I just decided to divorce, what should I be prepared for?

Deciding to divorce can be a hugely emotional process for some people, and while the emotional impact should never be ignored, it is also important to be adequately prepared for all other aspects of ending a marriage. Before filing -- or after, if not done beforehand -- Colorado divorcees are well advised to begin collecting all relevant financial information. The financial implications of ending a marriage can be devastating for those who are ill-prepared for the divorce process.

Financial documents are especially important during property division when assets, investments and debt must be divided between a couple. Moreover, this information is also necessary to establish the correct amount of alimony or child support. When gathering this information, it is usually necessary to gather information for accounts and debts that are held in either one person's name or both. Even if a bill or investment has only one person's name on it, if it was acquired during the marriage, there is still a solid chance that it will be considered marital property rather than separate.

In addition to bank accounts and car loans, there is one significant area that people tend to overlook -- the house. While the mortgage and possible refinancing are usually included, the cost of maintaining the home is often excluded. Before making any significant decisions concerning a marital home, it is a good idea to have it inspected for possible necessary repairs as well as the longevity of any AC or heating units. This helps create a more accurate picture of what it will cost to continue to maintain the home.

Virtually every divorce in Colorado will yield some type of financial change for both parties. That effect can be minimized by taking the time to carefully prepare for mediation and property division. Whether heading to mediation or stepping before a family law judge, making sure that all relevant and necessary financial documents are accounted for is an excellent approach to reaching the most agreeable divorce settlement possible.

Source: The Huffington Post, "3 Steps to Prepare for Your Divorce", Adrienne Rothstein Grace, Oct. 22, 2015

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