Property Division Frequently Asked Questions: Real Estate



  1. Can the court give my house I owned before the marriage to my husband?

    The answer to this question depends on titling. If the wife owning the home prior to marriage has not made the mistake of jointly titling the home in her husband’s name, the home should be considered separate property pursuant to C.R.S. 14-10-113, the statutory section dealing with allocation of property in a Colorado divorce. As such, the court should not forcibly give the house to the husband in this scenario. However, this is not to say that the husband may not be entitled to some compensation related to the home. If the house in question has increased in value during the marriage, the general rule of thumb is that the increase is marital in nature. As such, the court can order the increase in equity during the marriage be split between the parties, which will generally be done equally. Your Denver divorce attorney can assist you in assessing how your house will be dealt with by the court, regardless of titling. With the improved housing market over the last two to three years, real estate has returned to the status of something worth fighting for.

  2. My husband owned his house prior to the marriage, what are my rights?

    The first question the Denver divorce attorneys at Plog & Stein, P.C. would ask is how long the parties have been married and whether the husband had titled the property in both names? Assuming the house remained titled solely in the husband’s name, the marital equity in the home would be any equity that accrued between the date of marriage and now. That portion of the equity in the home would be subject to division.

    Because the house was husband’s pre-marital property, the court could not award it to the wife or order it to be sold. However, the court could certainly order that wife get her share of the marital equity, generally half, through other means. This could include orders indicating that husband must pay her a certain amount of money or orders giving her a greater share of other marital property to offset her share of the equity.

    If husband elected at some point during the marriage to put wife onto the title, there would be a strong argument that the house was a gift to the marriage and became wholly marital property. In that instance, wife would arguably be entitled to her share of all of the equity, not just that which accrued during the marriage.
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