Complex Marital Estates
The average age at which a person gets married for the first time has been increasing in recent years, and most people who enter into second or third marriages are further along in life as well. This means that many upper-middle class and wealthy individuals enter into marriages holding significant assets. Once a person marries, however, their property may become commingled with their partner's property. Even when a prenuptial agreement is involved, it can be difficult to know how much of any asset is considered separate or marital property when two people start divorce proceedings. Our Denver complex marital estate lawyers at Plog & Stein, P.C. are experienced advocates for clients with complex marital estates, and can help you make your case for a fair and reasonable distribution of assets.
Colorado courts divide marital property "equitably" during a divorce, but separate property usually stays with its original owner. "Equitable division" does not mean that marital property is always divided 50-50 in Colorado, as it is in some states. Rather, the goal is to divide a couple's marital property fairly.
Since it is only marital assets that are subject to a court's allocation in divorce proceedings, it is important to determine whether any property that may appear to be marital property is actually separate property. Separate property is property that a spouse brought into a marriage, or that was acquired via inheritance or gift meant solely for a single spouse. Aside from assisting clients in identifying the nature of their property, our attorneys can also help people strategically plan to protect their assets, even prior to divorce coming into the picture. Intricacies can come with high dollar cases. A complex marital estate attorney in the Denver area should understand aspects of dividing assets in these types of matters.Characterizing Assets
Property owners with significant assets such as pensions, small businesses, retirement funds, investment properties, or "goodwill" may have more complex marital estates. A key aspect of dealing with complex marital estates is determining exactly what portion is marital property, identifying any separate property that should stay with the original owner, and determining ways to protect those assets. The divorce attorneys at Plog & Stein have significant experience identifying, valuing, and dividing marital assets.
We can assist with obtaining proper valuations of various assets, including, but not limited to:
- Business interests, including "goodwill"
- Retirement accounts, including pensions and 401(k) accounts
- Financial investments
- Real property, including residential, commercial, and agricultural
We can also assess an individual's interest in trust assets, as well as intellectual properties such as copyrights, patents, and trademarks. In order to make sure that our work is as accurate as possible, we may work closely with trustworthy professionals such as forensic accountants, appraisers, estate planners, and tax advisers. Property division may dramatically impact each party's future wealth during a divorce. Therefore, it is crucial for Denver residents to retain complex marital estate lawyers and experts with experience in this area.Suspect Your Spouse Has Concealed Assets?
At the outset of every divorce case, Colorado law (C.R.S. 14-10-107) puts into place an injunction prohibiting spouses from hiding, concealing, encumbering or depleting marital assets while the case is pending. You can, of course, purchase necessities or conduct business in an ordinary manner. However, you cannot take all the money out of your 401(k) or place an extra mortgage on your house. Both parties must disclose their financial position to the other side during the divorce, as well as report any transfers of marital assets which occur.
If you believe your spouse has concealed assets or depleted an account without your consent, our knowledgeable attorneys can investigate and make the court aware of these prohibited actions. The court may award you your share of any funds that have been dissipated by your spouse. Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 16.2, also authorizes the court to deal with undisclosed assets in some situations for up to 5 years after the divorce is concluded.Need Guidance? Retain a Knowledgeable Denver Complex Marital Estate Attorney!
At Plog & Stein, P.C., we understand how important your assets are to you and how hard you've worked to acquire them. If you have a complex marital estate, our attorneys will be both analytical and methodical so that we can make sure property is allocated to you fairly under the law.