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Aurora Marital Property Division Attorneys

Aurora Marital Property Division Attorneys Helping You Navigate Property Division During a Divorce

Having the right family law team on your side can make all the difference when it comes time to divide your marital assets in a divorce. One of the first questions you might have at the outset of your divorce case is “where will I live when the case is concluded?” Another question might be, “who gets the marital home?” The process for deciding who gets the house and how the equity will be divided is not always easy or simple. The Aurora property division attorneys at Plog & Stein, P.C. have extensive experience dealing with asset division in divorce cases, including Aurora real estate. By keeping abreast of property division matters relating to family law in Colorado, we are able to effectively represent our clients when it comes time to divide the marital home, or other real estate, including commercial and vacation property. Let us work with you to make sure you get a fair settlement when dividing your marital estate.

Colorado Property Division Overview

Before hiring an attorney to help divide marital property in your Aurora divorce, it’s a good idea to have a general understanding of how property division works in Colorado divorce cases. Keep reading for a brief overview so you have a better idea of what you can expect and see how an experienced marital property division attorney can help you fight for your rights moving forward.

How Is Marital Property Divided in Colorado?

In a Colorado divorce, property is divided according to principles of equitable division. This means that courts will attempt to divide property in an “equitable,” or fair, manner. Thus, this means that marital property in a divorce will not always necessarily be divided equally. Additionally, it’s important to note that property is to be divided without taking into account any marital misconduct of either spouse, if any exists.

If you have questions about property division matters for your divorce, speak with an Aurora asset division attorney to discuss your options.

How Are Debts Divided?

Generally speaking, marital property extends to both assets and liabilities belonging to a married couple. Accordingly, it’s important to note that debts will also be subject to the principles of equitable distribution, similarly to assets, during the course of a Colorado divorce.

Marital vs. Separate Property

In a Colorado divorce, property belonging to the parties must first be classified as marital or separate. How property will ultimately be divided will turn on how the specific items of property are classified.

Under Colorado law, only marital property is subject to division in a divorce. Marital property generally includes assets and debts acquired by either spouse during the marriage, regardless of whose name is on the title or account.

Conversely, separate property generally includes property that is:

  • Acquired by gift or inheritance,
  • Acquired prior to the marriage,
  • Acquired by a spouse after a decree of legal separation has been entered, and
  • Excluded by valid agreement between the parties.

Importantly, there is a presumption under Colorado law that property acquired by either spouse after the date of marriage and before the legal decree of divorce or legal separation will be considered marital property. Thus, the burden to prove otherwise will be on the spouse seeking to classify any property as separate property.

Role of the Court in Property Division

The courts play an integral role in property division matters in a Colorado divorce. Ultimately, the court’s role is to oversee the process and ensure that all property belonging to the parties is divided in a fair and equitable manner. This will typically involve:

  • Classifying any property as marital property or separate property,
  • Reviewing and approving any marital or premarital settlement agreements (if applicable),
  • Evaluating evidence and testimony presented by the parties,
  • Assigning values to certain property based on testimony of financial and other expert witnesses, and
  • Issuing legally binding orders determining the division of marital assets and debts.

Of course, some spouses may be able to amicably reach agreeable terms regarding how to divide their property at the conclusion of their divorce proceedings without significant court involvement. However, this is not always the case. This is where Colorado divorce courts come into play.

What Factors to Consider When Dividing Assets in a Divorce

In determining how to classify and divide property in a Colorado divorce, courts will consider factors such as:

  • The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition of any marital property,
  • Whether and to what extent either spouse contributed as a homemaker,
  • The value of the property set apart to each spouse,
  • The economic circumstances of each spouse at the time the property division will become effective, and
  • Any increases or decreases in the value of any separate property during the marriage.

Note, however, that this is not an exhaustive list, and the courts will consider any other factor that it deems relevant and just in dividing and distributing property.

How Premarital Agreements and Marital Agreements Affect Property Division

Premarital agreements and marital agreements, also referred to as prenuptial agreements (prenups) and postnuptial agreements (postnups), respectively, can impact how property is ultimately divided in a Colorado divorce.

Prenups are agreements entered into by and between the parties before the marriage outlining how certain assets and debt will be handled in the event of a divorce. Similarly, postnups will address how property will be divided in the event of a divorce. However, postnups are entered into between the parties after marriage.

If a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement exists between the parties, the terms of the agreement will generally control when it comes to property division in a Colorado divorce. Thus, even if certain property would otherwise be presumed marital property subject to division, a provision to the contrary in a prenup or postnup could be enough to rebut that presumption.

Notably, however, prenups and postnups are subject to review by the courts and may be invalidated, in whole or in part, if it is determined that the agreement was not entered into voluntarily, is procedurally deficient, was done without reasonable financial disclosure, or violates public policy.

If you have a prenup or postnup and are wondering how this might impact your assets, our marital property division attorneys can help with your Aurora divorce.

Distribution of the Marital Home and Assets in Aurora Divorces

If you are unable to come to an agreement with the other party in your divorce, the marital property will ultimately be divided however the judge in your case deems to be fair. What this means for you is that the economic circumstances of each party will be evaluated and considered for the purpose of dividing up your home and any other property jointly owned by you and your spouse. Real estate acquired during the marriage is generally considered marital property. Additionally, any increase in the equity of a separately owned property during the marriage may also be considered marital in nature.

After determining what property is marital (subject to division during a divorce), the next step in the process is deciding on the disposition and allocation of that property. The two possible outcomes in any case are that either the property is sold or one party keeps it. In terms of real estate, generally, spouses agree on this issue, which then leads to figuring out both equity division and financing.

  • Equity: If the home ends up being sold, equity is determined by the market, with the net sales proceeds being divided, generally equally. However, if one party is going to keep the home, or other real estate, equity will generally be determined by an appraiser, or appraisers, hired by the parties. Often, people use one appraiser, though in some cases disagreement with the analysis may lead to the other party seeking a second opinion. Appraising commercial and residential real estate comes with vastly different costs and procedures.
  • Financing: If the marital home is financed in one spouse’s name, he or she may need to refinance to pull equity out to pay the other his or her share. If financed in both spouses’ names, the party receiving the payout also needs to be concerned with making sure he or she is removed from the financing in an appropriate time frame. Oftentimes, the ability to purchase a new home will be impacted if you remain tied into the mortgage on the marital home. Obtaining detailed orders regarding refinancing and protections for both parties can prevent both confusion and problems down the road.

Serving clients in Aurora and beyond, our marital property division attorneys recognize the importance of making sure your rights are protected tied into the marital real estate. We recognize that each family’s financial portfolio is different. We take the time to analyze the complete array of marital assets and are ready to work with our clients towards coming up with an asset distribution plan that makes sense for them as they move on with their lives. We are both advisers and advocates, in and out of the courtroom. We have the tools and skills to work towards your objectives related to your real property and all aspects of your case. This includes decades of litigating divorce cases in Arapahoe and Adams Counties.

Knowledgeable Property Division Lawyers Advocating for Aurora Residents

The City of Aurora has well over 150,000 housing units, 57.3% of which are owner-occupied, with a median home value of $400,000. The majority of our Aurora divorce cases involve real estate as one of the contested issues. Protect your assets by contacting a divorce attorney who understands Aurora marital property division and knows how to handle all aspects of dividing your marital estate.

Plog & Stein, P.C. understands your local real estate climate and our marital property division lawyers are ready to strategically represent you, with the goal of making sure you are treated fairly when it comes time to divide your Aurora property. Call us at 303-781-0322 or contact us online to discuss our services and competitive rates.