Property division is one of the most impactful aspects of any divorce. In fact, for couples without minor children, the division of marital assets often takes more time to negotiate than any other issue. In order for Colorado spouses to reach a fair and equitable division of wealth, it is essential to understand the full range of marital assets.

Before property division negotiations can begin, both spouses should have a firm grasp on just what is owned within the marriage. This may sound like a basic step, but many spouses overlook valuable assets by either mistake or design. The best way to learn the full scope of the family’s wealth is to begin compiling information before the divorce has been initiated.

One way to get started is to look through existing paperwork for documents such as account statements, bank statements and tax returns. If no recent copy is available, contact the institution directly to request a new copy. Remember to collect statements of debt as well, as these accounts will also be subject to division within divorce. Once the paperwork is in hand, it can be helpful to use a scanning app to convert the documents into digital files that can be stored online and sent directly to one’s divorce attorney when the time comes.

For many spouses, gathering this information prior to discussing or filing for divorce can seem underhanded or ethically wrong. It is important to understand that simply compiling this information is nothing more than a savvy financial move. Far too often, spouses who are confronted with the reality of a divorce will act to impede or slow that process, and restricting access to these financial documents is not uncommon. The division of marital assets is a crucial part of any Colorado divorce, and preparing for that process is a right that both spouses hold.

Source: The Huffington Post, “8 Divorce Hacks that Will Save You Time & Money“, James J. Sexton, Jan. 13, 2016