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A retirement account could be part of a divorce settlement

A marriage is often expected to provide a framework for two people to work together in order to achieve a comfortable standard of living. When a divorce becomes reality, couples may find themselves struggling to maintain the lifestyle they once enjoyed. That makes it even more important for a Colorado spouse to take a thorough assessment of what assets may be subject to division.

Many companies offer a retirement savings account as a benefit for its employees. These accounts, often comprised of a 401(k) account, are intended to help an employee build a comfortable nest egg for retirement. In general, these accounts are not eligible for reassignment to anyone other than the worker for whom it was opened. However, in the case of a divorce, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 and the Internal Revenue laws do make an exception for a spouse in the event of a divorce.

Property division and divorce in Colorado

Every state has its own approach when writing its laws concerning the dissolution of marriage and the division of assets between the spouses. When it comes to divorce and the ensuing property division, a state is either a community property or equitable distribution state, with most falling into the equitable distribution category. Colorado is an equitable distribution state.

An equitable distribution state does not automatically assume that any property or assets gained during a marriage is owned equally by the former spouses. In this type of divorce, a court will attempt to divide property and assets in a fair manner so that each spouse receives an equitable portion of an asset or the cash value of such. In Colorado -- and in the majority of equitable distribution states -- the court will look at the contribution of each partner to the marriage.

There are key financial considerations in a military divorce

Choosing to serve one's country through military service is not a decision to be taken lightly. The same decision process applies when a marriage is entered into or when that same relationship is no longer viable. Though a military divorce in Colorado is not radically different from a civilian dissolution, there are some key differences.

The majority of these differences surround the issues relating to benefits. For the most part, the federal government desires that issues relating to child custody and divorce are guided by the statutes of the particular state the military member resides in during the divorce process. This matter is addressed by the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act, specifically when it deals with retirement pay and how it is to be divided. Furthermore, this Act allows the states to treat retirement pay as property rather than income.

The high cost of a DUI conviction in Colorado

If you face a driving under the influence charge in Colorado, you can expect the penalties associated with a conviction to vary based on factors such as whether it is your first offense, among others. Even first-time offenders face considerable penalties, however, and the Colorado Department of Transportation reports that the average cost of a first-time DUI conviction now tops $10,000.

A DUI conviction may impact your life in other ways, too, in addition to the financial hardship. You may, depending on your situation, lose your job, or you may find that your family or personal relationships suffer as a result. You may also experience emotional challenges stemming from the incident, particularly if you injure someone. Even if you do not directly cause harm to another, the financial repercussions can still be severe.

Getting help when domestic violence is part of the picture

Relationships are often difficult enough, especially when they are nearing the end. As a result of the elevated stress and emotional levels, the threat of domestic violence will sometimes become a factor. Colorado families do not have to face these situations on their own.

Often times, the words domestic abuse conjures up images of battered women who have been beaten with their children hiding behind them. However, domestic abuse can take much more subtle forms. A partner can restrict access to financial assets or use other forms of intimidation that does not leave any physical marks but still has the effect of controlling the one who is the target. Furthermore, there are certainly situations that could lead to physical harm, and all of these forms of abuse can be prevented with assistance.

Do you have a good exit plan for leaving your spouse?

If you can see the writing on the wall and know without a doubt that your marriage is about to end, you need to consider your options. You could let the situation become tense, stressful and chaotic, or you could put together a sound exit plan that becomes operational when the time comes to broach the subject of divorce.

The better you plan, the better your position will be following the divorce. Here are some items to consider when putting your exit plan together.

There are steps to take to financially survive a divorce

Oftentimes, when two people decide to marry, they have financial goals in mind that they envision accomplishing together. When those plans go awry due to a divorce, it may be a serious financial hardship for many. There are steps that Colorado families can take that may help shore up their monetary futures.

One of the first areas to look at both during and after a divorce, may be what living arrangement will be the best option. Though it may have sentimental value, the former family home may no longer be affordable due to a possible financial setback. It may also be beneficial to make other budgetary cuts where prudent. One helpful tool may be a diary that can reflect the progress one makes while rebuilding a solid financial position.

Father who was arrested involved in ongoing child custody case

For parents, one of the hardest issues to resolve after a relationship ends may be deciding with whom the children should primarily reside. The majority of the time, these child custody battles can be settled through mediation and the family courts. Every state has its own guidelines, and Colorado is no exception.

Recently, one such dispute may have been the catalyst behind an Amber Alert and an in-depth search for a father and his two children. He was purportedly camping with the two girls, aged 7 and 6. When the mother was unable to communicate with him, she contacted officials in her jurisdiction. At the time, the authorities claimed they did not have sufficient evidence that a crime was committed in order to issue a formal alert for the children.

Are you getting divorced? Remember to document

In the stress of a divorce, it's easy to lose track of important details. Ask attorneys about the most common mistakes made by people going through divorce, and one of the main answers is forgetting to document.

Documentation is important in divorce for several reasons. One of its most crucial features is how it can provide validity for controversial claims.

Ensuring you receive an equitable share during a Colorado divorce

The process of dissolving your marriage can take a toll on you both emotionally and financially. In the event of a divorce, ensuring that you receive an equitable share of the assets may feel like a difficult proposition. Even though Colorado divorce laws require a fair division of marital property, it may be subjective as to what equitable will mean to you.

You may worry that the dissolution of your marriage will leave you with little to show for the time and resources you invested in your marriage. There are many decisions you will make as you set about rebuilding a life on your own. Worries about whether you will have enough to succeed may keep you up at night. If there are considerable assets or a business involved, then it may be even more important that a court take all of your input into consideration.

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