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Colorado Divorce And Family Law Blog

How to protect immigration status during divorce

As we all know, divorce is a pretty stressful life event for just about anyone. However, it can become a downright harrowing experience when one spouse is a U.S. resident and the other is not. One of the stipulations for an immigrant spouse to become a legal U.S. resident is that permanent residency will not be available until the second marriage anniversary. By U.S. standards, this mark proves that the marriage was entered into in good faith rather than for the sole purpose of attaining residency.

In cases where both spouses are willing to work together amicably and sensibly to protect immigration status, divorce mediation can be a great option. If the two-year anniversary has not yet been reached when the divorce is filed, both spouses can agree to file Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence. This is intended to let the the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service know that although the marriage did not last the required length of time, it was entered into in good faith.

The five largest divorces of all-time

Divorce is not usually an enjoyable event for anyone. It is hard enough when there are only a few assets that hold minimal value. Imagine navigating your way through when there are billions of dollars worth of assets to be agreed upon and distributed. That was exactly the case in the world's five largest divorces of all-time. Between pricey artwork, business assets, stocks, multi-million dollar real estate and all the billionaire toys, there was no shortage of issues for these spouses to hammer out.

The largest, coming in at a whopping $35 billion, was Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos. Jeff is the founder of Amazon, a global online marketplace. Once the divorce was finalized, MacKenzie became the world's third-richest woman. Second, we have Bill and Sue Gross at $1.3 billion. Bill is the founder of Pimco, an asset-management firm. Assets distributed in this matter included a $36 million dollar Laguna Beach home, and a Picasso painting. Sue gained a $1.3 billion dollar fortune.

With children, property division becomes more complex

Dividing property is a big part of divorce, but when you have kids, it can become even trickier. You want to make sure that you have the right items in your home for them and that you have what you need to provide for them. That can make dividing your assets tricky, since there are two households to consider.

For parents, the first thing to consider is having the right supplies for their children. For example, if your child has medical equipment, it's time to double up and have two sets, one for each home. If your child has a favorite toy, it may be time to buy another or to set up a plan for making sure that toy travels between households safely.

The different types of child custody

Most people have heard of differing types of child custody being awarded. As a matter of fact, some parties choose to throw words such as "sole custody" and "joint custody" around as threats to an ex-spouse. But, do you really know what they mean in a legal sense? Parents in the middle of a nasty divorce or child custody battle often operate with emotions running high. Therefore, it is sometimes difficult to reasonably determine which type of custody will be in the best interests of the children. Here, we define several options.

Probably the most used terminology when parents are in a heated divorce is sole custody. This means that only one parent will have full physical and legal custody. The child will reside with that parent only, and he or she will make all medical and legal decisions without input from the other party. This type of custody is usually only awarded when the other party has either been abusive, or is missing.

The impact of divorce on retirement plans

Imagine that you work hard for the majority of your life, steadily building a retirement fund that will allow you to travel and enjoy your elder years without financial concerns. You also spent those years married to the person you thought you would be with forever. Raising a family, buying and selling real estate, taking vacations and making memories together for 30 years. Then, suddenly, it all falls apart. Your spouse of 30 years tells you they want a divorce. Just like that, you are in danger of losing half of the retirement funds you worked so many years to save.

This scenario is becoming more and more common in today's society. Late in life divorces are happening at higher rates than ever. When younger couples get a divorce, they likely have not been building on a retirement plan for long, and will have many more years to rebuild. However, when older couples choose to go their separate ways, they do not have the luxury of time on their side. There will not be enough years left to regain what they will lose financially in the divorce.

What are acceptable grounds for a divorce in Colorado?

There seems to be a common misconception by spouses across the nation that divorce papers will "tell the story." However, this could not be further from the truth. As a matter of fact, it is quite the opposite. A divorce complaint is comprised of standard language. While there was a time when a filer could be specific when stating the grounds for a divorce request, such is no longer the case.

In the state of Colorado, the only grounds for divorce, regardless of the circumstances, is that a marriage is "irretrievably broken." In layman's terms, too much damage has been done, and it just can't be put back together. Colorado is also a no fault state, meaning that neither spouse is required to prove fault. Previously, when specific grounds for divorce such as adultery, abuse or abandonment were acceptable, the accused may have been expected to prove their innocence.

Set the co-parenting stage with a collaborative divorce

It is a well-known fact that divorces can be nasty. They can be stressful, vindictive, time consuming, expensive, anger fueled, emotional apocalypses if we let them. The good news? They don't have to be that way. There are other options to obtaining a divorce rather than duking it out in a courtroom. The option we want to tell you about today is what is known as collaborative law. It is becoming more common in divorce and child custody matters.

If you have ever heard the term "come to the table", then you understand the basis of a collaborative divorce. It is just that. Both parties, their respective attorneys, the children and possibly even therapists or financial advisors literally all come to the table. It is there that all will have a calm and reasonable conversation to try to settle all outstanding matters. Negotiations and disputes take place in a respectful manner. Open communication and transparency take the place of secret conversations and strategies.

High asset property division and negotiating for success

You probably have strong opinions about certain aspects of your upcoming divorce. What each person values the most from their married life will obviously vary depending on their personality and lived experience.

For some people, the most important consideration will be retaining specific assets, including those that have important emotional value or memories attached to them. For others, the most important part of asset division will be trying to maximize the assets they retain to set themselves up for future financial stability.

Immigration and custody mediation

Divorce is a particularly precarious situation for any immigrant who is seeking permanent resident status. Most immigrants who enter the country based on marriage are considered conditional residents. They are granted a two year period of lawful residency, and must meet certain conditions prior to becoming a legal resident. A divorce within that two year time period immediately raises some red flags with authorities who become tasked with determining whether the marriage was used for immoral immigration, or whether the union was legitimate.

One of the ways in which immigration authorities determine whether a marriage was out of love, rather than need, is looking at whether a child was born between the parties. If so, it is far less likely that the marriage was entered into solely for the purpose of obtaining citizenship. Custody negotiations in a divorce involving an immigrant are a complex matter with much to take into consideration. It is a far less common occurrence for an immigrant to birth a child, rather than just marry a U.S. citizen, to obtain permanent status. Occasionally, the spouse who is a legal citizen will use the immigration status of the other as a means to leverage custody disputes. These can be intense, stressful discussions which most parties would likely not place themselves into voluntarily.

How to cope with the emotional stress of divorce

If we are being honest, divorce can be one of the most stressful events a person can ever go through. It can affect your physical health as well as mental. Sometimes symptoms such as anxiety or depression seem to take over. However, there are ways to cope with it in a healthy way, and find your way back to yourself in no time. Here, we discuss some of the ways to ease the burden.

First, be sure to eat regularly. When in the midst of a really stressful situation, parties sometimes simply forget to eat. Others may feel too sick to eat. Regardless of which one you may be, it is of utmost importance to keep your body nourished during a difficult time. Losing weight too quickly can be harmful. The right foods also help fight depression.

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