December 1998 & January 1999
Crafting an appropriate settlement of the financial issues in a divorce can be a complicated task. Based on my experiences as a mediator and expert witness in divorce cases, couples are often overwhelmed by where to start the process and how to sort through a complicated maze of financial information and competing financial needs. Successfully solving any complex problem begins with dividing each element of the problem into a series of simpler tasks.
Settling The Financial Issues In Divorce
Most financial issues in divorce fall into the following three categories:
Property Division Steps
Under the Colorado Revised Statutes (CRS) Section 14-10-113, a property division usually contains four phases:
Under CRS Section 14-10-114, a spouse must demonstrate a need for spousal support by following these mechincal steps:
Under CRS Section 14-10-115, child support is determined under a set of guidelines. These guidelines are intended to bring objectivity and consistency to child support awards and are based on the relative gross income of both spouses from all sources not specifically excluded by statute.
A major stress factor for spouses in divorce is a fear of the unknown. Practitioners assisting divorcing couples can provide a useful service by explaining how the mechanics of a financial settlement work. Spouses who understand how the process works are less likely to take no-compromise positions on financial issues and more likely to work out settlements that meet the needs of both parties.
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