If you are considering or going through a divorce in Colorado, you have probably engaged in negotiations with your soon-to-be former spouse, dealing with issues and assets such as shared bank accounts, inheritances and other assets.

Colorado is what’s known as an “equitable distribution” state, which means courts and legal professionals try to come up with an outcome that is fair to both parties. However, this does not necessarily mean that assets are simply split down the middle.

In many married households, one spouse earns significantly more money than the other, particularly if the other spouse has chosen to stay home to raise children. In such a case, a court may award the spouse who earns less money some more family assets or cash to help him or her get back on his or her feet and establish a career.

If you feel that you and your spouse are on the same page about who will get what in a divorce, it may be tempting to print off some forms from your local legal aid organization and submit them on your own without consulting an attorney for help. Some people worry that using an attorney will add more time and expense.

However, even just having a lawyer take a look at your proposed divorce agreement can save you time, money and hassle down the road. Someone who is trained and experienced in your state’s divorce laws can help you spot provisions that could come back to haunt you, or advise you of opportunities that you may be missing. This can help you make sure your interests – and those of your loved ones – are protected.

Source: The Colorado Springs Gazette, “Do-it-yourself divorce could be cause for regret,” Linda Leitz, March 10, 2013