Often, when individuals choose to marry, they either formally or informally agree to a "divide and conquer" strategy of managing the many commitments that befall their union. For example, a married Colorado couple may decide that only one of the spouses will work outside of the home for an income, while the other makes it their focus to manage the household and care for the couple's children. They may select one to make the day-to-day decisions about what the household needs, while the other handles the investments and big picture financial planning of their lives.
While this strategy may provide individuals with a method of seeing to all of the important matters relevant to their marriages, it can present challenges if the partners to such a marriage choose to divorce. During a divorce, a couple's assets are divided in an equitable way, but if one of the partners does not understand how their shared finances are managed, they may miss making a compelling case for a fair share of the assets.
In Colorado, property may be classified as either separate or marital, and during a divorce, an individual generally may keep any separate property that they own apart from their spouse. But, marital property is divided, and in the end the partners to the failing marriage leave their union with fewer financial assets than they had when wed. As such, it can be a significant hardship for those individuals who do not know what assets they may have access to during their marriage to fight for their fair share of money and property as their marriages end.
By understanding how one's assets are structured during a marriage, a person can help themselves create a stronger settlement of property argument, should their union end. Family law attorneys are good resources for those individuals who are contemplating divorce and who wish to better understand the financial impact that divorce may have on their lives
Source: The Gazette, "Linda Leitz: Women, divorce and money: Financial independence is best whenever possible," Linda Leitz, March 19, 2017