When you divorce, so many things go through your mind. What will your custody agreement be with your ex? Will you need to move? What will your new life look like?
While the big picture is overwhelming, it’s tough to remember all the small details that need to be addressed in a divorce. And some of those small details include property to be divided.
Colorado is an equitable distribution state, which means the divorcing parties should work together to decide on an “equitable” – not necessarily equal – split of the property you acquired together in marriage. And while it’s easy to remember the large purchases, it’s much more difficult during the pressure of a divorce to remember the old coin you bought that is kept wrapped up and put in the dresser drawer for safekeeping.
That’s why it’s vital to make a checklist of your marital property and record each item as you inventory your home. (Don’t forget the contents of your safe-deposit box, too.) Divide assets into categories to trigger your memory.
- Real property, which includes: your primary residence, vacation home, rental properties, land or business properties.
- Personal property, or the things that fill your home: antiques and art; furniture, crystal, china and silverware; furniture and rugs; collectibles, such as stamps, coins, and even baseball cards; furs and jewelry; electronics; guns; workout equipment; clothing; and motorized vehicles, including cars, boats, and RVs.
- Financial goods, which includes: cash, savings accounts, checking accounts, educational accounts and even special household funds, such as for vacations or Christmas; stocks, bonds, mutual accounts, certificates of deposit and annuities; life insurance and trusts; and retirement accounts, pensions IRAs and 401(k) accounts.
- Business assets, including professional practices, shares in a partnership and sole proprietorships.
You’ll want to come to the negotiating table with a full list of assets when you meet with your soon-to-be-ex to divide your property. Think in advance about what is most important to you, as well as what seems equitable.