High-net-worth residents of Colorado who are facing divorce will want to retain an attorney experienced in handling financial complexity in divorces. High-asset divorces require specialized knowledge above and beyond a typical divorce. Our high-asset divorce attorney in Fort Collins works with forensic accountants, valuation analysts, appraisers, and other experts when representing clients facing a complex financial divorce.
If the preservation of your wealth is a priority when you are facing a divorce, please call The Cossitt Law Firm to discuss your options. Contact our high-net-worth divorce lawyer today.
The division of assets in a high-net-worth divorce case in Colorado starts by identifying what property exists. We then must classify the property interests as marital or separate. After valuing the interests, we then can determine an equitable distribution of the property.
Our high-asset divorce attorney commonly will employ experts to determine the true value of property interests such as:
The division of assets is a challenging aspect of any divorce, but the challenge ramps up when the assets have a high value. Some assets like this may have the majority of their values tied up in a manner that makes it very difficult to monetize or divide. This can complicate things for our property division attorney, but we do not back down when facing tough situations. We relish the opportunity to find a great solution for you in regard to complex asset division cases.
In Colorado, the equitable division of property must occur before addressing spousal maintenance (called “alimony” in other states). This makes reaching an agreement on property division as quickly as possible a priority in a high-wealth divorce. We know how to keep the proceedings on track without making it feel like we are rushing. We will take the time needed to perform the negotiations, but we will do so with a sense of urgency.
We must base any negotiations over property division on Colorado Statute § 14-10-113, which specifies a number of rules to follow, including:
Although the division of assets must follow the state statute’s guidelines, plenty of gray areas exist. This gives us some wiggle room to find a solution that satisfies the statute, while also giving you an outcome that you want. Understand that neither spouse is going to be able to win every aspect of divorce negotiations. But you can trust that our high-asset divorce lawyer will take the time to understand which issues are most important to you and then fight especially hard to help you win those items.
Those facing a high-asset divorce may wish to keep the details private. Celebrities, public figures, and business leaders may wish to keep their divorce proceedings out of the public eye. When you hire us early in the process, you can count on our team to offer options for a private divorce in Colorado.
Most aspects of divorce in Colorado are available to public searches, because they eventually require a filing in a public court setting. These include any orders, hearings, and trials that occur in open court. However, they do not have to be available to the public immediately. We have several options available to maintain privacy as you proceed through the process of divorcing or modifying child custody orders.
Options for a private divorce are available to everyone, regardless of income levels. Our high-net worth divorce attorney in Fort Collins can explain your options to keep your divorce private.
After filing the divorce paperwork with the court in Fort Collins, the names of the parties and the type of case will become part of the public record. For high-profile individuals, this is when the media may begin paying attention to the divorcing couple, preparing to cover and report on all of the case’s developments.
To keep the media from watching the case develop and reporting on it in real time, we can help you reach a full settlement agreement regarding the divorce before filing anything in court.
By taking this preliminary step, the media will discover that the couple is divorcing after the two parties already have an agreement in place. The media will have no drama about the ugly side of divorce negotiations to report on, meaning they’ll be ready to move on to the next story.
Our high-asset divorce attorney Fort Collins knows the exact steps to follow to come up with an agreement before we file the case with the court. Some of the options we may deploy to aid in the negotiations include:
Once we have a full agreement in place regarding the details of the divorce, we then can file the paperwork in court, meeting the legal obligations of filing for divorce.
We certainly can help you develop an agreement after the filing of the case in court as well. Understand, however, that if we file with the court before negotiations begin, the divorce filing and any details of the negotiations discussed in open court will become part of the public record.
When working on negotiations after filing the divorce proceedings, our high-net-worth divorce attorney in Fort Collins can deploy some of the same negotiation options we would use before filing the case in court. However, once the case is part of the court records, we have a few other options involving court-approved methods of negotiation. These may include the following.
As part of the legal proceedings in a Colorado divorce, our team may request the use of a private judge. Someone who was a judge previously can qualify to serve as a private judge to oversee divorce negotiations, according to C.R.S. §13-3-111. The district court hosting the case may appoint this person to oversee our case. Both our team and the team representing your spouse will have to agree to have a private judge hear the case and oversee the negotiations.
A private judge’s decision shall have the same force and effect as if a sitting judge made it. Consequently, should we disagree with the decision of the private judge, we have the same rights to appeal the judgment he or she makes. The divorcing parties will be responsible for payment for the private judge’s services.
An arbitrator is a neutral third party who the court may appoint to decide matters on which the divorcing parties cannot agree. The court may choose to go with an arbitrator after the two sides attempt to negotiate on their own but fail to come to an agreement on everything (C.R.S §14-10-128.5). The arbitrator can work on every aspect of the divorce or can work on only a few aspects where the two sides cannot agree. Benefits of arbitration can include:
As with the private judge, the decision of the arbitrator is binding on the parties. However, there is one significant difference between an arbitrator and a private judge. Unlike a private judge, the Colorado Uniform Arbitration Act states that the arbitrator’s decision is far more difficult to appeal than the decision of a private judge.
Divorces that involve high incomes and assets commonly will involve a desire for privacy if at all possible. When facing a situation where you want to keep things private, you should ensure that you have experienced divorce attorneys on your side. The team at The Cossitt Law Firm is ready to represent you in this type of case. Our divorce lawyers have the experience required to handle the special circumstances in a high-net-worth divorce case.
Your privacy regarding the divorce is not just important to you – it is important to us, too. Consult with our high-asset divorce attorney in Fort Collins today to learn whether a private divorce may be an option for you.
Our high-asset divorce attorney knows that the determination of alimony, or what Colorado calls “spousal maintenance,” can become a highly contentious situation for divorcing parties. Trust that our spousal support attorney has a firm grasp on all the rules and guidelines involved in negotiating a spousal maintenance settlement. These guidelines include the following.
If both parties have high incomes on their own, the court may allow an agreement where neither spouse makes an alimony payment. This type of outcome is rare, but during a high-wealth divorce, it could happen.
Far more commonly, one spouse will receive alimony from the other spouse. In a typical situation, the state’s guidelines say the lower-earning spouse should receive about 40% of the higher-earning spouse’s income, minus a credit of 50% of the lower-earning spouse’s income applied. This formula is a guideline, and our team can negotiate with your spouse’s representatives for a larger or smaller amount.
In a typical Colorado divorce case, the spouse receiving alimony payments typically will receive the money for a length of time roughly equal to one-third of the length of the marriage. However, in a high-net-worth situation, where the couple’s combined annual income exceeds $240,000, this formula does not necessarily apply. It is possible that a judge will allow alimony payments to continue indefinitely in a high-wealth divorce case.
This is another negotiating point where we can use our experience in high-net-worth divorces to deliver a favorable settlement for you.
With past cases, some of our clients were receiving alimony and some were paying alimony. We have experience with both sides of high-wealth divorces.
Colorado Statute Title 14 specifies that the judge cannot assign fault in any divorce proceedings. Nor does the awarding of alimony take fault into account. Even if your spouse cheated on you, you cannot introduce this information in an attempt to reduce the alimony award you must pay. Rather than serving as a punishment, spousal support awards attempt to help both spouses try to maintain a standard of living and quality of life similar to the one they had during their marriage.
As a final consideration, for the spouse making the alimony payment in a typical divorce, the court does not want to cause a financial hardship. This could cause the court to recommend a smaller payment amount than the guideline suggests.
In a high-net-worth divorce, however, the court does not worry about this aspect very often, because the spouse making the alimony payment has a very high income. This means the person making the alimony payment should have enough money that the payment will not cause financial hardship. Sometimes, though, the court needs to look beyond the amount of income involved. If you have special circumstances the court should consider regarding your income levels that you believe should affect alimony payments, count on us to explain your side of the story to the court.
Our high-net-worth divorce attorney understands that emotions can run high in any type of divorce. However, when the divorce will include extremely valuable properties and large amounts of money, it can feel like emotions are always on the verge of boiling over for the parties involved.
At The Cossitt Law Firm, we understand how emotional outbursts during divorce negotiations can cause the process to bog down quickly. You can count on our professional level of service. We will work hard to maintain a level of civility throughout the proceedings. This does not mean that we will back down when your spouse’s representatives become aggressive. Rather, we will maintain our professional demeanor even while we are fighting as hard as we can for the outcome you want to see.
We understand that once you make the decision to seek a divorce from your spouse, you want the process to move along quickly. This is especially important in a divorce involving large amounts of wealth, where you want the proceedings to remain private. By completing the process quickly, we seek to avoid having someone leak information about the divorce to the media before we are ready to release the information. Trust that we will find the balance between coming to a quick resolution on the negotiations while protecting your desire to have the most successful outcome.
Contact The Cossitt Law Firm as soon as possible to discuss your situation. Trust our experience and professionalism to give you the best possible level of representation in your divorce proceedings.
If you have decided to get a divorce, the next steps can seem daunting. Here we provide a few answers to common questions about filing for divorce.
Depending on your family, financial, and personal circumstances there are many factors you will want to consider when filing for divorce. Find out what type of divorce is right for you.
How long will it take for the Court to issue a Decree of Dissolution of Marriage? The earliest a Colorado court could issues the divorce decree is 91 days after the petition was filed. However it can take longer than 91 days, as expert valuations and reports may be needed.
How can a divorce attorney help with an uncontested divorce? Uncontested divorce generally means the parties have agreed upon all issues, or they believe they will be able to easily agree on all issues. A divorce attorney can help with an uncontested divorce by ensuring everything drafted properly.
What are mandatory financial disclosures? Financial disclosures are required of both parties in every divorce case, within the first 45 days after the petition has been filed. The exchange of mandatory financial disclosures is intended to put each party on a level playing field as it relates to the finances of the divorce.
"I am very appreciative of Toms services. English is a second language to me, and this process seemed difficult because of that barrier. He was very patient and thorough making sure I understood everything before he proceeded. I will recommend him to everyone! He truly cares about you, as does his wonderful, helpful team"
Review from AVVO
"I had a very challenging case, one that could have had indefinite financial consequences. Tom Cossitt evaluated my case and identified several strategies for moving forward. I chose one and Tom developed and implemented that strategy with speed and with the utmost in professionalism. The documents he drafted on my behalf, based on extensive research and case law / precedent were thorough and comprehensive. When the Court ruled, it used the arguments as developed by Tom Cossitt verbatim in its decision, and the case was decided in my favor. Needless to say, I was pleased beyond words. Based on my experience and the outcome of my case, I would highly recommend Tom Cossitt to anyone requiring the services of a family law attorney."
Review from Google
"I met with as many as 10 different attorneys before coming across Thomas. After our initial consultation, I was very pleased with his knowledge and realistic expectations. During the really tough time, Thomas kept me calm and helped tremendously to get custody of my daughter. He kept me informed on what was going on and would ask for my input; if it was something that was unrealistic or could be done a different way, Thomas would tell me right away. During the hearings, he was amazing. He kept a professional attitude and was great at cross examinations. He took in all of the facts and evidence, and was able to present them efficiently and effectively. Ultimately helping me gain custody of my child."
Review from AVVO