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Parker Law Blog

Surprising consequences of having a home lost to foreclosure

Having a home repossessed by a lender through the legal process of foreclosure can be hard on a Colorado family. However, individuals who are forced into this difficult process may be unaware that foreclosure can leave them with unexpected financial consequences once the process has completed. This post will touch on some of the issues people may have to deal with after foreclosure but readers are reminded that this post offers no legal advice.

One consequence that a person may experience after foreclosure is an increase in their taxable income for the year the foreclosure occurred. If a home owner has $50,000 of their mortgage cancelled after a foreclosure, the Internal Revenue Service will consider that $50,000 as reportable income. They may therefore be liable for more money in taxes because of being subjected to the foreclosure process.

What does it mean for Colorado to be a common law property state?

How property is divided during a divorce can be one of the most concerning and contentious parts of ending a marriage. When a person makes a list of everything that they own with their partner and on their own, they may be overwhelmed by the real, personal and intangible property that they own. The fact that our state is a common law property state that follows equitable distribution practices may not provide them with much understanding of what will happen with all of their possessions.

In equitable distribution states, courts do not assume that all property owned by the partners to marital couples is shared as joint property. States that follow community property laws follow this line of practice and often divide property evenly between husbands and wives when they divorce. Equitable distribution states, like Colorado, however, look at how to fairly divide up property between the divorcing parties.

Different bankruptcy options require different qualifications

Not everyone knows that there are different options for individuals who wish to file for bankruptcy. "Bankruptcy" is actually a set of different legal paths that may allow individuals to relieve themselves of their debts and help them start their financial lives with fewer obligations. Before a Colorado resident throws themselves into the bankruptcy courts, they should be sure they understand the different requirements that they will face for their different bankruptcy options.

For example, Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not allow individuals with certain levels of income to use it protections to become debt free. Individuals who have enough money to pay off some or all of their debts must use Chapter 13 bankruptcy and its reorganization scheme to work through their outstanding loans.

Could your kids benefit from post-divorce nesting?

It is important that readers of this Colorado family law blog understand that no one strategy for caring for kids following a divorce will work for everyone. In fact, different families may need to employ highly variable and unique plans to ensure that their children are provided with what they need to thrive. The best interests of the children should guide child custody and parental visitation cases in our state's courts, but one highly unique form of child-sharing following a divorce is emerging as a potential means of protecting children's emotional health.

The practice is called bird-nesting or nesting. It involves maintaining one residence, usually, the family home, where the children of the divorced parties will permanently live. Instead of moving the kids from house to house to accommodate the parents' custody schedules, the parents move into the home with the kids when it is their turn to be with them.

Fault may no longer be used as grounds for divorce in Colorado

Getting a divorce can be a difficult process for a Parker resident, especially when they must manage the health and happiness of their children as well as themselves during the dissolution of their marriage. The decision to file for divorce may not be an easy one and when the time comes to file the proper pleadings with the court, an individual may not be sure of just what to do. Working with a trusted attorney is a good way to avoid issues as a person moves through their divorce.

When it comes to preparing a pleading, though, Colorado residents can take comfort in knowing that only one grounds for divorce is recognized in the state: the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage. This no-fault basis for ending a marriage is the only thing that a person must demonstrate in order to secure the legal severing of their relationship to their spouse.

Is bankruptcy a good means to manage debt?

If you're mired in debt and unable to see a way out, you likely will find yourself with a couple of options. Enrolling in a debt management plan or filing for bankruptcy are two solutions for debtors who can no longer pay off their financial obligations.

Many people automatically assume that the former is better than the latter when it comes to settling their debts. But is that really the case?

Unmarried fathers, child custody and visitation

Sometimes when a child in Colorado is born to unmarried parents who are no longer in a relationship with one another, it may be assumed that the child's mother will receive primary parental responsibilities, also known as child custody. However, unmarried fathers can also seek parental responsibilities or parenting time, also known as visitation. There are certain steps that must be completed in order to do so.

First, the father must establish paternity. One way to do this is to fill out and sign a form at the hospital where the child is born known as an "Acknowledgment of Paternity," and then file that form with the appropriate agency or court. Another way to establish paternity is through DNA testing. DNA can be collected from a cheek swab of the alleged father and child, to see if there is a match. If so, the court may issue a ruling that the man is the child's biological father.

Can Colorado residents discharge tax debt through bankruptcy?

When Colorado residents are struggling under unsurmountable debt, they may feel lost and hopeless. However, they do have options, and one of these options may be filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. A bankruptcy filing can discharge many unsecured debts, such as credit card debt. However, not all unsecured debts can be satisfied through the bankruptcy process.

In general, certain tax debts cannot be discharged through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. However, as is often the situation in life, there are limited exceptions. Tax debt may be discharged through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing if the following elements are fulfilled.

Property division and the commingling of assets

It is not unusual for spouses in Colorado to have significant assets coming into a marriage, particularly if they marry at an older age. For example, they may own a home or business prior to getting married. However, what happens to these assets should the couple later divorce?

In general, assets obtained during the course of the marriage are marital assets and are included in the divisible estate should the couple divorce. If a party owns a piece of property prior to getting married and keeps it wholly separate during the course of the marriage, should they divorce they will retain that property as a separate asset, and it will not be subject to property division.

Help your children cope with the divorce

Going through a divorce means having to adjust various aspects of life. This is difficult for adults but it is also very tough on children. When their parents go through a divorce, they are forced to make major changes to the only way of life they've ever known. They can't change the situation despite the wishes that they could.

Your child's age and their mental development will directly impact how they are able to handle the situation. Your attitude and ability to help them will play a part in this. Here are some tips as you embark on the divorce journey with your children:

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