Divorce is like navigating a labyrinth of emotions, legalities, and, most pertinently, financial consequences. The path you tread and the outcome you face can vary dramatically depending on the state laws that govern your divorce proceedings.
State-specific divorce laws are not just legal formalities etched in statute books. They have real, palpable impacts on the lives of divorcing couples, influencing bargaining power and shaping economic behaviors. The financial implications of divorce is significant, with the average cost per person being $15,000, potentially rocketing to $100,000 for more complex situations.
Two critical aspects where state laws make a difference are property division and alimony/maintenance. In some states, courts divide a couple's property according to community distribution laws, while equitable distribution laws apply in others. The distinction may seem inconsequential initially, but it can result in vastly different outcomes, affecting everything from alimony awards to asset divisions.
That's why we're excited to bring back Brian Walters, family law expert and managing partner of Walters Gilbreath in Texas. Brian and Ryan Kalamaya dissect how a hypothetical divorce client, Eric Wolf, might be financially impacted in Texas versus Colorado. They shed light on the concept of community property in Texas, distinguish it from Colorado's treatment of separate property, and tackle the intricacies of determining separate property when assets are intertwined.
Taking the discussion further, they delve deep into spousal support laws in Texas, sharing insights about how these laws impact divorce proceedings. We also compare and contrast the views of marital misconduct in both states, and how Texas still factors this into financial division. Drawing on a real-life high-asset divorce case that reached the US Supreme Court due to conflicting jurisdiction, we provide practical insights to illuminate the intricacies of divorce laws in these states.
Navigating the intricacies of divorce laws can feel like climbing a mountain without a map. But understanding these laws, notably how they differ from state to state, can equip you with the knowledge to make informed decisions during this challenging journey. Remember, every state has its unique terrain in the landscape of divorce law - and Colorado is no exception.
What is Divorce at Altitude?
Ryan Kalamaya and Amy Goscha provide tips and recommendations on issues related to divorce, separation, and co-parenting in Colorado. Ryan and Amy are the founding partners of an innovative and ambitious law firm, Kalamaya | Goscha, that pushes the boundaries to discover new frontiers in family law, personal injuries, and criminal defense in Colorado.
To subscribe to Divorce at Altitude, click here and select your favorite podcast player. To subscribe to Kalamaya | Goscha's YouTube channel where many of the episodes will be posted as videos, click here. If you have additional questions or would like to speak to one of our attorneys, give us a call at 970-429-5784 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DISCLAIMER: THE COMMENTARY AND OPINIONS ON THIS PODCAST IS FOR ENTERTAINMENT AND INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES AND NOT FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROVIDING LEGAL ADVICE. CONTACT AN ATTORNEY IN YOUR STATE OR AREA TO OBTAIN LEGAL ADVICE ON ANY OF THESE ISSUES.
Welcome back to another episode of Divorce at Altitude. This is Ryan Kalamaya. This week we are joined by a guest. We've had him on before, Brian Walters. He is a Texas family law attorney. And we're going to be talking about the difference in Texas and Colorado on financial outcomes in a divorce. And what happens if Eric Wolf, our hypothetical divorce client, goes through divorce in Texas versus Colorado. Colorado, and this is going to be part of a larger discussion on the differences in states and how Colorado can vary from other places in financial outcomes. But before I go on too much further Brian, welcome back to the show.Brian Walters:
Thanks. It's good to be back on.Ryan Kalamaya:
For listeners that haven't heard your other episodes in your background, can you tell us a little bit about your, yourself and where you, where you're coming from?Brian Walters:
Yeah, absolutely. I'm a military brat. If you want to go back that far, I grew up all over the world and the country I actually thought about very seriously about going to the Air Force Academy out of high school, but which would have put me in Colorado, but I didn't I ended up going to undergrad and law school in Texas. And now with my partner, Jake Gilbreth we own one of, if not the largest family law firm in the state of Texas. We're in all the big, big cities in Texas and do a lot of work between us and Colorado because a lot of people go back and forth between Texas and Colorado. Really common situation.Ryan Kalamaya:
Indeed, and Aspen, in particular, the mountain communities, Alluride, Crested Butte, Breckinridge, I know that there is a lot of... Transitory, people will come and that brings us to the kind of topic at hand. And that is that, Brian, you and I have discussed before this episode, we frequently will see people that, Eric and Melanie Wolf. They might be going through a separation and Eric will leave the family residence and it could be in Houston and he goes to their second residence in Telluride or they'll be in Denver. He's in kind of an oil and gas and energy and he'll be commuting. Back and forth, there's a lot of that, and he'll stay in Austin to give the party some breathing room, and then it results in the question of, well, if they decide that they're going to file for divorce, should they file in Texas and in Colorado and there can be some real differences in what happens in those situations. Scenarios and you and I have seen the differences and talked about that. So for listeners that, don't know about Texas law, let's talk about kind of community property and just how Texas if we're looking at a divorce in Texas, what generally the paradigm or relevant issues are going to be in property in Texas.Brian Walters:
Yeah, so Texas is a community property state like like y'all are, as I understand it. We're a former former Spanish or Mexican colony. We've followed, we've got that whole history, but dating back to the Roman Empire for our property system. And generally speaking for most people who are married relatively young, didn't have much, maybe married 20 years and then split up. It's. Everything's going to be community property. That's essentially what you've earned or any debts you've acquired during the marriage. But that isn't the case for a lot of people, right? A lot of people, it's a second marriage or later in life, or they get an inheritance or a gift. And in those cases, a separate property may be the situation for items rather than community property. And that's that's where things can get complicated. It can also get complicated when you're talking about, well, what percentage or what portion of the community do I get versus my spouse? So it can get fairly complicated in certain circumstances.Ryan Kalamaya:
You mentioned, that there is this commonality between former Spanish colonies with Arizona California, Texas, Colorado actually is not a community property state, but we do have marital versus separate property. And that's really the first topic where Colorado is really unique in how we treat. Thank you. Separate property and versus marital property. And so this is the kind of first issue that I wanted for listeners to identify is the difference between, Colorado when it comes to separate property. Brian, so you guys, I assume in Texas have, there's community property. How are assets that are, that were owned before? for the marriage or that were received by inheritance or gift, are those community property? And if not, can you maybe explain the difference in and how those assets are treated in Texas? Cause in Colorado, those would be separate property. And to give some context on how Texas treats thoseBrian Walters:
properties. Yes, so generally the answer is that it would be, those things would be separate property, but it's a little more complicated than that, and probably is with you guys too, is that when someone, when you start a divorce, everything that either one of you own is presumed to be community property in Texas. Even if you had a home before the marriage that you still own, that's presumptively community. And then it's your lawyer's job to go in and say, well, this is why it should be separate, because it was either owned before the marriage, or I inherited it, or it was gifted to me. Those are the big three. But even that can get fuzzy because things can be what are called commingled and in a way that it becomes essentially impossible to tell what was what and who was who. So that's not very difficult with a house, for example, that was on before the marriage that your name is still the only one on the deed. That's. Pretty clear what that is. It's money that tends to get confusing. If you get a 100, 000 inheritance, goes into the joint bank account, gets chewed up over the years, this and that, down payment on a house, a vacation, then that becomes more problematic and often is not clear.Ryan Kalamaya:
Right. Well, and for listeners, we have an episode called Tracing Separate Property with Andy Baum, where we get into this. And it sounds, Brian, like the the treatment of separate property and the characterization of it is pretty similar. Where you, in Colorado, there's a presumption under 1410. 113, the statute on property. Right. Property that all properties presumed to be marital and you can carve it out. You can prove and, show that something was separate property, but here's where it really matters where if Eric goes through a divorce in Colorado. Versus Texas and we'll get into kind of how you establish residency or dom domiciliary and the qualifications or the, the things that are required to actually file. But so if Texas, if we're rather if Colorado. Has jurisdiction and Eric has received an inheritance and it's, 10 million. In Colorado, you can prove that it's separate property, but the kicker is that any appreciation during the marriage on that inheritance or if he owned a business before the marriage, and that has increased in value. That's why During, the marriage, which can be substantial, that appreciation is marital and Brian, how would that appreciation on the inheritance or if Eric is the beneficiary of a trust that has increased in value? We've seen a huge run up over the last. Decade in the stock market and real estate prices just across the board. How would Eric's trust or inheritance, whatever you want to call it, separate property, how's that treated in Texas?Brian Walters:
Yeah, very good question. The run up in value or the capital appreciation, I guess is the technical term in Texas. Remains the separate property of the person who had it, which is you're right. It's a huge thing. If you had a business that was just taking off and, but you formed it before the marriage, I mean, a day before the marriage, it's the, and it's now a billion dollar company, it's. Billion dollar difference, right? Same thing. I mean, real estate's another really common one. If you bought a house in Aspen 30 years ago, and you're getting divorced now, you bought it right before the marriage. It's probably, what, 10 times what it was worth 30 years ago or something. That would be all that 10 times increase would be yours under Texas law. And that, as I understand, that may be a significantly different. Situation in ColoradoRyan Kalamaya:
is I once had a case where people were going back and forth. We referenced it earlier. They're going back and forth between, Texas and Colorado and the wife ended up staying here for a period of time and tried to file in Colorado. And the reason was that appreciation of separate property was going to matter to the tune of. Multiple millions of dollars and so when people think ahead of time, i've certainly seen I saw another client in contrast that You know her husband was living in new york She you know, it was during the pandemic. She moved, you know here to colorado. She filed for divorce with You know another divorce attorney who didn't really identify that there could be a potential difference she didn't receive a a significant inheritance the difference between new york and colorado Because new york california. I know you've spent you know a fair amount of time in california They generally treat so I know that some states I think colorado. I'm, sorry california and new york It matters if there's Active engagement. So if someone is in a business and they're working on the business, and that appreciation of that separate property is active, there's a difference where that could be considered marital versus, some sort of passive, they're the beneficiary of a trust. They actually don't go to work in the trust or anything like that. But, it really can make a significant difference. Brian, I'm sure you, you see that on your side as well. Yeah,Brian Walters:
I agree with you and that is a big difference and depending on the circumstances can be as you said millions or even tens of millions or hundreds of millions of dollars difference depending on the business.Ryan Kalamaya:
So let's switch gears and talk about spousal support because this is another example where if Eric and Melanie, are going through a divorce, Melanie files for divorce in Colorado we're going to be Talking about spousal support in many circumstances, it obviously depends on the finances involved, but Brian, for those that don't know Texas, what are the, what's the general overview of spousal support or alimony in Texas?Brian Walters:
Yeah, good question. Texas does it differently, I think, than any other state I've heard of, which is, number one, we don't have a legal separation concept. So most states that I'm familiar with, whenever some people separate or file for divorce, whatever the trigger date is, from that point forward, your finances are different, are separate from each other, even if the divorce itself takes... a long time to figure out. Texas, no such thing. You're married until the day the gavel comes down and you're divorced. And if, even if your divorce takes two years and you separated two years before that, it doesn't matter. And so from that perspective, there essentially is, as we call it, temporary spousal support, but it's really even broader than that. Let's, under that scenario, that's an unusual one, but let's say that you were separated for two years and then. Didn't file until the two year mark and it took two more years. So four years from the day somebody walked out the door till the day you get divorced. All of the income coming in and all the expenses being spent by both sides during those four years is still community property. In that scenario, it's really, someone would have essentially, if there's a lower wage earner, there would essentially be a four year support mechanism, essentially 50, 50 percent or more of the income. That's unusual. Most people. Separate and file about the same time and most divorces in Texas take, a shorter time period. It can be as little as 2 months, but if it's a little bit contested, probably not more than a year. But so for during that period of time, there is. It's actually pretty, pretty extensive support obligations. But the moment that gavel comes down, there is no such thing as alimony in Texas. We have what's called spousal maintenance, which is relatively new and a very far cry from what most people are, would consider alimony. It is only applies for longer term marriages only in a situation where the other spouse cannot provide for their minimum reasonable needs, which is not defined. And and to a lot of judges means the minimum wage, which if you're, if you're not disabled, there's pretty much nobody that's going to qualify. And even then it's capped at a pretty low amount, essentially 5, 000 a month, which for high wage earners compared to what you'd pay in alimony in other states is minuscule. It is I like to say there is no alimony in Texas to. To simplify it, the true answer is a little more complicated, but you might as well, consider that to be the case. So that's a long way of explaining it here because it is a little complicated, like most things, but that's the summary of it.Ryan Kalamaya:
Yeah, no, and I think that's a great. Point because you have you could have a scenario going back to wrap it all up you could have a scenario where if eric is the beneficiary of a trust Or owns his own business before the marriage that could consider that could be considered to be You know all of his separate property and then the parties could have had You know, a very jet set, extravagant, rich lifestyle. And Eric in Texas, would pay a minimum amount of spousal support. Whereas in Colorado, not only is Melanie potentially going to get the appreciation on that. Separate property, but if they lived a very, extravagant lifestyle, she could be asking for spousal support, even if she gets 5 million in marital property. And I think that people, when they start hearing these numbers, they can see. Why it really matters on filing versus Colorado and other states. And so one, one question that we, glossed over and it matters for, maintenance Brian, it's because in Colorado. It's an equitable division state, so we, don't have to divide things equally judges will sometimes give, a disproportionate amount, 60 percent to Melanie of the marital estate, which as we have covered could be a significantly larger share or a bigger number than what we would be dealing with in Texas. And they would do that to help Melanie meet her reasonable needs or to have more property to, ameliorate or mitigate the concerns on spousal support. And judges generally like to award the property because that's Final, that's done. Whereas the ongoing, spousal support, people can argue about that, and come back to court and judges don't like that. So in Texas, do you, community property, do you have to divide it equally?Brian Walters:
Good question, and that's a really good question. No, you don't. In fact, there's nothing that says that we divide marital property here in a fair and just manner, which I think for most judges is they start with the assumption that's going to be 50 50, but it's nothing statutory. And one of the two big reasons why courts move things one direction or the other percentage wise is exactly that. When you have a high wage earner, In a low wage earner, you're exactly right. I mean, that's not uncommon for the court to do that. The other reason is marital misbehavior, but it's financial is the big one. But in a lot of cases, there's not that much to move. And generally the courts here don't like to move it more than five or ten percent. 60 40 is an unusual division. It's Usually around 50 50, maybe 55 45. And, for your typical Americans who, own a house with some equity in the 401k and, not a whole lot else other than that, if you've got somebody earning, 500, 000 a year and someone who's been a stay at home parent that, and let's say they have a million dollars in assets, which is way more than the average American even moving it. To 6040 is only 100, 000, difference, which, is a few months pay for the higher wage earner. And it can help a little bit and they're certainly unusual. So you could always come up with a scenario where it was more, more favorable in Texas or something like that. But I think generally speaking. If you're the higher wage earner, Texas is by far the better jurisdiction, and Colorado is by far the better one for the lower wage earner.Ryan Kalamaya:
Yeah, the non money spouse, generally, they will seek refuge in Colorado. I see that. I've worked it on both sides, where clients have come to me, and they... One in particular that I remembered he, he was the beneficiary of a trust and he was in the process of moving to Texas. And I, advised him, hey, you should consult with a Texas lawyer because. You might want to hold off on filing and wait to get to Texas because the financial differences are going to be significant. And I think that kind of brings us to, okay, so what happens? And one, after that, one question I want to ask you is about the marital misconduct and the jury trial system in Texas. Cause I know that that is, is different from Colorado, but you know, for people that. They are considering, or they have, a spouse in another state that they're separated and they're worried about this. Typically what we would do is someone would come to me and we would have a hypothetical or they would give me a summary of, Hey I've got this business. I. I've, or I've got separate property and I would jump on a, in a conference call with a Texas lawyer like you, Brian, and we would say, all right, well, under Colorado, this is the general likely outcome and it could be that marital or the appreciation of separate property would be marital and then you would opine on what would happen in Texas and the client would be able to. understand the differences and proceed, accordingly. Is that how, has that been your experience, Brian?Brian Walters:
It is, and and it's a little confusing too, the other thing is that there are very specific rules among the states when you have, let's say you're married with kids, let's say Eric and Melanie have kids there are very specific rules about where the kid part of the case is, which state that's going to be in, but there's not real specific rules about the divorce part, and which is confusing, you might have a divorce, the divorce is in Texas, and the, Kid cases in Colorado, even though they're married with kids. So it, that's a further thing that can be confusing and probably is worth talking to a lawyer about, forRyan Kalamaya:
sure. Yeah, and we've had a, you and I had a prior episode on the UCCJEA and the jurisdictional issues on the home state and everything, but for purposes of the divorce, so the financial considerations in Texas. How long do Eric and Melanie what, at what point can they file for divorce? Is it that they, they follow everyone in moving to Austin it seems like these days and they, they, they can just show up and file on, on, on day, two of being in Texas?Brian Walters:
No so on a divorce part, you have to be in the state of Texas for 6 months. Now that's not, continuously. You could probably be going back and forth, but sort of where your main residence is and then in a particular county, Travis counties, Austin, for example for 90 days, although that's usually not a big issue. Thank you. There is that six month rule that you need to. So yeah, you can't just hop on a plane to Dallas and file the next day. You need to lay the groundwork for it.Ryan Kalamaya:
So yeah. Yeah, in Colorado, the rule is that you have to be domiciled for more than 90 days. So 91 days, you have to be domiciled and domiciliary is It's different than residency because you can have multiple residences. We've talked about people that have second homes in Crested Butte or Boulder. That, you can have multiple residences, but you can only have one domiciliary and it's this antiquated legal concept that has been eroded or watered down with our modern, like. people moving around. And it's a concept that people can understand, but it gets really blurry in today's world. But domiciliary is essentially your home. And so it's, we get into where have you registered to vote because you can only register to vote in one place. And where's your driver's license? Where are your credit card bank statements? Where are they going to? Where is, where are you filing for? Tax purposes because that generally will be guided by how long have you spent more than six months or are you spending the majority of your time? And a lot of people, because, Brian, how much, what's your, what's the Texas state income tax these days?Brian Walters:
Proudly zero. So you're right. And I mean, so people are going to want to write, domicile or register in Texas, even if that's maybe not their primary residence because of the tax purposes. It happens all the time. And right who moves somewhere and the 1st thing they do is change their voter registration, right? When, I mean, you've got better things to do when you're moving halfway across the country. It's just I totally agree. I've seen that a lot. I've seen people who've lived here for, in Texas for years and still have a, an Idaho driver's license and registered to vote in Florida or wherever. And yeah it's a crazy, it's crazy. I mean, you got to have some standards, right? And, I mean, it's not like people get on a covered wagon and move everything, all their belongings, when they go to a different state. Sometimes with kids stuff, if we come UCCJA thing, that's... Usually fairly easy is where are the kids enrolled in school, but it's not that way with adults, right? I mean, especially Jobs are remote these days. And yeah, I mean, that's just really complicated So yeah,Ryan Kalamaya:
because people come to Colorado especially in the summer from Houston where you are they leave Houston in July and August. And then they come to a place like Colorado at one, at what point are they, if Eric and Melanie do that, but then Eric's like, I'm going to stay in Texas and just work you, Melanie, you go to the mountains for the summer, if they decide that. They're going to, file for divorce. At what point does, Melanie change her domiciliary? And that's where it gets really sticky and really complicated. And I've seen those circumstances and, then it becomes somewhat of a race to the courthouse because there can be different rules on, you file in Colorado and that. Then you serve the other party, but what happens if, someone files in Colorado and then the other party, hears about it and files in Texas, but then there's a difference in, in who's served. I, Brian in, my research, I. Came across a case where, the parties, it was a very high asset case. I believe it went up to the U. S. Supreme Court. But it was, the wife was in California. She flew the kids on a private jet to pick up the husband, Eric, in Houston. They were going to do a European vacation. Had been separated and Eric asked Melanie to step out of the private plane onto the tarmac and said, Hey, I just need to talk to you about something. He served her with papers in Texas. She turned around, went into the private jet back to California and filed immediately there. And then it became a question of. Does California or Texas have jurisdiction? And the reasons were because of the financial implications, what we just covered and those cases, they can happen and they can, really matter but. One question I wanted to ask you that you were mentioning that I know that there's a difference. Can you talk a little bit about marital misconduct? Because for listeners that, to the Divorce at Altitude podcast, Colorado is a no fault state. Marital misconduct or domestic violence. Those things don't matter unless it's relating to the children, but for financial considerations, it doesn't matter. And I believe that's a little bit different in Texas. So can you provide a little context on what marital misconduct and how that matters in Texas? Yeah,Brian Walters:
we're, I don't know if you want to call it old fashioned or whatever here, but that's still on the books. And the 2 big ones are either family violence between the spouses, which I think is self explanatory. I mean, that often is litigated. It's often he said, she said, but. If the court feels that there has been one way then the court can take action on that. It's technically called cruel treatment, which can be verbal not just physical, but I think, running that through a judge, most of them feel like, saying bad things to each other is probably, a more of a symptom of a declining marriage rather than a reason for that. But if there's been, actual physical abuse, especially more recent, most courts here are going to take that pretty seriously and take that into consideration with the. Financial division. The other one is is adultery which strangely has gotten much easier to prove, I think, these days with electronic communication. When I started practice before, cell phones were really common and, everybody messaged everybody. There was, if two people met up in a hotel room and paid cash, there's not any real way to prove that unless someone admitted it, which was not probably not going to happen, but.Ryan Kalamaya:
Ryder, you have the private investigator sitting out in the parking lot taking pictures, which you see in the movies.Brian Walters:
Exactly, and these days you just look at their phone and it's like, oh, okay, here's where they... Plan to meet up at the hotel room. Oh, that was easy but that can be a factor too. I think that's less of a factor than it used to be but it's still on the books. I think it probably depends a bit on the exact circumstances of it. The timeframe, the particular judge's view on it, et cetera. But yeah, those are still factors, and I've especially with the violence part of it, I've seen courts, again move the needle 5 or 10 percent one way or the other, which can be a decent size number in certain cases. We also can sue for torts here within a divorce. So if you did assault your spouse, for example, you can sue them for money damages for that assault, which. Could be depending on what a judge or jury thinks could be a decent size number, which you could add on top of all of that.Ryan Kalamaya:
Yeah, we, in Colorado, we do have marital torts. We have a previous episode on it. We'll link to that in the show notes where we discuss that. But, Brian, I'm curious, is alimony or spousal support? Does that matter when it comes to the family violence or the marital the adultery?Brian Walters:
That's a good point. That's something that's been added to the marriage, to the alimony. or spousal maintenance provisions relate to, not to the adultery, but as to, to family violence. If that has been the case, that opens the door to it. And but I just rarely see that in, in practice. For a couple of different reasons but it's, but yeah, it does open the door to it. And we also have had some changes here in the protective order laws just going into effect last month, which make protective orders easier to get, which can then spiral into the rest of these issues with with family violence. So it's an issue. For sure, and it can affect the finances. AndRyan Kalamaya:
the final point is, Texas, you do, y'all do jury trials channeling my inner Texas there. Can you tell listeners a little bit about what, in what circumstances do you do? Jury trials, because in Colorado, all divorces, it's in front of a judge it's a bench trial or hearing. In what circumstances do Texas do you guys do jury trials?Brian Walters:
That's the other big change, or big difference between every other state from what I understand. And it's generally anything anything of importance. Kids stuff you can have a custody jury trial on who gets custody of the kids or where the parents can live, which is often a big issue with between different states. You can have a jury tell you why you're getting divorced if it's a no fault divorce, or if it's actually the cruel treatment or adultery and as to property, the jury can decide whether something is separate or community, which is a big question, and then also the value of or the value of particular items. Often there's a dispute on, for example, a business with what it's worth. And, of course, under our law, once something is put in that separate property category, the judge cannot touch it. And so the judge still makes the percentage division and decides who gets exactly what, but the big questions are taken out of the judge's hands. And so the question of why or when Number one, if you get a sense that the judge is not going to be fair to you, if your client feels that either they, you think they're biased towards you or don't like you or angry or something like that client has a sense of that, I mean, that's what the jury system is for in the United States in general, and that we take it very seriously here in Texas. The other reason, frankly, is that jury trials are very much more expensive and much more difficult. I've seen people use it tactically to try to run up the cost on the other side to financially exhaust them. That's an effective tactic, actually. And number two very few lawyers try jury trials and very few try them frequently and confidently. And if you have a better lawyer, a more experienced lawyer, and the other side's going to be very nervous about that. Then you might ask for a jury in the hopes that it intimidates the other lawyer. And I've seen that be very effective, too. That's a more subtle thing. It doesn't come out, the opposing lawyer is not going to say, oh, my gosh, I'm afraid of a jury. I'm going to arm twist my client to settle. on negative terms, but that's actually what happens in my view fairly frequently.Ryan Kalamaya:
That makes total sense. I mean, I was a prosecutor before I did family law and would go to jury trials and, selfishly that the rush of having a jury come out and say guilty or not guilty It is in stark contrast to what I do now, most of the time where the judge will say, all right, thank you for your arguments. I'm going to go back in and issue a ruling in like two or three months. I mean, I had a recent case. It was an emergency custody hearing. The judge ruled from the bench. That was, a rare exception, but you are a hundred percent right in that the jury system and that the presentation of. of evidence and how that all goes is pretty significant. I mean, ultimately, the rules of evidence are the same. Whether they're applied, the same is up for debate. But I can only imagine picking a jury. I mean, it takes half a day at, the quickest. It often can occur for a whole You know, David, the posturing and the various arguments and the procedures, it just takes a lot longer. And I could imagine the difference in how those issues, whether it be the value of a business to a judge who he has heard this before, knows about business valuations and can cut through the the various. legal or business jargon, valuation jargon versus, random people off the street, that is going to matter greatly. So there, there's some major strategic value there or differences that is really interesting that Texas still continues to do that.Brian Walters:
Yeah, it's it's definitely every time I tell an out of state lawyer that they're like, what are you talking about? And honestly, I have had, I think, as a general rule, better, better outcomes from a jury, or let me say this, less surprising or weird outcomes from a jury as from a judge. I think generally in both cases, I get Pretty much what we expect or within a range of expectations, but I don't get the occasional really weird rulings that I get from a judge and I think that's just 12 people making a decision versus one, right? Where you have one person. They're more likely to have a weird. Outcome, which might be weird in your client's favor, but still weird, right? And that makes you nervous.Ryan Kalamaya:
Oh, totally. I was presenting at the judicial conference here in Colorado for the brand new judges on financial issues in a divorce. And it was interesting that a lot of these, new judges. They didn't know what a profit and loss statement was. They didn't look at tax returns because they were governmental. They were public defenders or prosecutors. And you have one person that may not know all that much about financial issues, but if you have 12 jurors, Someone's going to be a business owner and they're going to be able to chime in that jury room Someone's going to have a different perspective I do I agree with you know your perspective I know that you and brian or brian and you and your partner jake have done, you know Your own podcast and i've talked about Arbitrators and in private judges and you can you know have that system in texas but you know the application of the concepts that we just talked about I think is hopefully enlightening for for people. And if they're considering a divorce in Colorado or Texas, or they have some other state involved, I think that just hearing the differences in Colorado is helpful for listeners. Thanks so much for your time. If people want to learn more about your firm and you Brian where's the best place to, to find you?Brian Walters:
It's probably just our website, waltersgilbert. com and pretty much good information in there, phone number and a lot of other type of stuff ifRyan Kalamaya:
needed. And you guys have your own podcast where can listeners listen more about Jake and you?Brian Walters:
Yeah, we do. I'm sure we'll put the, it in the show notes, but it's for better or worse or divorce. And we do that just about a weekly episode or so and cover. cover, various topics as Texas related, although occasionally we do talk about out of state stuff as we've discussed here.Ryan Kalamaya:
Well, great information again, Brian, thank you for joining us on Divorce at Altitude. And for listeners that, want to find out more, we'll have links to all this in the show notes, but thanks again for joining us on Divorce at Altitude. My pleasure. hey everyone. This is Ryan again. Thank you for joining us on Divorce at Altittude. If you found our tips, insight, or discussion helpful, please tell a friend about this podcast. For show notes, additional resources or links mentioned on today's episode, visit Divorce at Altittude dot com. Follow us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen in. Many of our episodes are also posted on YouTube. You can also find Amy and. Law or 9 7 0 3 1 5 2 3 6 5. That's aaa.