The standard of living you have achieved since you got married may be enviable, but the state of your marriage is not. Since you and your spouse have decided to divorce, you may be concerned that you will be left struggling to make ends meet despite the plentiful assets you and your spouse have shared.
As you prepare to begin the process of divorcing, you may be overwhelmed with the whole situation. You may even feel tempted to sit back, let it run its course and hope for the best. However, without careful planning, you may quickly regret your decision not to stand up for what is rightfully yours.
Knowing your financial footing
You may not even be fully aware of the quantity or value of your marital assets. In a state like Colorado where assets are divided equitably (not necessarily equally), it is important to know what assets belong to the marriage and what may belong separately to you or your spouse.
You will also need to know how much debt you and your spouse have. It may surprise you to know that, even if your spouse incurred the debt alone, you may still be liable for any loans or credit obtained during your marriage. Having as much documentation as possible will give you a more accurate picture of your situation. Divorce counselors recommend gathering and reviewing the following:
- Bank statements
- Brokerage statements
- Retirement statements
- Credit accounts
- Real estate documents
- Income statements
- Loan papers
- Documentation for other assets
It may help to run a credit report for yourself to ensure you are aware of any debt for which creditors may hold you liable. In addition, it is important to understand that not all assets are equal. Some may have serious tax ramifications that could offset any financial gain during asset division.
How do I know I am getting my fair share?
While it is possible - and even desirable - to negotiate with your spouse, the fact is that couples with substantial assets tend to bring conflict to their divorces. This is why choosing your divorce attorney carefully is important.
You want an advocate who is dedicated to doing whatever is necessary to ensure the best outcome for you. The right lawyer for you will have the skills and resources to assess your circumstances and take the appropriate steps to protect your interests and help ensure your financial future is secure.