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Colorado Springs Family Law Blog

Same-sex divorces: Special issues you need to consider

Marriage equality, for good or ill, means divorce equality. Same-sex couples have no more a guarantee of a "happily ever after" than anybody else, unfortunately.

Same-sex divorces, however, still require a lot of careful consideration. Thanks to the patchwork of laws that went into place over time in the years before same-sex marriage was legal nationally, many same-sex couples were in committed relationships of some kind long before they could legalize their unions.

What can child support be used to pay for?

Colorado parents who either pay or receive child support may wonder just what expenses it is supposed to cover. Many people are surprised to learn that child support is not only for the bare essentials.

It can be frustrating to struggle to pay your support and then see your ex take your child on a vacation with your money. But, as long as your child's needs are met, their other parent is well within their rights to use your child support dollars on a trip or recreational outing with your son or daughter.

Don't get caught financially unaware in a divorce

In Colorado, spouses who get divorced find that there are many financial surprises waiting for them that they could not have anticipated beforehand. This is even more true for women who may not have participated in making any financial decisions before the divorce. Thus, it is essential to learn as much as possible before the divorce is final so that the best agreement possible can be negotiated.

One of the biggest surprises is when a spouse is unaware of debt that is in both of their names. He or she is responsible for this debt, too, and only learned about it when the marriage is ending. Nonetheless, this person must still make payments on it. The best way to deal with this beforehand with knowledge of the problem is to negotiate the division of marital property to account for this.

Get ready to divide your assets during your divorce

You and your college sweetheart decided that it would be a great idea to get married just days after your graduation. You both had great degrees, graduated with honors and had every reason to believe that you'd be successful.

Life has a way of being more complex than you could have imagined. Since then, your spouse has been extremely successful, but you've barely been able to get your foot in the door. It's been a challenge, and you feel resentful. They treat you like less than they are for not being as advanced in your career as they are in theirs, and the entire situation is toxic.

Why more people are choosing prenups

For many people in Colorado, prenuptial agreements have long been considered the domain of celebrities or those with significant generational wealth. However, as people marry later in life with property, children and established careers, a growing number of people are interested in a document that could provide legal protections and a structure for asset division in case of divorce. One study conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that 62% of family law attorneys reported increased requests for help negotiating a prenup.

A prenuptial agreement has long been a common choice for people with inheritances, especially if they are involved in the family business. While inheritances can be protected from a divorce in other ways, a prenup can make the issue clear, especially if a family's legacy may be on the line. However, prenups can also be helpful to other types of business owners. In fact, many angel investors may even require documentation of a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement before sinking capital into a privately held company. After all, the company itself could be torn apart or sold in a divorce without an agreement about how the firm will be handled, leading to significant losses. A prenuptial agreement may be important not only to the business owner but for the company's own protection.

Child support depends on more than an earnings statement

When Colorado parents pay child support, the amount of their income that is factored into the formula dictating what they will pay is not always cut and dry. Beyond salary, there are a number of other things that can be considered income or impact the court's calculation.

A parent's earnings may not just be limited to what they make at their primary job. They may also have dividend or investment income, and these are both counted when courts calculate how much the parent makes. Generally, any type of earned income from a job or any other source can be counted. Courts may even go beyond that to reach things such as corporate contributions to a retirement account or perks.

How to decide whether to settle or proceed to litigation

When people in Colorado are going through a divorce, they might hope to reach an agreement without going to litigation. However, there may be a point at which negotiations have stalled, and a person could wonder whether the best course of action is to settle or go to litigation. There are a few factors to take into account.

Litigation can be time-consuming. The court date may be months in the future, and there could be a lot of preparation to do. However, if it looks as though further negotiation will be futile and simply add extra time to a process that will end up in litigation anyway, it may be best to proceed to court sooner rather than later. Cost is another factor with litigation climbing into five or even six figures. If the dispute is over property, going to litigation may not be worthwhile if those assets will be spent anyway.

The importance of civility in a divorce proceeding

Ending a marriage can be an emotional process, and in some cases, individuals will say or do things that they aren't necessarily proud of. However, the way that former spouses interact with other during the divorce process could have an impact on how the case is resolved. It could also have an impact on their personal and professional reputations after the marriage comes to an end.

Acting in a civil manner may make it easier to settle a divorce in less time. It can also help to preserve relationships between parents who are responsible for raising their children until they become legal adults. Generally speaking, those who act in a respectful manner toward others will usually be treated with respect in return. It is important to keep in mind that saying mean or nasty things about another person can make it harder for that person to make a living.

Couple in divorce dispute over art collection

Colorado couples who get a divorce may face a complicated process when it comes to dividing property. This is the case for a New York couple. The man is from a prominent art-collecting family, and his wife alleges that he took $200 million worth of art from their home. Some sources say he has placed it in an offshore trust.

The woman wants custody of their two children, but the man will not discuss custody until they have resolved their property issues. The couple appeared in court on February 13, but the judge told them they were still too far from reaching an agreement and set a new date of April 2. One issue that must be determined is the value of the art acquired between the couple's marriage in 2005 and their divorce filing in 2018. The art and most of the other assets acquired during this time are considered marital property for the purposes of property division in divorce.

Creating a strong parenting agreement to protect your rights

Parents who choose to divorce face many challenges, from property division issues to child custody and parenting disagreements. Often, child custody and parenting conflicts can cause tension long after a divorce finalizes, so it is important to create strong agreements that protect parents' and children's rights properly.

Protecting your own rights as a parent is one of the most crucial aspects of any divorce. The decisions reached in the divorce process may impact your relationship with your children for the rest of your life, and theirs. As you build your divorce strategy and determine your priorities, make sure to use high-quality legal resources and guidance to protect your rights and those of the ones you love.

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Mary Kay Kramer, P.C.
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