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Parties to divorce cases in Colorado owe each other, and the court, a duty of “full and honest” disclosure of all facts that “materially affect” their rights and interests—and those of the children involved in the case.

What information is required for the full disclosure in a divorce in Colorado?

Within 42 days of service of a petition for dissolution of a marriage, each party to the case is required by law to provide the other party with Mandatory Disclosures of income and financial information without waiting for a court order—or even waiting for the other party to request the disclosure. As part of the required Mandatory Disclosure each party must provide:

  • A complete and signed Sworn Financial Statement
  • Personal and business federal income tax returns for the three years before filing of the petition, including all schedules and attachments
  • Personal financial statements, statements of assets or liabilities and credit and loan applications prepared during the last three years
  • The previous three years of business financial statements, and year-to-date financial statements
  • The title documents and all documents stating the value of all real property in which a party to the domestic relations case has a personal or business interest
  • All documents that created debt and the most recent debt statements showing the balance and payment terms for each debt
  • The most recent documents identifying each investment and stating the current value of investments
  • The most recent documents identifying each employment benefit and a statement of its current value
  • The most recent documents identifying each retirement plan and stating the current value of the plan, as well as all Plan Summary Descriptions
  • The most recent documents that identify each account at banks and other financial institutions, stating the current value of each account
  • Documentation of income of the party to the case for the current and prior calendar year (including income from employment, investment, government programs, gifts, trusts, prizes and income from “every other source”)
  • Documents that show the average monthly employment-related child care expense, including child care expense related to the parents’ education and job search
  • Policies of life, health and property insurance that show beneficiaries, coverage and cost
  • Documents that show the average monthly expense for all recurring “extraordinary” children’s expenses

If, within 5 years of the order of dissolution, it is found out that a party failed to comply with the requirement of “full and honest” disclosure, the court can re-allocate the assets or liabilities of the marriage if the lack of disclosure “materially affected” the division of assets or liabilities in the dissolution proceeding. Note, however, that the 5-year reach-back provision only applies to the division of assets and liabilities in a marriage. The rule cannot be used to re-allocate awards of spousal maintenance (formerly known as “alimony”). The court makes an award of spousal maintenance based on separate considerations than those used to divide up the assets and liabilities of the marriage.

What happens if you fail to make a full and honest disclosure?

The list of items to be disclosed in a marriage dissolution procedure is long and complicated. Serious and significant consequences will fall on a party who fails to make a “full and honest” disclosure in a dissolution proceeding. For these reasons, it is important to seek the assistance of experienced and qualified family law attorneys in marriage dissolution proceedings. Experienced family law attorneys, and staff, at Clawson & Clawson LLP can help a party wade through all the paperwork and make sure the party complies with the duties of disclosure in a marriage dissolution proceeding.

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