You may have heard that Colorado is a “no-fault” divorce state, but does that mean that one spouse can’t use any information they have against the other during a divorce in Colorado? Actually, a no-fault divorce means only that you don’t need evidence of wrongdoing such as adultery or abandonment in order to file for divorce, something once required in the past.
In Colorado today, the only grounds needed for divorce is the assertion that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” But when it comes to the final divorce agreement, there are a number of behaviors that can be used against you in judgments over important matters such as the division of marital assets, child custody, child support, and spousal support.
Don’t Hide Assets During Financial Disclosure
Dividing marital assets and property during a divorce is always one of the biggest points of contention. No one relishes the idea of a judge deciding who gets what assets and debts in a divorce or having to hand property and bank accounts over to a contentious spouse. In response, some divorcing spouses attempt to hide assets in the following ways:
- Taking out large cash withdrawals
- Buying expensive items like cars and jewelry with cash so they can resell them later
- Paying large amounts to family members to hold for them while claiming they owed the relative money from a past loan
- Delaying due bonuses, salary, invoices, and commissions until after the divorce
- Creating custodial accounts for children
Any of these actions are easily identifiable as attempts to hide assets and can come with a contempt of court charges and possible penalties, such as orders to give a greater percentage of assets to the spouse and an order to pay the spouse’s Denver divorce attorney fees.
Sudden Extraordinary Spending or Dissipation of Assets
In response to an upcoming order to divide assets, some spouses react by trying to spend as much of what they think of as “their” money before having to split it with a spouse with whom they’re no longer on good terms. If you’re suddenly taking expensive vacations, buying expensive designer clothes, making unnecessarily large business expenditures, or going on gambling sprees, this could be used against you in several ways. You could be faced with a contempt charge or a judge could react by raising the amount of spousal support you’ll have to pay to your ex-spouse since it appears you’ve been enjoying a lavish lifestyle.
Your Text Messages, Emails, and Social Media Posts
If you’ve sent verbally abusive or violently threatening messages to a spouse, bragged about hiding or spending assets in an email, or sent texts threatening to prevent a spouse from seeing their children, these messages and emails can be used against you during important matters of contention in court, as can social media posts showing a spouse on expensive vacations or enjoying spending sprees with a new relationship.
Conversely, a lack of texts or emails can also be used against a spouse who fails to respond to the other parent about important child-related matters. For example, if one spouse refuses to answer the other’s texts when they relate to picking up or dropping off children, children’s schedules, and important matters of child safety, health, education, and extra-curricular activities. Showing a lack of willingness to communicate on important parental matters may be used against you when it comes to deciding on custody, visitation, and parenting time.
Dating During Divorce
It’s natural to think about moving forward with a new relationship or going on to enjoy dating after a divorce, but when divorcing co-parents begin new relationships too soon—such as before the divorce is final—they not only expose children to something they’re likely not ready for but also, a new relationship comes into play when a judge decides on parenting time, custody, and visitation matters. If a divorcing parent is in a relationship, the background of the new person introduced into the family dynamics may come into play in these decisions.
Keeping Cool Heads
Despite the distressing and often combative emotions you might feel during a divorce, it’s important to keep a cool head and remember that acting out of spite or in the heat of the moment can lead to regrettable decisions that only make matters more difficult during a time when it would be beneficial to make things as painless as possible for everyone involved.