Colorado is a no-fault state when it comes to divorce. This means that there need not be a specific reason or action that causes the marriage to be unsustainable. With this in mind, the courts typically do not look at fault for the marriage’s failure in dividing up marital assets. However, Colorado does allow for marital misconduct to be a factor if there is unfair spending or misuse of those shared assets.
What is economic misconduct?
This can be defined in several ways, but there must be a pattern to the behavior. Common examples include:
- Dissipation of assets by giving them away while the couple is still married
- Hiding of assets during the divorce process
- Diverting assets to pay for drugs, alcohol or an extramarital relationship
- Extravagant spending on goods and services customarily not related to the family
- Destruction of marital property
- A fraudulent sale or conveyance of property to hide it from a spouse
- To not share the payment for the sale of marital property
Attorneys look for subterfuge
Verifying the accuracy of financial statements is one of the services that a family law attorney provides to their client. Even if a spouse resorts to electronic means to hide assets (cryptocurrency is difficult but not impossible to track), an attorney can work with forensic accountants and other technology experts to determine if the list of marital assets is accurate.
In protecting the interests of the client, the attorney can then present their findings to the judge with estimates of the value squandered or hidden by the spouse. In extreme cases, this can lead to criminal charges, but family court judges will take it under advisement in making decisions about the division of assets.