What is UDMA and How Does it Affect Your Divorce?
UDMA stands for the Uniform Dissolution of Marriage Act. It was written and instilled in the 1970’s and serves as a model for no-fault divorce. Prior to the act, one party of the separating couple had to be “at fault” for the divorce. With UDMA, divorce occurs with no significant blame placed on either spouse.
The ruling also allows for equitable division of property. Before UDMA, if a husband or wife sacrificed their careers or professional pursuits to raise a family, they might be left with little to nothing after a divorce. Focusing on the home and children, though valuable and rewarding, would not translate to financial stability. With the Uniform Dissolution of Marriage Act, both parties would equally share property and assets acquired during the marriage.
Equitable Division of Marital Property and assets
Marital property is defined as the property mutually obtained during the marriage, unlike separate property, which is solely an individual’s. Because the property was equally acquired, it must be equally divided in cases of divorce. Under UDMA, there are certain steps the separating couple must take. These steps include:
- Listing all the marital properties and assets
- Distinctly characterizing which property is marital and what is separate
- Calculating the value of the property and and how much time each individual spent with it
- Determining the value of the assets
- Determining how to divide the property and assets
The courts strive to distribute all material aspects fairly, not necessarily equally, in a no-fault divorce.
Child Support and Custody
The UDMA also affects the way courts look at child support and custody. Because the divorce names no one at fault, child support and custody responsibilities can be evenly distributed as well, although this does not happen in every divorce. In Colorado, the parent without sole custody must provide child support to help offset the financial strain it takes to raising a child, for example.
At The Harris Law Firm, our Colorado divorce attorneys are well versed in the Uniform Dissolution of Marriage Act and know the requirements. Allow us to use our knowledge and experience to help your case. Call today for a free consultation and review of your case.