Couples facing divorce who have significant assets are faced with a unique set of challenges. High earners or those who have been married for a long time and have accumulated significant assets must by agreement or litigation divide their financial matters. There are three general issues that bear consideration in this context. These are: Property Division, Spousal Maintenance, and Child Support.
The high asset divorce attorneys at The Gasper Law Group understand your unique needs and can provide the legal guidance necessary to achieve your goals. Our team is skilled in many aspects of domestic relations law and can help you navigate the complicated legal landscape.
Property Division in Colorado
In many high asset divorce cases there are types of assets not typically found in other cases. some examples are:
- Business Interests
- Stocks, Bonds, or Investment Portfolios
- Deferred Compensation Entitlements
- Performance-Related Bonus Payments
In the case of business ownership or partnership, it is very important that your attorney get a qualified forensic accountant on board early in the case to make sure this important part of your case is handled properly. In many high asset cases, the business is the most valuable asset the parties have. Decisions as to how it will be divided are complex and have long-reaching consequences.
Before dividing property, the court must first determine what property is the separate property of one of the parties and what property is marital. There is a presumption under Colorado law that all property acquired during the marriage is marital property. There are two exceptions to this rule:
- Assets acquired by gift or;
- Inheritance are presumed to be the separate property of the recipient.
Once the court has determined what property is the separate property of each spouse and what property is marital, the next step is to divide the marital property. The law requires an equitable division of the property, and equitable does not always mean equal.
In a high asset divorce it is critical that your attorney secures reliable and complete financial information and then works with you to ensure a good result. Consult with an attorney at The Gasper Law Group today to determine the steps you must take in order for provide all the necessary information to move your high asset divorce case forward.
Colorado law provides a formula for calculating spousal maintenance (previously called alimony). This formula is applicable to couples whose total annual combined income is under $244,000.00. In high asset cases this usually means that the amount is up for either agreement or order of the Court. The Court can consider any relevant information in making its decision on the amount and duration of spousal maintenance.
If you and your spouse earn over $244,000.00 per year combined, the question of spousal maintenance becomes more complex. It is crucial that you have an attorney experienced with this issue to ensure a good result for you.
Colorado law provides a computation for child support, much like spousal maintenance discussed above. The same principle applies—that being in most high asset cases, the parties’ combined income exceeds the computation and therefore the issue is up for agreement or court order. In addition, children involved in the divorce are entitled to a standard of living approaching what they would have had if their parents had remained married. There may be private school costs, activities, family vacations, and other substantial expenses for the children.
The Judge hearing your case has wide discretion to order the division of the children’s expenses between the parties. In a high asset case, the Judge will likely order child support along with other orders relating to the payment of certain expenses. Typically, private school education is divided between the parties if the children have previously attended private school.
The Judge can order the expenses divided equally, proportionate to each party’s percentage of total income, or in some other manner. Because of the complexity of the issues presented in high asset cases, it is important that you have an attorney experienced in handling these issues.
One of the experienced family law attorneys at Gasper Law Group will be glad to meet with you to discuss the specifics of your case. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.