Dissolution of marriage cases can be complicated. Colorado law on property division, spousal support, child support, parental responsibilities and related issues are not easy for just anyone to understand.
Representing owners of equity interests in non-public companies is particularly complex and challenging because of the problems associated with valuing the interest for dissolution of marriage purposes.
Just because one spouse earns more than another does not mean the Court will award attorney fees. As with everything else in dissolution of marriage actions, whether or not a Court will find lack of parity depends upon the facts in each case.
Colorado is currently one of two “un-custody” states in the United States. Instead of deciding “custody” of minor children, Colorado courts decide “parental responsibility” orders that determine how decisions are made for children and what parenting time each parent will have.
Colorado has a two-step process to divide property in Dissolution of Marriage cases. Before an analysis of how to divide property can be done in Colorado, the first step is to make a determination of exactly “What is property?”
Colorado uses an “income shares” model that determines presumptive child support orders based upon the gross (before tax) incomes of the parties, the number of children, the number of overnights the children have with either parent and the division of responsibility each parent has to pay certain “extraordinary” expenses.
Dissolution of marriage cases involving high net worth families are subject to the same rules and statutory limitations are cases with fewer assets. However, the complexity of high net worth cases makes it critical that a party have legal counsel and supporting experts with sufficient experience to understand and organize the property and related issues.
It is increasingly common for people contemplating marriage to want a prenuptial agreement. In 2013, Colorado passed a new statue governing prenuptial agreements which became effective on July 1, 2014. This statute codifies what is necessary in the way of financial disclosures and other procedural requirements for a marital agreement to be valid in Colorado.
Everyone considering a separation or dissolution of marriage should spend some time consulting with an experienced family law attorney to find out what is involved and what the issues are likely to be in your case.