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During property division, be sure to account for all assets

The timeframe between deciding to end a marriage and the point at which that decision is made legally binding can be hectic. There are a great many tasks that must be accomplished during this relatively short period of time, and even the most well-organized Colorado spouses can feel overwhelmed. Unfortunately, there are also a great many mistakes that can be made during this timeframe, many of which can be costly. Forgetting about less common assets is a prime example and is a property division issue that deserves attention.

For example, consider the matter of employment benefits. Few spouses will forget about a pension or stock options that are associated with their current job, but what about benefits that were earned years or even decades ago? It is not uncommon for an old pension plan, retirement account or other benefits to be forgotten over time. Those assets, however, can really add up.

The best way to make sure that no assets are left on the bargaining table is to make a thorough assessment of all family finances, including assets that might be thought to be separate or personal property, and not marital property. In some cases, sitting down with a calendar and visually mapping out the years can be helpful, and can trigger a memory of older benefits that have not been thought about or discussed for many years. Once an asset has been identified, the next step lies in placing a value on the asset.

For those in Colorado who are preparing to divorce, addressing the issue of old or uncommon assets is important. In order to reach a fair and favorable property division agreement, it is first necessary to have a comprehensive understanding of where things sit at the time of separation. Working with an experienced divorce attorney is a great place to start, and he or she can help guide a client through the lengthy list of to-do items that must be handled during this transitional phase of life.

Source:, "Common Financial Mistakes Divorcing Women Make", Russ Thornton, June 20, 2017

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