In Colorado, the divorce process begins when what is called a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is filed with the court. This Petition may be filed by either party to the marriage, or it may be filed jointly by both parties. The party filing the Petition is known as the Petitioner, and the party that did not file the Petition is known as the Respondent, or in the case of a joint filing, the Co-Petitioner.
A court in the county in which the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage was filed (assuming it was filed correctly) will then issue what is known as a Case Management Order, which is essentially a court order setting forth the legal requirements and procedure for married couples to divorce under the laws of the State of Colorado and pursuant to the particular court’s local procedures.
One very important requirement set forth in a Case Management Order is that all parties must comply with the disclosure provisions of Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure 16.2(e). This rule requires each party to file with the court and provide the other party with sworn financial disclosures by a certain date, depending on when the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage was filed. These mandatory disclosures are essentially an overview of each party’s current financial state.
Each party’s monthly income, deductions, and expenses must be disclosed. Both parties must also disclose their assets, including real estate, motor vehicles, bank accounts, life insurance, securities and investment accounts, household goods and personal property, retirement accounts, and any other miscellaneous assets that each party may have. Finally, each party must also disclose whatever debts they may owe. Parties must also provide proof of all this financial information. These laws exist so that courts may fairly oversee the separation and division of the finances involved in divorce proceeding.
As you can probably imagine, this process can become quite complicated. The court orders resulting from these financial disclosures will have lasting impacts on both of the parties involved in the divorce, as well as a significant impact on any children the parties may have. The financial disclosures will impact how the assets and debts resulting from the marriage are divided. They will also will greatly impact things such as child support payments and spousal maintenance (also known as alimony), both of which are payments from one party to another that may last for years.
Town & Town LLC are experienced divorce attorneys and can help to ensure you get your fair share under the law, both now and going forward. Call us for a free consultation.