Marital Property division is one of the five major issues that can arise in a divorce case. In Colorado, courts will divide marital property “equitably,” as set forth in C.R.S. 14-10-113. Thus, Colorado is an “equitable division” state, as opposed to a “community property” state. The key for all parties in a divorce case to remember is that the judge has the power to allocate marital property as he or she sees fit. Our attorneys are ready to analyze the property held by you and your spouse to concretely determine what is marital and what is not.
Here is what you need to know about marital property:
- Marital property will generally be any property acquired during the marriage, so long as it was not acquired by gift or inheritance.
- Property which is not “marital” is called separate property.
- Increases in value to separate property during the course of the marriage can be considered “marital” property.
- Separate property which is subsequently jointly titled can also become marital.
How Property is Divided in Colorado Divorces
As a general rule of thumb, most Denver area judges or courts will divide marital property equally. However, in some instances, a court will divide property not necessarily equally, such as a 70/30 split. This may occur in instances in which one party has a much higher income or ability to replace property, or as may relate to alimony. Unequal asset division might also occur in instances in which one party is allocated more of the marital debt. Your attorney can explain this further and can also discuss how, in some cases, the amount of property retained by a party can also affect alimony.
Valuation of property in a divorce case is also highly important and something our lawyers are well versed in handling. Some property items are easily valued, such as a 401K with a specific balance amount.
Other marital assets require more complex valuations, such as the following examples:
- Homes may need to be valued via the services of an expert appraiser
- Businesses may require a business valuation expert
Pensions are often divided via what is called the “Time Rule Formula.” Knowing the value of each property item is important because property is not automatically split in half. Rather, whether done by the court or agreement of the parties, the key is to generally mix-and-match assets such that each party ends up with a roughly equal share of the proverbial marital pie.
From time to time, marital property issues can arise after the divorce is done, such as in instances in which one party conceals property when making his or her financial disclosures. It is important to keep in mind that the court generally only retains jurisdiction for five years from when the divorce decree enters to deal with undisclosed assets.
In addition to dividing marital property, our attorneys can also help to ensure your orders are followed in a timely and appropriate fashion as relates to the actual, post-decree division of the marital estate.
Protect Your Assets! Our Property Division Lawyers Are Here to Help
An attorney should approach property division in a divorce case in a methodical and learned manner. Our firm’s goal is to make sure that the property needs of each client are dealt with in such a manner. We recognize that your assets are important, no matter how big or small. The property division attorneys at our Denver firm are ready to assist you in protecting your separate property and making sure that the property acquired during marriage is appropriately valued and fairly divided.
Please don’t hesitate to give us a call to discuss the property aspects of your divorce case.