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Highlands Ranch Family Law Blog

A solid prenuptial agreement should be thorough; not heartless

In reality, even though marriage is supposed to be the happily ever after, it frequently ends in divorce. In order to emerge as financially intact as possible after divorce, it is recommended that the intended partners draft a solid prenuptial agreement. Colorado residents may discover that these contracts serve an invaluable purpose should a marriage dissolve.

Many people mistakenly associate a prenup with those who have considerable wealth at stake. However, even if an individual does not possess significant assets, a prenup can protect each partner from the other's debt obligations. Even if only one spouse carries a student loan burden, these are often distributed to the divorcing spouses in order to arrive at an equitable settlement. A carefully crafted marital contract can provide piece of mind that one will be protected from financial obligations contracted solely by the other party.

What are the financial topics to explore before a divorce?

In many relationships, one partner tends to earn more. Though these couples may assume that they share the same viewpoints on finances, they may later discover that they do not agree on key points. Colorado residents who are contemplating marriage or are concerned about how a divorce could impact them are encouraged to have a frank discussion about financial matters.

One of the first topics is the role each partner envisions for him or herself. If one will be the primary provider, what role will the other spouse fill and will these roles be switched -- especially if the couple intends to raise children? Many primary wage earners want their partners to take an active role in financial planning and decision-making. Those who do so are in a better position to understand their financial position in the event the marriage ends. Along with these discussions, the topic of  a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may be appropriate. 

Rate of military divorce filings appears to continue to drop

The stresses that active service members face are often incalculable. In many situations, it is understandable that a marriage falters under the demands of military life. However, the overall rate for military divorce filings has continued to decrease over the past decade. One of the factors that may lead to divorce for military families in Colorado is the psychological adjustments and loss of certain benefits when active duty ends.

According to 2018 figures, the divorce rate for military service members is approximately 3.0%. This number is a decrease of about 0.1% from 2017. However, this figure may not give an accurate picture since the numbers may be higher or lower based on the branch of service and marriage rates between males and females. When the data is examined based on female members, the rate is much higher at approximately 6.3%. If the rate is calculated based on enlisted men, then it drops to an estimated 2.6%

Tech companies provide apps that can ease divorce and custody

In today's on-line world, there are many technological applications that claim to make life easier. When it comes to divorce and co-parenting, it may feel impossible to communicate clearly without dragging children into the middle of parental conflicts. However, there are several apps that may make both divorce and sharing custody less stressful for many Colorado families.

There are several mobile apps that can help parents stay organized and in touch with a former spouse. These apps may be as simple as a calendar that may be downloaded and then shared with the other parent. These calendars make coordinating custody and school functions less complicated. Several of them include features that allow either parent to make modifications as needed and then shared with both parents and children. Some of the more sophisticated programs also include information that keeps track of child exchanges and whether a parent was on time. 

An attorney can help with divorce behind the scenes

In the current do-it-yourself society, many Colorado residents save money by working on a project themselves. While this may work for a variety of home improvement tasks, it is not recommended when seeking a divorce. Those who attempt the DIY approach run a serious risk of losing their rights to a fair settlement.

One of the biggest draws to a DIY project is the purported savings. However, for anyone who has found themselves knee-deep in a project, the end costs usually far outweigh any initial savings. This is even more true when it comes to legal matters. Trying to reach an agreement with a former spouse over such important matters as child custody or support may not be feasible. What is even worse is the fact that signing any agreements or settlements without being fully informed may make it impossible to seek a modification in the future.

Parents: Expect some unexpected childcare expenses after divorce

Once the ink is dry on a decree after the marriage is over, many parents think that life will eventually settle into a fairly predictable pattern. However, as every parent comes to know, children come with many unanticipated expenses. Even after a divorce, Colorado parents can expect to have to communicate with a former spouse over unexpected costs relating to their children.

Most child support orders try to cover all of the basic needs of a child, taking into account the parent's financial ability to meet certain obligations. Unfortunately, unexpected costs, such as music lessons or space camp, may catch parents off guard. In some cases, one parent may feel strongly that an activity or lesson is an unnecessary expense. In these cases, if the other parent is financially capable of bearing the costs, that may be a preferable solution. Dragging a parent back to court may wind up costing several times more than the proposed activity.

There are ways to minimize impact of divorce at work

The process of ending a marriage comes with tasks and emotions that must be handled during the course of one's regular duties. While it is impossible to keep one's personal and work lives completely separate, it is possible to reduce the impact of a divorce on the job. Colorado residents may wish to implement some strategies to minimize how much a divorce can affect the job.

Though one may wish to keep personal affairs completely separate from his or her professional life, a divorce makes this impractical. Try to arrange a schedule that allows for handling affairs in the least disruptive manner. One of the first suggestions is to set aside a time during the day when divorce business can be handled efficiently. During this time, phone calls and emails can be completed in order to streamline communications. Along with limiting communications, it is recommended that only those co-workers or partners who may need to be informed of the divorce are brought up to date early on.

A prenuptial agreement is an essential part of a marriage plan

It is estimated that more than one-third of marriages today will end in a divorce. In the past, only the wealthy or more prominent members of society would consider a prenuptial agreement an essential element in wedding plans. However, Colorado residents who are planning to marry are encouraged to consider the merits of drafting these important documents.

Couples may find that it is worth any discomfort a conversation about prenups may have initially caused. A well-drafted agreement will ensure that a couple can arrive at a mutually satisfactory settlement without the stress and fighting that often occurs during a divorce. Many family law attorneys are spending a considerable amount of their practice in drafting these contracts. They suggest that these agreements are drawn up shortly after the engagement commences so as to avoid allegations of coercion to sign.

Tax changes may affect significant impact on divorce settlements

There was much public debate over the proposed changes when Congress overhauled the tax laws last year. One of the biggest changes was the effect the new laws would have on divorce and the subject of alimony payments. Colorado residents who are preparing for a divorce are advised to take these tax changes into consideration since they may affect a settlement agreement.

Before the tax code was revised, those who were under court order to make alimony payments were permitted to deduct those monies from their income before taxes. Furthermore, spouses who received these payments were required to report them as taxable income. However, as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that took effect in January of this year, these payments are no longer tax deductible for the paying spouse. The recipient is also no longer required to count alimony as taxable income.

Divorce can lead to tendency not to discuss money problems

When things are going well in life, people want to share good news with friends and family. On the other hand, when there are difficulties in life, including a divorce, people are less inclined to be open to conversations about financial struggles. Colorado residents who are facing a divorce often worry about their personal finances.

A recent study revealed that people are less inclined to have discussions with family about financial difficulties, especially after a divorce. While it is healthy to have certain boundaries with family, not seeking help during a financial crisis may only may the situation worse, as the troubled individual may not have a clear focus on how to improve his or her situation. One of the reasons that people do not discuss their financial struggles is because they may feel ashamed for getting into a difficult financial position.

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