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Preparing financially for divorce

Colorado couples who are contemplating divorce must think about how to secure themselves financially. The first step is for them to understand both the family finances and their needs. The former means listing family assets and their value and ownership. This includes pension plans and other retirement accounts as well as stock options. The next step is identifying expenses. This may include a range from the bare bones amount needed to survive along to a more generous budget. Each person must consider their own income. People who have not been working outside the home may need to be more concerned about asset division and might also need to focus on finding a job.

The two individuals must next negotiate property division. In some cases, this may be done according to a person's needs. For example, one person might need more immediate access to cash flow, so it might make more sense for that person to take the savings account and the other to take stock investments. A divorce agreement should cover any ongoing financial arrangements and responsibility for transferring accounts among other things.

After a divorce, people should conduct another review of their affairs to check that they have removed their former spouse as a beneficiary on accounts or life insurance policies. Updating the estate plan might also be necessary.

In a high-asset divorce, the division of assets may be particularly complex. There may be a prenuptial agreement that one party wishes to challenge. One person might attempt to hide assets, or the couple may own a business together. However, even when the financial stakes are high, couples may find a way to negotiate a solution with their respective attorneys rather than going to court. This can be a less expensive and more satisfying path to resolution than litigation in many cases.

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