Understanding Your Financial Affairs

Marriage often contains a division of labor, and this is usually the case with managing finances as well. For married parties it is typical for one spouse to be more in control of the finances than the other, which results in one spouse being less aware of the parties’ financial affairs than the other spouse.

Sometimes, the end result is that one of the spouses has no idea what the parties’ financial situation is. Some cases are far worse than others. Usually, when financial issues are kept secret from one spouse it is unintentional, just an effect of one spouse being more in control of, and having more access to, the parties’ accounts than the other. However, in some cases one spouse will be intentionally hiding financial affairs, such as the existence of assets or debts, from the other spouse.

In either case, when a person thinks that their marriage may be headed for divorce, it is usually a good time to start gathering financial information. It may be more difficult to do that once the divorce case is imminent or already filed. In Colorado, the disclosure rules in a divorce case are governed by C.R.C.P. 16.2, which states in part that “a party must affirmatively disclose all information that is material to the resolution of the case” to the other party. Therefore, parties are expected to disclose everything related to their finances to each other. But, sometimes it is still suspected that a party is hiding assets, and one of the ways to help address that concern could be to gather financial information prior to the divorce case being filed.

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