Couples who are working through divorce in Colorado and who also have 401(k) accounts may be surprised to learn that their spouses may be entitled to a percentage of the account balance. The portion of 401(k) accounts that accrued during the marriage are considered to be marital property subject to equitable property division in divorce proceedings.
In a Colorado divorce, marital property will be equitably divided between the two spouses. An equitable division is not necessarily equal. Rather, equitable division means that the division of property will be fair.
Property Division starts with the Colorado Uniform Dissolution of Marriage Act
When spouses divorce in Colorado, an agreement must be made about how property should be divided between the two parties. If spouses are unable to come to an agreement, a judge will make a ruling about property division.
A primary concern in all types of divorce is the classification of property and its division. This process can be more complex in high-asset divorces as well as marriages that began later in life, but asset division is a common factor in most divorce agreements. Jefferson County courts are required to craft an equitable division of assets, excluding non-marital property, when divorcing parties cannot reach an acceptable agreement.
In a complicated divorce case, it may be wise to have a forensic accountant to go through the financial records of the other spouse. Even in an amicable divorce, there may be assets such as a closely held business or stock options that may be difficult to put a dollar value on. There are times when a forensic accountant may need to hire a specialist to help with his or her work.
Colorado spouses who receive inheritances or large monetary gifts before or during their marriage should know that they can take steps to protect those assets if they ever get divorced. In general, gifts or inheritances that are given to one spouse individually are protected from division during divorce. However, there are exceptions.
When a Colorado couple gets divorced, they split up their property in one of two ways. The first way is for the couple to decide on their own how property is divided. However, this scenario may not be possible if the couple that is getting divorced is not on good terms. When an agreement cannot be reached, community property might be split in a way that is equitable to a judge while property acquired before the marriage remains in the hands of its owner.
Michael Moore, familiar to Colorado movie fans as the director of such satirical documentaries as "Roger and Me", plans to bring two high-powered executives into the courtroom as witnesses in his divorce litigation from his wife of 23 years, Kathleen Glynn. Glynn was a producer of several of Moore's documentaries. Ari Emanuel is Moore's film agent and Mort Janklow is the literary agent for several of Moore's books, including 'Stupid White Men" and 'Downsize This! Random Threats from an Unarmed American." The two men can give testimony as to Moore's earnings, and it is speculated they will testify favorably against Glynn in the high asset divorce proceedings in recounting how she damaged Moore's reputation squandering millions of dollars in marital assets by building an expensive vacation home.
Divorce may be a somewhat common occurrence in Denver, but this does not mean that there are variations between cases. While many divorcing couples face similar legal issues, such as property division in a high-asset divorce, there are cases in which contextual matters will persuade a judge to make an atypical decision.
While many Denver couples enter into marriage believing they will last forever, the unfortunate reality is that sometimes divorces are necessary. When this occurs, untangling marital property that two people have accrued together can be lengthy and emotionally wearying. Those who are considering a divorce may wish to draw on the advice of legal, financial and mediation professionals to help them understand the mental and emotional impact of dividing marital property.