Many people in the greater Denver area recognize that being a doctor is a prestigious and potentially very lucrative career. Many if not most doctors get compensated quite well. Those in private practice also have the benefit of owning their own business and being able to sell that business for money when they are ready to retire.
One of the unique features of a Colorado divorce or separation involving a couple where one or both are high-profile executives or professionals is that there may be a lot of complex assets in play.
The fictional worlds of Hollywood and the novelist John Grisham, and sometimes even the real world as reported by the press, sometimes portray offshore accounts as something mysterious or even inherently a little edgy, as if they are a telltale sign that someone is skirting the law.
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.
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.
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.
Married "copreneurs" -- that is, those couples in Colorado who share a small business -- often put a great deal of effort into seeing that their business is prosperous. It is a lot of work, but it is also a labor of love. However, should the couple divorce, the question of what happens to the business gets pretty complex.
Let's be honest...no divorce is fun. Whether it be one with no assets or one with high assets, divorce is almost always a stressful, uncertain time in a person's life. However, there are several issues, in addition to the standard divisions, to be addressed in a high asset divorce. For this reason, an attorney experienced in these types of cases can be your best friend.
Some residents of Colorado may find that despite their best efforts, their marriage has become untenable, and they are best off divorcing. Of course, with divorce comes asset division. This is especially important if one spouse owns a business, as a business owner may not be keen to let their ex have a share in the business. However, there are some ways a business owner can protect the business they put so much time and effort into.
Residents of Colorado may have 401k plans and pensions, but, what many people may be relying on to supplement their retirement income is Social Security benefits. They should be aware, though, that if they divorce, there are rules regarding whether and how a person may be able to collect Social Security benefits based on the work history of their ex.