Most people work their entire lives to build up their wealth, save for the future and then enjoy their retirement years without having to worry about where their money will come from. When they plan for the future some Colorado residents are able to build significant nest eggs that can not only allow them to maintain their standards of living but also enjoy the freedom that comes with retirement without employment. A well-planned retirement strategy can withstand many financial storms but one legal issue can hit a person's accumulated wealth like a Category 5 hurricane: divorce.
There is no formula that a person can use to determine if their marriage will withstand the test of time. Couples from all social and economic backgrounds file for divorce in Colorado each and every year and each couple brings with it to court the unique challenges that pushed their marriages to their ends.
Though divorces are rarely considered easy, some divorces proceed with fewer complications than others. A divorce between individuals who have not had children and who have not comingled their assets may be completed with fewer negotiations and disagreements than one where custody, support, and property division battles are likely to occur between the divorcing parties. The presence of money and significant assets does not necessarily mean that a divorce will be hard, but often, Colorado residents who enjoy lucrative lifestyles may find that there are challenges in identifying and dividing their property.
Often, individuals may consider if and how they should pass along gifts of money or property to those loved ones who will outlive them. When a Colorado resident receives money or property during the probate process, it is considered an inheritance. Although particular facts and circumstances may shift an inheritance from the sole property of an individual to the marital property of a couple, inheritances generally are considered separate property when it comes to dividing property during a divorce.
Keeping a marriage together can take a lot of work and while only the partners to each ending marriage know exactly why their union must dissolve, it is important to remember that a divorce can strike relationships between individuals of all socioeconomic levels. In fact, while money can be a factor that causes stress and concern, some Colorado marriages may be a factor that brings down other committed marital unions.
As previously discussed on this divorce and family law blog, Colorado recognizes the common law and equitably divides property between divorcing parties. While a party generally will keep the separate property that they acquire before and during their marriage, they will see their marital property divided in a manner that the courts deem fair and equitable.
Beginning shortly after Thanksgiving, Colorado residents may have noticed an increase in jewelry commercials airing during their favorite primetime shows. Many of those commercials featured happy couples sharing special moments that ended with proposals of marriage and gleeful acceptances capped off with the placing of rings on the women's fingers. The holidays are a popular time for the partners to couples to solidify their commitments to each other and prepare for marriage. Less well known, though, is that the holidays are also a time when many couples choose to end their marriages.
Most folks in Colorado have probably heard horror stories of wealthy couples in divorce court. Recriminations and back-and-forth allegations can abound, and many suspect that each spouse is simply trying to grab as big a slice of the marital property as possible. Recently, however, the marriage of one high-profile couple hit the headlines not for any acrimony involved in their divorce but rather the apparent harmony.
Not too long ago, this blog discussed the property division process in Colorado. It was pointed out that marital property in the Centennial State is subject to equitable division in a divorce. Sharp-eyed readers may have noticed that this suggests there may be property that is not considered marital property. This property is usually called separate property, and in Colorado, it is not subject to equitable division in a divorce.