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Divorce Law Blog

Ashley Madison hack could spur divorce filings

As news of the Ashley Madison hack spreads, many spouses in Colorado are wondering if their partner is among the millions of people whose information was stored on the site. Ashley Madison has made a thriving business out of offering clients an online means of connecting with partners for the purpose of conducting an affair. A group called The Impact Team hacked into the site and has now released information that identifies nearly 39 million individuals who signed up for that service. That information could lead to a short-term spike in the number of divorce filings in coming months.

For spouses who are concerned about whether their partner has participated in efforts to seek an affair, it is important to tread carefully. Many spouses will rush to check one of the many websites that have emerged to see if their husband or wife has used Ashley Madison or a similar site, and will confront their partner with any information recovered. This may not be the best course of action, however.

Building your divorce Dream Team

The process of moving through divorce is filled with a seemingly endless list of tasks that must be accomplished and choices that must be made. In order to reach the best possible settlement, Colorado spouses must make the choices that suit their needs and goals. This can more difficult than it sounds, and most spouses will benefit from having a team of professionals in place to help guide the overall divorce process.

Building one's divorce team begins with selecting an attorney to handle the legal aspects of the end of the marriage. It is important to choose an attorney who shares one's overall approach to divorce. For example, spouses who want to pursue a collaborative divorce would be a poor fit for an attorney who is known for his or her hard-line negotiating tactics and penchant for litigation.

Retirement savings factor into the division of marital assets

It is often the case that spouses in Colorado and elsewhere hold a number of misconceptions concerning the property division process. One of the most common involves the access that both spouses have to retirement savings. This is a topic that deserves close attention, since an unbalanced division of marital assets can have a number of negative consequences and can even prohibit an individual from retiring at the desired age.

When the bulk of retirement savings comes from the employment of one spouse, that spouse often feels as though he or she is the only party that should be able to retain those assets. In reality, however, retirement savings that were accumulated within a marriage are subject to division within divorce. The basis for this fact is the idea that the results of the joint effort of a married couple belongs to both spouses.

Win for family facing child custody battle with state

For parents in Colorado or elsewhere, few things are more stressful than interaction with the state's child protective services department. While social workers do a great deal of good work for communities and families across the nation, there are instances in which they simply fail to get it right. That appears to be the case for one family where accusations of child abuse have led to a child custody case in which a father's parental rights were challenged.

The case began when a father was holding his 11-week-old baby daughter on his lap. When the child began to slide off, her father acted quickly to prevent her from hitting a nearby coffee table, stopping her slide by catching the baby's face. The family sought medical treatment to ensure that the baby was not harmed, and the medical staff found evidence of bleeding between the infant's brain and skull.

Addressing credit matters during a high asset divorce

Many Colorado couples have achieved a high level of success during the course of their marriage and will have significant assets to divide during any divorce. Even so, it is not uncommon for one or both spouses to neglect their credit standing during a marriage. This can result in serious problems when the time comes to move forward and obtain lines of credit in one's own name after a divorce is finalized.

Some spouses believe that they have no need to establish or maintain a high credit score due to the fact that they will receive significant assets during the property division portion of their divorce. In reality, however, having poor or no credit can make it difficult to obtain new accounts after a divorce is made final. It can also impede one's ability to find a good job, as many employers check credit scores prior to making a hiring decision.

Domestic violence and divorce: Enough is enough

For many Colorado spouses, marriage has not proven to be all that one hoped and dreamed that it might be. Often, a situation can worsen in incremental amounts over a period of time, leaving a spouse completely shocked when an incident causes he or she to step back and evaluate the union. While there are a number of marital disappointments that can be addressed through hard work and counseling, domestic violence is an example of a fatal flaw within a marriage.

Once a spouse experiences an act of domestic violence, all focus should be turned toward removing oneself and one's children from the household. This, however, is rarely the reality, and most spouses who suffer from domestic violence will go through a great many struggles, both internally and externally, before they make the decision to leave. For many, fears about the future will keep them mired in a marriage that is not healthy or safe.

Prenups can simplify division of marital assets

For many Colorado couples, the decision to enter into a prenuptial agreement makes solid financial sense. These marital contracts are becoming far more common than in decades past, and couples find them to be a wise financial planning tool, regardless of their level of wealth upon entering into marriage. While many who draft a prenup will never need to call that document into action, having one in place can greatly simplify the division of marital assets in the event that the union ends in divorce.

When drafting a prenuptial agreement, it is important that both parties fully disclose the range of their assets. If assets are left out of this disclosure process, the entire agreement could be challenged in court. The only way that an individual can enter into a legal contract that cedes his or her interest in certain assets is to know the full scope of what they are dealing with. If assets are left out or intentionally hidden during this process, the entire contract can be thrown out of court.

Should collaborative divorce be legislated?

Another state is currently struggling with issues related to how attorneys serve their clients during divorce. A bill is expected to be introduced to legislators later this year concerning collaborative divorce, and debate is rising on whether the matter requires legislation. Should the bill be passed into law, divorce attorneys who enter into a collaborative divorce process would be prohibited from shifting into a traditionally litigated approach if the collaborative process fails. As it stands, couples in Colorado and all other states have the ability to pursue a collaborative divorce.

Collaboration within divorce is a simple matter; spouses agree to work together to resolve the details of their split, without taking the matter before a court of law. For parents, this approach can pave the way toward a positive and productive co-parenting relationship. Collaboration can be a far faster, simpler and less costly path to the end of a marriage, but it requires the commitment and active participation of both parties.

Compartmentalizing can ease divorce woes

When faced with the end of a marriage, many Colorado spouses have a hard time coming to terms with the changes ahead. Divorce can be a hectic time, and spouses are asked to provide a great deal of information to their attorneys. They must also spend a significant portion of time discussing the marriage and the cause of the pending divorce. This can all take an emotional toll, and individuals who do not establish strong coping mechanisms can face a difficult time as the divorce process moves forward.

For many spouses, the process of compartmentalization can be a powerful tool for attaining stability during a tumultuous divorce. Compartmentalizing involves the intentional structuring of time in which all divorce activities will take place. Outside of those time parameters, spouses make a commitment to avoid letting the details of their divorce take over their thought process or other activities.

Behavior patterns that might predict divorce

A great deal of research within the social sciences is directed at learning more about interpersonal relationships, and especially matters related to marriage and divorce. One researcher has studied the behavior patterns that couples engage in that most often lead to divorce. Both patterns relate to how a couple deals with conflict, but the two approaches sit at opposite ends of the emotional spectrum. For Colorado spouses who recognize one of these patterns within their own marriage, it may be time to consider taking action to strengthen the marital bond.

The first pattern of behavior involves becoming mired in a cycle of negativity. This occurs when an issue leads to a high level of contention between spouses, but the matter is never properly resolved. The spouses begin to relate to one another in a negative manner, and their relationship begins to spiral downward. For many, it is virtually impossible to climb out of the negative cycle and repair the damage that has been done to the marriage.

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