The decisions made during your divorce will impact you and your family's life for a long time. How long, you ask? These decisions could potentially create consequences that stay with you for the rest of your life. This is why it is so important to do as much research as possible as you approach this legal undertaking. With greater education comes greater understanding, and this helps you make more informed decisions for positive results. Here are 10 common divorce questions answered:
- Does it Matter Who Files for Divorce First?
If you think that your marriage is broken, you might be paranoid that your spouse will try to file for divorce before you – and that this may give them some kind of legal advantage. You needn't worry because it does not really matter who files for divorce first in the State of Colorado. This is because Colorado is a no-fault state when it comes to divorce, which means that neither spouse will need to establish blame in order to move forward. In other words, you should not rush to file for divorce first simply to “win the race,” as you will experience zero advantages as a result.
That being said, it is always a good idea to get a head start when it comes to planning your divorce. An early consultation with a divorce attorney can help you determine what to expect in your upcoming divorce. You can also gather documents and evidence and plan out a legal strategy before your spouse even knows what is going on. This can provide some advantages in the courtroom, even if the courts themselves view both spouses equally.
- Who Gets the Family Home in a Divorce?
The family home is often the most important and high-value asset in a marital estate, and both spouses may wish to keep hold of it. So who gets the house? This is a very complex question, and the answer depends on the unique circumstances of each divorce. That being said, you can get a sense of who might get the family home by understanding the difference between separate and marital property.
Separate property is that which was owned prior to the marriage by one spouse. This type of property is non-divisible during a divorce. A house may also be considered “separate” if it was inherited during the marriage by one spouse. In contrast, marital property is that which was acquired during the marriage (excluding inheritance). This type of property is divisible, which means that both spouses generally have an equal claim.
That being said, there are a number of factors that can complicate matters considerably. A home might be separate, but its increase in value during the marriage may be considered marital. If a home is considered separate and it rises in value by 100% during the marriage, then the other spouse may be entitled to 50% of that increase in value. In other words, they would be entitled to 25% of the total value. However, this spouse might also contribute to the property's value in many other ways. Examples include contributing to the monthly mortgage payments, conducting repairs, maintaining the home, and much more. These contributions may be considered when determining a spouse's claim to the family home. Ultimately, a consultation with a Colorado divorce attorney may be necessary to clear up this issue.
- How Do I Prove My Ex is an Unfit Parent?
If you believe that your ex is an unfit parent, you have the right to establish this in court. You might provide a range of evidence to back up your claims, including photos, police reports, witness testimony, social media posts, and much more. You should know that parents are considered innocent of abuse and neglect until proven guilty. Your word against theirs may not be sufficient to convince a judge of their lack of fitness as a parent.
- Who Gets the Dog in a Colorado Divorce?
It is important to remember that a pet is considered “property” in the eyes of family courts in Colorado. They are not treated in the same way as children; instead, they are treated more like inanimate objects such as chairs or vehicles. While this might sound unethical, courts have struggled to handle this issue in a fair manner. Therefore, dogs and cats fall under the equitable distribution process. To determine who should retain ownership of the animal, courts may consider a range of factors. Perhaps most importantly, courts will consider who owned the pet prior to the marriage.
- What Can I Do if My Spouse is Hiding Crypto?
If you believe that your spouse is hiding assets using cryptocurrency, you should immediately raise this issue with your family law attorney in Colorado. Using various methods (and perhaps with help from a forensic accountant), you can trace the path of these assets and potentially uncover hidden funds in the form of cryptocurrency. This method is becoming increasingly common in the modern era – but it is far from perfect.
- What is Equitable Distribution in Colorado?
Equitable distribution is the system followed by Colorado. Under this system, courts consider a range of factors when dividing property in an effort to ensure a fair, equitable outcome. This is not the same as a community property system, in which both spouses always receive about 50% of total marital assets.
- Why is Colorado Considered a “No-Fault” Divorce State?
Colorado is considered a no-fault state when it comes to divorce because neither spouse is required to establish fault before moving forward with the legal process. In fact, Colorado is one of the few “true” no-fault states, as there is not even the option to pursue a fault-based divorce. The only possible route is to file for divorce based on irreconcilable differences.
Where Can I Find an Experienced Divorce Attorney in Colorado?
If you have been searching for a qualified divorce attorney in Loveland, look no further than Casey James Alexander. We know that most divorcing spouses have all kinds of important questions as they approach this daunting legal process. While you might be a little confused about your next step, a consultation with a divorce lawyer helps you clear up misunderstandings. Book your consultation with us today to move forward confidently and efficiently.