Littleton Divorce Attorneys
A divorce not only ends a marriage, but changes the lifestyles that went with it. It sets the parameters for parenting, custody, and financial support. If you are about to become involved in the divorce process, we know how difficult this can be for you. It’s not a good time to navigate the legal system on your own. Seeking legal representation right away will help you avoid mistakes that could devastate you both personally and financially. Consult with a divorce lawyer in Littleton, CO from Hulse Law Firm before you do anything else! We will provide expert counsel to ensure that your interests are protected every step of the way.
No Fault Divorce
Colorado is a “no fault” divorce state, meaning that you do not have to have grounds. In most cases, personal issues that led to filing for divorce will not be admissible in court and not be a factor in determining property division and maintenance. However, if it can be proven that one spouse is “wasting” assets in anticipation of a divorce, or if one parent’s personal problems negatively affect the best interests of the children involved, these issues will be considered when deciding financial and parenting time issues.
In Colorado there is a “90 day waiting period” from the date a spouse is served with the Petition of Dissolution of Marriage to when the divorce may be finalized. If there are contested issues, it can take longer and become more complex. Contested issues include parenting time, child support, amount and duration of maintenance, and division of property and debts.
Marital and Separate Property
Colorado courts are required to divide marital assets and debts between the parties “equitably,” which does not necessarily mean “equally.” Generally, property that is acquired during the marriage is marital, whether it is titled in one or both parties’ names. That includes real estate, personal property, bank accounts, business interests, vehicles, and trusts. Investment accounts, pensions, IRAs, 401Ks and retirement plans are also treated as assets in a divorce. Property is considered separate when it is acquired before the date of marriage, obtained by gift or inheritance, or was an award from certain kinds of personal injury settlements. Any increase in the value of separate property from the date of marriage to the date of divorce is also considered marital. It is vital to the divorce process to accurately designate whether an asset is “marital” or “separate.”
Once it has been determined which assets are marital, the next critical step is to assign an accurate value to each. An appraisal or financial expert may be needed to value certain assets.
If you plan to declare something as a separate asset, make sure you do not commingle funds or property. We can advise as to what commingling means and the ramifications. Disagreements and interpretations of separate and marital property issues become complicated when there is evidence of commingling.
Any debt acquired during the marriage belongs to both spouses. Complications arise regarding credit card and other debts that have only one spouse’s name listed. When debt is above and beyond a couple’s assets, the court may assign a greater portion of the debts to the spouse who is in a better financial position.
Debts incurred before a marriage or after a separation, might belong solely to the spouse who incurred them. Many disputes arise as to who is responsible. You will want to have a good Littleton divorce lawyer on your side to represent you and protect your interests.
Hulse Law Firm helps clients obtain values for the marital assets and for accrued debt. Our specialized expertise and understanding of Colorado law will ensure a thorough examination of all financial factors involved and see that our client’s financial position is protected.
“Maintenance” is Colorado’s term for “alimony” or “spousal support.” Judges are required to follow Colorado statute guidelines regarding the amount of maintenance to be paid. Although the statute provides a basic calculation, this amount is not automatically the maintenance award. The Court may also consider other factors in the calculation. Hulse Law Firm is your best resource for determining what you are legally entitled to or responsible for, and is skilled at tough negotiations.
Divorce Law is Complicated
If you believe that you are ending your marriage on friendly terms you still need to consult with a divorce lawyer in Littleton, CO. There are a number of potential divorce loopholes, and you should be aware of all your rights and responsibilities before you agree to anything.
- An attorney will guide you through the court system and see that all your documents are filed correctly, free of errors, and without ambiguous or unclear language.
- Delays, complications, and costly legal missteps arise when a party is not represented.
- The right Littleton divorce attorney will significantly reduce the stress and pitfalls of the divorce process.
Protect yourself and your interests. Get in touch with Hulse Law Firm today!