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The Division of Marital Assets

Aside from issues concerning children and the allocation of parental responsibility, financial issues are often the most trying for couples dealing with a Colorado divorce. Although the dissolution of marriage is difficult, there are a number ways to simplify the division of marital assets and liabilities.

Marital property is subject to an equitable division, and the basic premise is that a married couple accumulates certain assets and liabilities during the course of their marriage, and that these assets and liabilities should be divided between the parties as evenly and fairly as possible.

Property and debt are divided concurrently during a divorce, and the process can seem daunting and monumental to those who were not involved with the marital finances. Nevertheless, there are a number of steps that anyone can take prior to their divorce to make the process more manageable.

Prior to your divorce you should become as well informed as possible concerning your family's financial status. You will begin by gathering, copying and reviewing all of relevant financial records, and by requesting and reviewing your credit report.

Relevant financial records should include your most recent tax returns, credit card statements, bank statements, investment account statements, retirement account statements, mortgage and other real estate information, loan applications, etc. Because the credit report will only provide partial account numbers, you will need gather contact information for the creditors as well as both the cards and the statements related to the various credit accounts.

After you have received your credit report, identify all of the open credit accounts, and separate those that are held jointly with your spouse from those held individually in your name. Once you have reviewed all of the information, you should consider what, if any, action you want to take on each account. Actions you will want to consider include possibly closing the account, freezing the account so that neither party can unilaterally incur any more marital debt, removing unauthorized users, or keeping the account open. If you decide to change the status of an open account, you should notify the creditor in writing. If you do not hear back from the creditor you should follow up with the creditor until you have received confirmation of the requested change. Finally, once the divorce decree is signed by the court, contact both the creditors and the credit report bureaus and advise them in writing of your divorce as well as the date of the decree.

No matter what your reasons for seeking a divorce, the division of martial property can be stressful and unpleasant. One way to make the process more manageable is to be proactive with regard to your finances by taking the steps outlined above.

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