Unraveling The Property Division Process
If you and your spouse cannot come to a mutual agreement about how to split up your assets and debts, the court will decide. While property is divided equally among spouses in some states, Colorado is an equitable distribution state. That semantic distinction is important! It means that a court will allocate property to the divorcing parties in a way that is fair and equitable but not necessarily 50/50.
We Will Explain How Equitable Distribution Affects Your Divorce
Colorado courts consider a number of factors. Some examples are:
- Each spouse’s contribution to the marriage
- The current economic situation of each party
- Length of the marriage
- Valuation of separate property (such as premarital, gifted or inherited property) received by a spouse during the marriage
- Any liquidation of separate property for the sake of the marriage
- The final valuation of the property assigned to each spouse
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All property involved has to be assessed as marital or separate.
Did one spouse own the property prior to the marriage or was it acquired after the marriage? Was the property acquired by gift or inheritance? Based on this determination, the judge will divide the marital property — or a valuation of the property — based on what the court considers fair. If necessary, the property may be sold, with the cash proceeds distributed equitably.
Who Is Responsible For Paying Debts?
One often-forgotten but major hurdle during a divorce is assigning and discharging debts. The courts divide any outstanding debt liabilities between the two parties based on the same set of inquiries used for asset division. Debt can significantly impede a fresh start following a divorce, so debt obligations must be dealt with properly.
Factors To Consider When Dividing Assets In A Divorce
To make these determinations, the courts require the divorcing spouses to disclose financial data to each other. This includes:
- All business and personal financial statements for the last three years
- All income tax returns filed in the last three years
- Appraisals and titles for all real estate
- Current statements for any and all bank, investment and retirement accounts
- Current pay stubs or other proof of income
- Proof of child care expenses for children of the parties
- Documentation of all personal loans and mortgages
- Documentation of any and all educational expenses
- Documentation of children’s extraordinary expenses
Do Not Proceed Without A Lawyer. Call Now.
Making hasty decisions during the property division process may mean you walking away with less than you are entitled to receive. We can help to prevent that. At a case evaluation, we will receive your assets and debts so that you can have an idea of where to go from here. To schedule a consultation, please call 303-797-2900. You can also request a consultation by using our contact form.