Divorce can really be boiled down to two basic issues. There’s money and how to deal with the money in your relationship, and there’s parenting if you have children. That’s it. Those are really the only two elements that you’re ever going to deal with in a legal situation in a divorce.
The question you should be asking yourself is what should you consider before you divorce. I think the first thing you should consider is what’s worth fighting for and what isn’t worth fighting for. I think most people, when they’re considering divorce, are in an emotional state.
I know I was in my divorce. There were a lot of things swimming through my head that really didn’t have anything to do with the legal issues. It had more to do with how upset I was, it had to do with fidelity, and many other issues. Ultimately what you have to decide is if something is important enough to invest in financially and emotionally, or if it would be better to make it an easy process, perhaps split everything 50/50.
There’s an entire conversation around what you should and should not fight for. If you have children, that becomes a more intense conversation because now you really have to look at what’s in the best interest of your children. That’s the first thing I would consider. What do I fight for?
The second thing you should consider is property and debts in general from the perspective of what’s marital and what’s separate. I’ve done videos before on the distinction between those things. You should go look that one if you want a larger conversation about it. Suffice it to say, anything that was purchased before the marriage is going to be separate property. Anything that was purchased or earned during the marriage is marital property. One should consider in a divorce that you’re only going to be splitting marital property so that’s another legal element I think you should look at for sure.
The third thing is really only relevant if you have children, and that involves the entire issue of co-parenting. I think when you’re considering divorce, you want to seriously consider whether or not you feel you can have a good co-parenting relationship with your current spouse after the divorce is finished. Consider how to go about starting the divorce process so as not to cause an escalating divorce.
What I mean by that is someone does something that the other person reacts to and then that person reacts and then the other person escalates to a higher level. It turns into a contentious custody battle, let’s just say as a possibility.
Before all of that may occur, you want to find a good lawyer to do this with. Ask yourself, how should I begin the divorce process so that we can try our very best to maintain a good co-parenting relationship as we go forward?
I would say those are the first three things I would consider when I’m thinking about the legal elements of the divorce. For more information about filing for divorce, how divorce works, or any other family law matters in Colorado, call us at 303-329-3802.