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Taking control of finances when you decide to divorce

For many couples in Colorado, the decision to divorce is one that comes after a lot of consideration and soul searching. Because most people spend time considering divorce before asking for one, spouses should consider divorce-related financial issues before separating.

One area of primary importance is for each spouse to document his or her financial situation. This includes recording information about joint and singularly-held bank, investment and credit accounts. Spouses should make scans of statements, promissory notes and other important financial documents and store them in a secure place. These documents may be necessary when negotiating the divorce.

When possible, spouses should close any joint financial accounts. The reason for this is simple; neither spouse wants to be responsible for debts racked up during the divorce. Similarly, it's important for the spouses to separate other funds, such as savings, checking and investments. Doing this now helps to provide a clean break for both parties.

Spouses should also be aware that things may not always be as they seem at the time that they decide to get divorced. There is a risk, for example, that a spouse has taken on a significant amount of debt that he or she has not disclosed. There is also the issue of hidden assets. In some cases, spouses stash funds and investments in secret accounts in hopes of being able to end the marriage without sharing these assets.

Many people may find that it is a good idea to speak with a lawyer before or at the time of asking for divorce. A lawyer can advocate for the client to ensure that he or she receives a fair settlement and is not subjected to any unpleasant surprises during or after the divorce proceedings. The attorney can also address issues such as child custody and ongoing financial issues, such as insurance payments and the eventual division of retirement assets.

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Cooper, Tanis & Armas, P.C.
42 Garden Center
Broomfield, CO 80020