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Denver Family Law Blog

Divorce versus a legal separation and your rights in Colorado

You've probably heard about people being separated and understood that they were no longer seeing each other; however, being legally separated is not the same thing as being divorced in Colorado. In a legal separation, both people are still married. In a divorce, the marriage officially ends.

During a legal separation, you and your spouse will no longer live together. The court will still decide on spousal support, child support and other financial needs. Child custody, visitation and property division is also completed through the court for legal separation. Sometimes, those who legally separate get back together. At that point, the case is typically dismissed from the courts. If the couple decides to divorce, then the information collected during the separation is used to proceed.

How do you value your business in Colorado?

Whether you're ready to sell your Colorado business or you just need to value it for your divorce, it's important to have the valuation done in a fair manner. You want to know how much your business is worth, the potential for future profits, and how much you should expect if you decide to sell.

There are a few different ways to value a business. The market-based approach looks at businesses that are similar to yours to try to define the average price your business would be worth. Not many people like this process because it may undervalue or overvalue the business. For instance, if you have a good business plan and higher income than other businesses in your genre, then you may get a valuation that is well under what your business is really worth.

Responding to a divorce petition in Colorado: What to do

When you receive a divorce or dissolution petition, you must answer it. The petition itself is first filed with the court, and then the divorce petition is served to the other party. Being served simply means you have been legally delivered the paperwork. As the respondent of the paperwork or defendant in the divorce process, you must respond to the petition within the selected time frame. Most of the time, it's 21 days.

Once you respond, you also need to discuss the allegations in the paperwork and make your arguments. If you don't do that within 30 days of receiving the paperwork, you won't be able to argue for what you want or need in issues of child custody or property division -- two areas you likely will want to have a say.

Property and divorce in Colorado: Protect what's yours

You're getting a divorce, but that doesn't mean you really want to lose half of your possessions or half of your monetary assets. In some cases, you may not have been married very long, or you may have brought more into the marriage that your soon-to-be ex. Fortunately, you're able to dispute what is and is not considered marital property, so you can have a better chance of keeping everything that's yours.

You have a number of options to choose from. First, you may need to look into proving what you had prior to marriage via receipts and other information. If you have a high-asset case, making sure you have an accurate valuation of the property involved is vital.

Divorce mediation in Colorado: Saving money and time

Divorce mediation is sometimes used in place of heading to court immediately during a divorce in Colorado. To dissolve your marriage, you have to file a lawsuit, but you don't have to go through litigation if you can work out the divorce without it. Divorce mediation is one thing you can try if you want to avoid litigation.

The goal of divorce mediation is to agree to divorce terms voluntarily. That means that you should be able to create an equitable and mutually acceptable divorce agreement, minimize the amount of hostility between you and your ex and eliminate or minimize post-divorce issues. Divorce mediation also aims to reduce the expense of divorce and the emotional trauma that can take place when the divorce goes through the litigation process.

Struggling with child custody in Colorado?

As a parent, you don't want to make your child go through a divorce. Unfortunately, divorces do happen, and child custody needs to be determined as quickly as possible for the sake of your child.

Child custody cases in Colorado can be complex. You might want to relocate, or your ex may want to spend more time with your children than you'd prefer. Whatever happens, you have a right to see your children, and you will always have the right to defend your visitation or custody needs.

Multi-billionaire heads to court over divorce

This interesting news about a divorce involving a multi-billionaire shows how a prenuptial agreement can be challenged in court. In this case, the wife of a multi-billionaire has claimed that her prenuptial agreement should be thrown out because she signed it under duress. If the request is granted by the courts, she could find herself being the recipient of one of the largest payouts from a divorce in the history of America.

The woman, a 43-year-old, claims that she was forced to sign her prenuptial agreement. She filed in court papers that she and her husband had argued intensely about the prenuptial agreement, and she alleged that he became violent with her since she didn't want to sign. He asked her to go to a psychologist, and she did; that's who she claims convinced her to sign the paperwork.

In Colorado, trusts make asset protection easier

When you're getting a divorce, you can protect your assets with something called a domestic asset protection trust. This trust is also known as DAPT and is a strategy some people have been using in place of a prenuptial agreement. It's believed that wealthy people have been able to essentially hide assets from creditors with this kind of trust, and that can work to protect assets during a divorce, too.

How it works is simple. The DAPT is an irrevocable trust. It means that you relinquish your rights to the assets and can't control them. The trick is that you're allowed to be a beneficiary of the trust as well as the creator, so you can get your money and assets at a later time while protecting them now.

Marital property in Colorado: Protecting and splitting assets

In Colorado, your divorce could lead to a number of questions. Who gets what property? How will your assets get split up? Marital property should be divided up in a way that is fair and equitable. What kind of property does that include? By definition, marital property is any asset or debt that was acquired while you were married.

Credit card debts, mortgages and loans may be included in those debts, while things like furniture, 401Ks and retirement accounts could be considered marital property and assets you've collected if you've gotten them during your marriage. Of course, divorces can be incredibly complex, which is why it's important to know the legal ins and outs of the process.

Are divorce records private in Colorado?

Court proceedings are typically public in Colorado. In many cases, that includes divorce cases. Unless the court you go to determines that the case can be placed under seal, your divorce will be open to public record. There are some exceptions to open court records, of course. That may include protecting divorce records due to sexual abuse, for example.

When you or your ex want to seal the record, it's normal for at least one of you to ask, if not both. If you don't, the record is likely to be left open. Making the decision is up to you, but the judge may determine if the request will be granted or not. The court must decide if the party will be damaged more by an open record instead of a closed record. Normally, there is a presumption that court records are open to public scrutiny.

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Zuber Law P.C.
950 South Cherry Street, Suite 300
Denver, CO 80246

Phone: 303-945-3499
Toll Free: 866-492-3572
Fax: 303-757-2695
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