By Marc Patoile, Esq. and Jeff Town, Esq.
Few events can change a person’s life more than a divorce. The emotional challenges that one faces during a divorce makes it all the more difficult to property plan for what the future holds. All of the mechanisms that were in place during marriage to protect your assets and loved ones can disappear, and in order to properly plan for the future you need to make sure that you are protected.
People who haven’t been through a divorce cannot imagine what an awkward challenge this is to bear, all while an uncooperative ex-spouse is looming, who can make matters worse and often does. It addition to the emotional challenges, it is extremely important to waste no time in protecting yourself from the legal changes to come. This involves changes during the divorce process itself and orders that will be binding on you during coming years. Aside from the obvious, getting legal advice that you may need to guide you through the divorce process, you should also get advice on the other changes that come after divorce.
For instance, if a disability or a death occurs after divorce, you need to make sure that you have a plan in place. First, a life insurance policy may be required as part of the divorce orders, in order to secure child support or spousal maintenance obligations. Second, you may want to consider the separate needs for another policy to pay off your debts and have plenty left to provide for a new spouse or additional needs of your children. Third, disability insurance becomes another consideration, because you may need a way to support yourself if an injury leaves you without present income to meet your own needs and/or support orders.
In addition to insurance needs, your estate planning desires may change after divorce. The selection of a guardian becomes a very important consideration and one only needs to look as far as the Michael Jackson fiasco to see how this plays a significant role in many probate cases. In addition, an estate planning lawyer will help you make sure that your belongings, bank accounts, and other assets will be properly taken care of if you pass away, or how they might be managed if you become incapacitated. One thing that we learn from divorce is that one can never predict what the future holds. Estate planning will leave you feeling secure that you are protected against the unexpected.
Going through divorce can raise questions that many overlook, even some professions, until an issue arises. Such as, how do I claim dependents exemptions on my income tax returns if my spouse is not cooperating? Many fail to get the new required IRS forms signed up front as part of the divorce process, such as the newly required http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8332.pdf. What do I do when my spouse is refusing to pay child support as he or she was just laid off? Many professionals fail to discuss the benefits of a Family Support Registry and Child Support Enforcement, as everything seems amicable during the divorce. It may be easy to assume that your soon to be ex-spouse will be cooperative and that questions like these won’t come up in your case, but in reality, disputes like this are common and it is important that you come prepared. After divorce, life changes. Get set.
At the law firm of Folkestad Fazekas Barrick & Patoile, P.C., we have been serving the front range area for the nearly 40 years, assisting clients in a wide range of practice areas. The firm’s eight attorneys practice in different areas of the law and understand the courts, the law, and the players. We are committed to producing quality legal services for our clients in a timely, efficient, and economical manner. If we might be able to assist you, please call Marc Patoile direct at 303-524-3393 or visit us online at www.ffcolorado.com and www.patoile.com.