THE RIGHT TIME TO FILE YOUR COLORADO DIVORCE: ANSWERS (Round 5)

January 30, 2013

No one rushes to something chaotic and potentially painful. Divorce can be just that. The decision to be made is not one to be made with haste, but rather with thoughtfulness and strategy in mind. The Denver divorce attorneys at Plog & Stein, P.C., are ready to assist you in assessing the right time to get your divorce case filed. Each case is different and each set of circumstances can lead the conclusion of whether or not the time to start the divorce process is now. As part of the on-going continuation of the article or posting on the subject, below are more scenarios related to the the timing of filing your Colorado divorce.

15. My employer may transfer me to Minnesota and my wife wants to stay here with kids. WAIT

The answer of "wait" in this scenario primarily relates to the children. The uncertainty that comes with divorce can bring great emotional and financial strain on anyone. Likewise, a move to another state also comes with its own set of challenges, whether related to finding a new home, new schools, finances in general, or otherwise. It would make no sense to file for divorce only to find out a few weeks or months later that you are definitely being transferred to Minnesota. Filing for divorce in Colorado will start the litigation process, which will include making decisions regarding visitation, custody, or perhaps sale of the marital home. Thousands of dollars could be invested in the process trying to arrive at a resolution, only to find out shortly thereafter that things have changed. For example, a visitation and custody schedule could be reached which will become moot the minute you leave for Minnesota. Likewise, you may come to agreements or reached orders related to who will keep the marital home, sale of the home, etc. which could become impractical if one party moves to another state. Furthermore, one could find himself or herself in a situation in which he or she is living in one state and fighting a legal battle in another. Another facet of this scenario and answer relates to the notion that the wife may change her mind and decide she will come, with the children, to Minnesota. If everyone moves together, Minnesota would ultimately become the proper state to deal with the divorce issues, as well as the child issues. If one elects to file, then move, the children and the case will likely remain in Colorado. In essence, it is better to have clarity in your personal life before going into the unknown that comes with a divorce case. The lack of clarity can ultimately have an impact on the outcome of that case.

16. Our house is on the market and we have a couple of offers. WAIT

A common aspect of any divorce case can be what to do with the marital property, including the home. It is not uncommon for people to argue over this issue in terms of whether one party will keep the home, will the home be sold, and how, if sold, the money will be divided. With the home on the market, it would be more prudent to wait until it is sold before filing for the divorce. If a divorce is filed and then the home is sold, the proceeds could be tied up for quite some time without either side really being able to utilize the funds, absent an agreement. Pursuant to C.R.S. 14-10-107, property may not be disposed of while the divorce case is pending. Better to let the home sale go through, discuss how the funds will be allocated or divided, thereby potentially removing any legal argument or battle over division or use of the proceeds. Additionally, if the home is on the market and the divorce is filed, one party could be ordered to leave by the court within a few weeks of the case commencing. In that instance, one party could either be left holding the proverbial bag in terms of paying the mortgage on his or her own. Conversely, one party could be out of the home, yet still ordered to pay on the mortgage. Generally, housing is going to be the largest monthly cost that a party in a divorce case will pay. Why not get the issues related to the marital home, including division of any proceeds, resolved prior to giving the courts power over the issue?


17. My wife has locked me out of all the bank accounts. FILE

When one party makes bold financial moves, such as locking the other out of the bank accounts, he or she is making a statement that the marriage is likely over. He or she is also attempting to assert unilateral control over marital money. Without the power of the court to help with these types of issues, one is left at the mercy of his or her spouse. As indicated above, once the Denver divorce case is filed and the other party is served, an automatic injunction, pursuant to C.R.S. 14-10-107, becomes effective. That injunction indicates that neither party shall dispose of, conceal, or encumber marital property absent agreement or a court order. Furthermore, a court can get involved relatively quickly in terms of being able to enter orders regarding the funds in the bank account. For example, let's say the bank accounts in question have $150,000 of clearly marital money in them. Without court intervention for purposes of securing those funds and making the wife accountable, she could very easily take that money and squander it, hide it, or make other plans for it which in no way serve the interest of the husband, or potentially the children. When on party to a marriage starts making steps designed to assert control over significant marital assets, it's time to contact a Denver area attorney and get the divorce process going. To wait would make no sense.

The Denver area family law firm of Plog & Stein, P.C. is ready to assist you with planning for your divorce, including ascertaining whether the time is right to file. Our attorneys will make this assessment looking at both the big picture, as well as each facet of the case, including custody, property division, alimony, and more.

You can contact us via the firm website, or at (303) 781-0322, to discuss your Denver divorce or other family law matters.