Part of any divorce case in Colorado is the required disclosure of all assets by both parties. Pursuant to Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure (C.R.C.P.) 16.2, all parties must openly acknowledge and list their assets as part of the divorce process. Each party must provide the opposing party’s counsel with asset documentation no later than 42 days after receiving the service of the Divorce Petition. Failure to do so could have legal consequences.
What Income-Related Documents Does the Law Require?
C.R.C.P. 16.2 requires both parties in a divorce case to provide certain documents to prove how much money they make and have in assets. The courts then use these documents to calculate things such as child support and alimony. C.R.C.P. 16.2 requires one party or his or her lawyer to provide specific income-related documents to the other party.
- Completed and signed financial affidavit.
- Prior three years of income tax returns.
- Prior three years of business and personal financial statements.
- Relevant real estate documents of all properties the party has an interest in.
- Investment-related documents with statements of current values.
- Employment benefit paperwork.
- Retirement plans with current values.
- Bank and financial institution account documents.
- Income documentation for the current and prior years.
- Childcare documentation concerning employment and education.
- Documentation for extraordinary childcare expenses.
- Insurance documentation.
- Personal debt documents.
The Colorado courts use mathematical equations to determine matters such as property division and spousal support during a divorce case. Filling in these equations requires information from the submitted income-related documents. If a spouse disobeys the law by intentionally withholding financial information, he or she could face serious penalties.
Can Alimony or Child Support Be Changed?
If your spouse did not fully disclose his or her assets while the courts were creating your child support and/or spousal maintenance order, you may be able to receive a change to your original order by going back to court. File a motion to ask a judge to change your orders to reflect the new financial information. Your divorce lawyer in Denver can help you with this legal process.
You have the right to request a change of child support if your spouse’s financial income has significantly changed. If your lawyer discovers hidden assets after a judge has made an order, for example, this could be enough to request a modification based on the new information. In most cases, a judge will consider a request to modify a support or alimony order if a 20% change or more occurred in one parent’s income.
Legal Consequences of Not Disclosing Assets in Colorado Divorce
On top of potentially having to pay you more in child support and/or alimony, your ex-spouse could face legal consequences for intentionally disobeying C.R.C.P. 16.2 by not disclosing assets. Your spouse swore under penalty of perjury that he or she disclosed all relevant financial information during your divorce case. If this was a deliberate and knowing lie, the criminal courts may find your ex-spouse guilty of perjury. This crime is punishable in Colorado with a fine of $2,000 to $500,000 and/or two to six years in prison.
How Can Assets Be Hidden?
Your spouse may be able to hide assets from discovery during a divorce case in a few ways. One way is to alter business documents to make it appear like the business makes more money than it does, such as by paying fake salaries to employees that do not exist. Another way is to gift assets to someone else who will return them after the divorce. Hiding assets during a divorce could also involve keeping money in offshore accounts.
It is important to hire an attorney if you believe your spouse may be hiding assets during a divorce. Hidden assets could greatly impact your alimony, child support and property division in a divorce. An attorney can work with experts such as forensic accountants and financial analysts to search for hidden assets on your behalf.