Colorado Divorce Law, Colorado Divorce Information & Colorado Mediation News
Here, at “The Latest!,” you’ll find the latest news and information regarding Colorado divorce law and other Colorado divorce information or topics of interest to parties considering mediation of their Colorado divorce.
Visit us again for new articles as the divorce laws of Colorado and federal and Colorado tax laws change.
2006 Divorce Financial Statement Form Simplified!
First posted on: 3/2/2006
On February 9, 2006, the Colorado Supreme Court adopted further changes to several of the standard forms required in all Colorado divorce, legal separation, parentage and most other family law matters (including modification of child support cases).
In a formal Corrective Order, Colorado’s highest Court substituted a new, streamlined and abbreviated form of financial disclosure statement. A new “Sworn Financial Statement” replaces the cornerstone disclosure tool known for many years (and in many different versions) as the domestic relations “Affidavit With Respect to Financial Affairs” (and referred to here for simplicity as “the former Financial Affidavit” ).
The New Colorado Divorce Forms: Sworn Financial Statement and Supporting Schedules
Adopted and required for use effective March 1, 2006, the court-approved new Colorado Sworn Financial Statement is a six page form, consisting of five sections. These require each party in divorce, legal separation, parentage or family law proceedings to detail their:
If either party additionally has any of the following, a second (one-page) attachment is also required to be filed:
Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, securities or investment accounts
Pension, profit sharing or other retirement funds (including defined contribution or defined benefit retirement plans)
“Separate property” — typically, property acquired prior to the marriage or by gift or inheritance
Formally titled the “Supporting Schedules for Assets” (and often just referred to as the “Supporting Schedules”), this new and also abbreviated form discloses these investment, retirement and separate property items as well as details other miscellaneous assets.
What’s The Big Deal? How Does The New Colorado Sworn Financial Statement Form Differ From The Old Financial Affidavit?
The new Colorado Sworn Financial Statement acknowledges that, for most family law cases, the much more comprehensive, earlier version of Financial Affidavit required as part of the many changes in Colorado divorce law and process on January 1, 2005 was burdensome to complete and a failed experiment. The former Financial Affidavit consisted of 14 pages, and its complexity had given it the nickname “the Big Bear!”
The sweeping approach embraced by the former Financial Affidavit was well-intended. However, many Colorado divorce attorneys and judges were appalled by the expensive process of “discovery” in which enormous time and resources were expended by parties and their counsel in simply finding out the other’s income, assets and debts. The former Financial Affidavit sought to require a systematic and thorough reckoning adequate for even the most sophisticated and contested of divorces.
In the end, the detail revealed and savings effected by the former Financial Affidavit for the parties in complex divorce and family law cases was outweighed in most cases by the time required of Colorado courts and divorcing parties (and for unrepresented parties, the confusion generated) in managing and completing this earlier form.
The Colorado Divorce Sworn Financial Statement — Uniform Use, Grace Period
The Colorado Supreme Court Order directs the uniform use of the new Sworn Financial Statement in all family law cases, including those involving modification of spousal maintenance and child support orders. As a result of these 2006 changes in Colorado law, a popular, copyrighted special “short form” of Financial Affidavit for Colorado child support modification cases (offered by Bradford Publishing Company, a Colorado legal publisher offering divorce forms for electronic download) has been discontinued.
The former Financial Affidavit can be used during a grace period extending until August 1, 2006. This form — in its so-called “interactive” fillable Word version allowing for easier data entry, and in its fillable Adobe version — includes built-in math calculations and should be reviewed and may be favored if your case involves sophisticated assets or complex financial aspects. (Review our articles on the advantages of these predecessor forms of Colorado Financial Affidavit and tips on using the Adobe version of this Financial Affidavit.)
Mediation And The New Colorado Divorce Sworn Financial Statement
As with other forms required to complete your Colorado divorce, mediation facilitates discussion regarding, and often eases the task of gathering, exchanging and understanding, the information required to complete this important disclosure tool.
For most couples in mediation, the new Colorado divorce Sworn Financial Statement will be welcomed. The requirement of meaningful disclosure is now a much more manageable task.
Also, see our “Spotlight” or other feature articles, where we discuss in detail other Colorado legal, procedural (including divorce law and family mediation) or parenting topics. Presently, we look in depth at: