Married people in Colorado should have some understanding of the family finances even if they do not handle those finances on a day-to-day basis. According to a study by Fidelity Investments, people who are not involved with these finances have the hardest time recovering financially after a divorce.
People generally do not enter marriage with a plan to get divorced, but it is important to be prepared for this possibility since a divorce can cause financial difficulties. A prenuptial agreement is one way to get this protection. It specifies what each person is bringing into the marriage and how that property will be divided in the event of a divorce. However, it may not be sufficient. After people are married, they may acquire other property that they want to keep separate. For example, an inheritance that is mingled with other marital funds might be considered shared property in a divorce. A postnuptial agreement could protect this type of property.
Whether or not there are pre- or postnuptial agreements in place, both individuals should be informed and communicative. This might include being aware of tax returns and keeping up with bank statements. Both should make major financial decisions and know about one another's assets and debts. In the Fidelity study, 10% of people learned about hidden assets and 14% learned about hidden debt only during the divorce.
People who are considering divorce and who do not know much about their finances may want to gather copies of financial documents to take to an attorney. The attorney may help the individual get a sense of how property might be divided in the divorce. Litigation is not inevitable. Some couples may negotiate an agreement with their attorneys for property division and child custody, and this process might be less costly than litigation.