.

First, a person might think that while mediation in and of itself may not be such a bad thing, they'd never be able to civilly hash things out with their ex. However, a neutral party can serve as a facilitator between the spouses and can keep both parties focused on the issue at hand. This way, couples may be able to make decisions based on an objective standard, rather than being ruled by their emotions.

Don't hide assets in a divorce -- you will get caught

Sometimes it starts by just squirreling a little money away during the divorce process to keep it secret from one's spouse. However, hiding assets in a divorce can often escalate to more than just a secret bank account. Sometimes, a spouse in Colorado hides assets in an offshore account or transfers the assets to a relative or friend to keep the assets secret from the other spouse. A spouse may open up his or her own safe-deposit box, investment accounts and more. However, what a spouse needs to keep in mind is that hiding assets in a divorce is illegal, and in today's electronic age, not as simple as it might have been in years past.

Gone are the days where one would have to investigate a literal paper trail to uncover hidden assets. These days, it is possible to find information on hidden assets in emails, in an ex's Internet browsing history, in posts made on social media accounts and by examining past tax returns, property records and company benefits websites. There is even computer software available that can analyze one's financial statements to find inaccuracies.

Child custody orders look very different from those of years past

Child custody orders in Colorado these days may look very different from those established 30 years ago. There are now other options than having a child live with one parent and having visitation with the other parent one weekday and every-other weekend. The primary focus when it comes to child custody these days is what is in the best interests of the child.

For example, parents can choose "nesting". This is when each parent take turns caring for the child in the family home. Parents may choose this child custody arrangement to provide the child with stability and to allow both of them to be involved in the child's life.

What terms are unenforceable in a Colorado premarital agreement?

Sometimes, couples in Colorado and elsewhere do not enter into a premarital agreement before walking down the aisle. They may think that the notion of deciding in advance what will happen if they divorce is not only unromantic, but also that it is a sign that one or both parties are not committed to making the marriage last.

However, premarital agreements can be very useful given the fact that a significant number of marriages nationwide do end in divorce. Thinking of the matter in advance can help make the divorce process run more smoothly. Moreover, premarital agreements can address issues such as inheritances. That being said, per Colorado Statutes Section 14-2-310, there are certain provisions that would make a premarital agreement unenforceable.

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