HOW SHOULD YOU APPROACH PROPERTY DIVISION IN A DIVORCE?
Feb. 21, 2019
When a couple in Colorado decides to end their marriage, they may feel like they are on an emotional roller-coaster. Their lives will be changed forever following the divorce, and, while they may be relieved to leave an unhappy marriage, they do not want to walk away from the process short-changed, particularly when it comes to property division. However, there are some ways that couples can make the division of assets easier, leading to a resolution that is satisfactory to all involved.
Property division can be an emotional process, but, as is the case with many of life’s difficulties, it is important not to sweat the small stuff. While some assets will certainly have sentimental value, spouses should determine what they are willing to fight for and what they are willing to let go. It is usually not worthwhile to fight about every single asset, especially if the issue must be litigated; a judge will make decisions based on equity, not on how emotionally attached a spouse is to a piece of property.
Sometimes, however, couples are unable to come to an agreement on their own regarding property division. When this happens, it may help to mediate the issue. A mediator is a neutral third-party who facilitates conversations between the spouses on issues. The mediator is not a decision-maker, although an agreed-upon settlement reached through mediation can be submitted to the court to make it binding. Spouses can still be represented by an attorney during the mediation process, and some states require spouses to mediate their issues before turning to litigation.
Finally, it may be tempting to try to hide assets, to keep them for yourself. Each spouse must make known all their assets and debts in the property division process. Failing to do so can lead to undesirable penalties. And, most divorce attorneys are experienced in uncovering hidden assets, so trying to circumvent the process will likely fail.
In the end, keeping a cool head and striving for fairness can ease the property division process. Divorce issues have the potential to be thorny, but couples who can work out their differences out of court may be more satisfied with the outcome. Working with attorneys and mediators can help avoid the expense and stress of litigation.