Colorado law is set up to protect the rights of all parties in a family law or divorce matter. Rights relating to personal safety and to a fair and equitable division of property, spousal support and custody of children are a few of the more important rights. Before filing a Petition for divorce or legal separation it is important for women to know their rights and responsibilities. While strides have been made in women’s rights, it is still common for the husband to earn more. As such, it is important that women know they have a right to request the following: Spousal Support (called “alimony” in some other jurisdictions):
Women have a right to request spousal support during a separation as well as throughout and after the divorce proceeding. She must provide financial documents to support her request for spousal support.
Parental Rights and Responsibilities (called child “custody” in some other jurisdictions)
Order of Protection (called “restraining orders” in some other jurisdictions)
A woman can request a protection order if she suffers from imminent threat of physical or emotional harm or stalking from a spouse.
Preservation of Assets
A woman can legally request relief to preserve assets from being spent or dissipated.
Although a woman can slow down the divorce, she does not have the legal right to stop it; unless her spouse is in agreement. It is important to note that a man also cannot stop a divorce if his spouse is not in agreement.
Pre-divorce preparation can be important in preserving assets. Before filing for divorce you may want to consider the following after consulting with a Colorado lawyer:
Gather and Secure all Financial Paperwork
The amount of information required for a divorce can seem overwhelming, so it makes sense to begin gathering all of it together as soon as possible. You will need to have a record of names, account numbers, addresses, and phone numbers for all of your assets and debts. Don't forget bank accounts, credit cards, loans, stocks and bonds, mortgages, and title information. It also helps to have tax statements for the last three years as well as all credit cards statements and payment information. If there is a business involved, get a copy of the tax records, assets, debts and general ledger. Other paperwork to make copies of are deeds, automobile documentation, prenuptial or antenuptial agreements, wills, and powers of attorney, trusts, inheritances, proof of gifts. Make photos or videos of personal property in the home and in safety deposit boxes. Photograph any valuable art, antiquities or collections. Make copies of appraisals or valuations of realty or personal property you feel has special value.
Understand Your Budget and Finances
Another consideration when preparing for a divorce is to keep a budget of your income and expenses. This will help provide documentation for determining the amount of support awarded, and will help you recognize what your financial needs will be after divorce. A useful form, called a Sworn Financial Statement, is available on the Colorado State Court website as JDF 1111 and JDF 1111S at the following link: http://www.courts.state.co.us/Forms/Forms_List.cfm?Form_Type_ID=108
Seek Legal Advice
Websites are not substitutes for advice from an experienced divorce attorney. Websites often contain information that may not be applicable to you. Law varies from time to time and from State to State. Sometimes Federal laws may override State law. Rarely can a website be updated often enough to keep up with changes in the law. Protect yourself by consulting a qualified Colorado family law attorney. At the law offices of Lynn Landis-Brown, P.C., we limit our practice to family law matters and have the experience to assist you;