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Boulder County Divorce Law Blog

Dealing with the division of business assets when divorcing

Coloradans going through a divorce will have many considerations to think about as the case moves forward. For those who were involved in a family-owned business, the division of the business assets can be complicated and difficult. Since this property often has significant value, having legal assistance from the beginning is one of the most critical factors in reaching an acceptable resolution.

From the start, the parties must think about their goals. If one does not want to continue involvement with the business, then it might be better to let the other spouse buy out their share. To do this effectively, it is critical to know how much the business is worth. This can be achieved through a third-party appraisal. Next, there are three basic alternatives. The alternatives are: one spouse retaining the business; both retaining the business; or both selling the business.

How does voluntary unemployment impact spousal support?

When there is a divorce in Colorado, spousal support will inevitably be an important part of the case. The paying spouse will be obligated to pay a certain amount to the receiving spouse. This is contingent on many factors including how much the receiving spouse needs to maintain the same lifestyle as he or she had during the marriage and how much the paying spouse can afford to pay while maintaining his or her own needs.

For some spouses who are supposed to be receiving spousal support and some who are paying it, it is a concern if the other person is voluntarily underemployed or unemployed. Knowing how this type of circumstance is handled is important. When there is a determination that a person is voluntarily underemployed at a job that does not fit in with their skills, abilities and potential compensation, or a person is unemployed because he or she is not actively seeking work, it will impact how the spousal support is calculated.

Lack of financial disclosure in divorce could mean hidden assets

In Colorado, when a couple is divorcing, finances are a key issue and often end up in dispute. This is true whether it is a high asset divorce or not.

For many, the trust in the relationship has eroded to the degree that each side believes the other might be engaging in financial sleight of hand and is trying to hide accounts and assets. When this is a concern, it is important to have legal advice to assess the financial circumstances and locate the money, wherever it may be.

Men are frequently blindsided by the decision to divorce

Divorce in Colorado is often portrayed as a rising crescendo of negative events and issues during a marriage that ultimately results in a parting of the ways. However, just as relationships will differ, so too will the reasons for a dispute that leads to the couple deciding to divorce. For men who are informed by their wives that they want a divorce, it can come without warning. Knowing what signs to look for when there is a chance of divorce is an opportunity to perhaps save the marriage. But if that is not possible, it is a chance to be prepared for that which will come to the forefront during the divorce and to seek advice from a lawyer.

Even with the number of divorces across the nation reducing, up to 45 percent of marriages will fail. In as many as 80 percent of divorces, the woman is the initiator of the divorce proceeding. Obviously, infidelity is a deal-breaker for many. A lack of attention from husband to wife about foundational aspects such as helping around the house is also a problem. Boredom plays a role in a significant number of divorces. Studies indicate that when couples take part in therapy to solve their differences, it is discovered that women can be dissatisfied in the marriage and men are unhappy over the wife's dissatisfaction. Apart from that, men are fine with the situation as it is.

How to handle business assets in a Colorado divorce

Most Colorado divorces will have their ups and downs, but when property division is a factor because there are business concerns, it can turn into an extended dispute. Since owning and building a business frequently takes a lifetime of hard work and support, it is natural that the spouse who might not have started the business will want to receive an equitable division. In some cases, it was a family business that both parties played a significant role in. No matter the situation, understanding how to handle these issues is critical and a legal firm experienced in dividing business assets can help.

Most couples will want to be fair when dividing a business in a divorce. Still, it is important to be protected. One spouse might have run the business while the other took care of the home and children. Each side will have made legitimate sacrifices to create a successful business. When divorcing, it is wise to have protections in place to serve as a shield for the worst-case scenario and ensure the situation works out reasonably.

What if there is a failure to adhere to a parenting time order?

Parenting time is one of the most important aspects of a family law case post-divorce in Colorado. While most parents will adhere to the parenting time order and make certain the noncustodial parent has the time he or she is supposed to have with the child, there are still situations in which a dispute will arise. If a parent fails to comply with the parenting time order and the court has proof that it has occurred, there are certain steps it will take to rectify the situation. For those facing this issue, having legal assistance can help to settle the matter.

Following the hearing, when the court determines that there has been a failure to comply with the visitation schedule or a court order was violated, the best interests of the child will be considered and an order will be given that might include added terms and conditions that are in line with the prior order unless the court separates child support and parenting time and does not link the two. It can also have an order that modifies the prior order to serve the child's best interests.

What is the advisory guideline for maintenance in Colorado?

One of the most common concerns for a Colorado couple when they divorce is how much spousal maintenance - also referred to as alimony or spousal support - will be paid from one spouse to the other. There are many factors that are considered when determining how much maintenance will be. The basics such as how marital property was allocated, what the financial situation and lifestyle was during the marriage, and more are part of the process. For some, however, there is the need to think about other considerations.

The advisory guideline amount and term of maintenance should be considered when the circumstances call for it. For this to be a factor, the marriage must have lasted for a minimum of three years and the combined income - annual adjusted gross - cannot go beyond $240,000. If these criteria are met, the court will have additional written and oral findings as to the duration of the marriage, the advisory guideline amount and the term of maintenance.

Common mistakes made during the divorce process

When Colorado couples decide to end their marriage, it is not a choice they take lightly. The litany of issues that sparked the marriage coming undone will have reached a point where they can no longer ignore them and hope they get better. While some marriages are rife with dispute and others are more agreeable, there are certain factors that can be exceedingly costly during the process. When getting a divorce, it makes sense to recognize these mistakes that others have made and take steps to avoid them.

It is natural for people to seek ways to vent about their situation. One common place where this happens is social media. Often, people will say negative things about a spouse during the divorce process. If, for example, there are financial concerns, going into detail about spending on various items with people on social media will likely be spotted by the other spouse and their legal representative and can be used as evidence in the case. Other circumstances include a simple failure to adhere to the basics like providing the necessary paperwork. Documentation of accounts, earnings, ownership papers and receipts should be saved and organized.

Founder of prominent website in high asset divorce with wife

People in Colorado and across the nation who seem to "have it all" with wealth and all the benefits of being a high-profile couple can experience marital strife. For many, this will result in a divorce. A high asset divorce has different concerns for the parties and these must be mitigated as the process moves forward. Even in cases where the couple proclaims their friendship and that they plan to avoid rancor and dispute in any part of the process can suddenly face concerns and struggles as the process moves forward. Even those who are of lesser means can take lessons from a high asset divorce.

The founder and largest shareholder of Amazon.com, Jeff Bezos, is divorcing his wife. The couple's marriage lasted 25 years and they worked together to build the prominent company from one that began in a garage and is now a worldwide giant worth hundreds of billions of dollars. Mr. Bezos is widely viewed as the world's richest person. The couple had separated for a trial period. They then announced their split on social media in an announcement they both signed. They stated their intention to stay friends.

The complexities of sentimental items with marital property

In a Colorado divorce, the main issues that must be navigated generally involve support of a former spouse and children. Property division will also come to the forefront. Much of that involves tangible items about which it is relatively easy to formulate a monetary value. This can include motor vehicles, residential properties, investment properties and businesses. Other items are not so easy to assess. That includes collectibles, artwork and more. When couples are in dispute during their divorce and are unsure of how to value and adequately split properties in this category, legal help is vital.

People who collect artwork will do so for a variety of reasons. Whether it is due to personal aesthetics, the potential value, or a combination makes it a difficult aspect to gauge when the couple decides to part ways. If one spouse has an inherent knowledge of artwork and what it is worth, the other spouse will inevitably need help from an experienced attorney who can retain experts to accurately calculate its value so there can be an equitable division. Simply because one spouse is not well-versed in how to value art does not mean he or she should not benefit if the property was purchased or gifted to both during the marriage.