On behalf of Cooper & Tanis, P.C. posted in divorce on Friday, April 14, 2017.
When their marriages are breaking down, some Colorado couples opt for a trial separation rather than immediately entering divorce proceedings. Though valid and worth exploring, the parties should carry out certain actions during a separation for the sake of their children and their own protection and financial well-being.
Probably the most critical and oft-overlooked step is the signing of a formal separation agreement. This is not a divorce agreement in that couples still have the opportunity to reconcile, but it may protect each spouse from financial abuse. Along with this document, the separated spouse will want to collect information on all assets held jointly. These documents will providing a starting place for asset valuation, debt division and business valuation during a possible divorce.
Other guidelines for a separation are made to prevent a spouse from harming their efforts to negotiate property division or establish child custody. Social media is often used to terrible effect by people to vent about the conflicts in their lives, but negative statements in this forum can at best result in an angry negotiating partner and at worst be brought up in court. Avoiding relationships while still married is also advised for similar reasons.
A separation agreement is a powerful tool for protecting the interests of each spouse with a possible or pending divorce on the horizon. To be effective, the agreement requires tailoring to the particular situation of the marriage. Matters of asset types and amounts, provision of well-being of children and compensation for living arrangements are all possible topics. Experienced legal counsel can help a separated client create a thorough agreement and offer guidance on how the terms of an agreement may impact a future divorce settlement.