Whether you have recently filed for divorce or are simply entertaining the idea, you may have a myriad of emotions. Going through a divorce is no easy feat, and tackling the difficult topics that come along with divorce can be overwhelming.
For many, separating the property that you have accumulated during the course of the marriage may be one of the most difficult issues to negotiate, especially if you have become attached to certain items. It is helpful to understand what constitutes marital property so you receive everything you deserve in the final settlement.
Marital property, also referred to as community property, consists of all assets and items you amassed throughout years of marriage, according to Financial Times. While you may think of the family home, car, bank account contents and furniture as marital property, there are less common items that are often overlooked during negotiations. These include the following:
- Intellectual property, such as copyrights, trademarks and patents
- Expensive collections, such as art, antiques, coins, classic cars and wine
- Gifts exchanged between you and your spouse during the marriage
- Income tax refunds and lottery winnings
- Airplanes and rental properties
- Term life insurance policies, 401k plans, retirement plans, stock options and money market accounts
Assets or property that you or your spouse loans to a third-party is also eligible for division once it is repaid.
Rather than split marital property equally in half between spouses, the court will take into account several factors before determining who receives what. Colorado is an equitable division of property state, meaning the court separates community property equitably, which does not always mean equally. Each party is responsible to disclose all property and assets in their possession.
Whether you decide to create the terms of your own divorce settlement through mediation or leave the final decision to the courts, it is critical to understand the property division process.