spouses fighting over equitable division of marital property

What Is Equitable Division Of Marital Property?

In a legal separation or dissolution of marriage (divorce) Colorado divides property in an equitable manner.

Equitable is not equal. Equitable is a division of property that is considered "fair" by the courts.

Page Contents

Marital Property

Separate Property

Who Gets The House?

Marital Debt

Dividing Assets In A Divorce

  • Value All Of Your Belongings
  • Determine What Can Be Liquidated
  • Prepare A Final Spreadsheet For Your Attorney

Marital Property

Colorado is a marital property state meaning the courts divide property by fair and equitable means. Colorado is not a community property state where the property is divided equally between spouses.

Separate Property

Colorado also recognizes separate property where one spouse can own or acquire property separate from their spouse.

Separate property is typically

  • real estate owned before marriage,
  • gifts,
  • inheritance,
  • and property acquired after a legal separation.

If both spouses can not come to an agreement on the separation of the property outside of court. A Colorado Judge will decide what is “fair and equitable”. A judge considers several factors when dividing marital property

  • Custody of the children;
  • The economic situation of each spouse;
  • The physical and mental health of the spouse;
  • Employability and education;
  • What the spouse may have gained or lost in the property;
  • Increase/decrease in value of the property during the marriage;
  • Marital transgressions of the spouse;
  • And others.

Separate property can become martial when there is comingling. For example, if you had a bank account previous to the marriage but your spouse has made deposits to the account it can now be considered marital property.

is inheritance marital property in colorado?

Inheritances and gifts during the marriage can still be considered "separate property".

Who gets the house?

When the home was purchased will be an important factor if the home is considered marital property.

If the home is considered marital property, like other assets and debts, the judge will decide how to divide the property by what is considered "fair and equitable".

Dividing Assets In A Divorce

Whether you have been married for two years or 20 years or longer, your assets are likely co-mingled with your spouse.

During a divorce, you must find a way to agreeably divide the assets in a manner that is legal according to the laws and that is equitable or fair to both parties. You first should speak with Denver family law attorney Cory Gallagher regarding the laws in your state to obtain some initial guidance on how to divide assets.

This information will help you to determine the initial steps you need to take to legally divide your belongings.

Value All Of Your Belongings.

After obtaining legal guidance regarding the division of your assets, prepare a list of all of the belongings that you and your spouse own. This may include cars and real estate, a boat or other recreational vehicle, furniture in the home, artwork, jewelry, and anything else that has financial value.

This can be a lengthy list, so you should review it several times to ensure that you have created a complete list. If possible, work with your ex to prepare the list so that nothing is omitted unintentionally and so you both agree on the estimated value of the items.

If you cannot agree on the value, you can obtain an appraisal.

Determine What Can Be Liquidated.

It is far easier to divide cash in an equitable manner than to divide non-liquid assets, therefore you may find that you need to liquidate some of your assets. There may be items you won’t want to liquidate, such as the vehicles that you and your ex drive on a daily basis.

On the other hand, there may be no other way to justly divide the assets without liquidating some of the larger or more valuable items, such as a house. Make a list of what you want to liquidate versus those you do not plan to liquidate and move forward with your liquidation plans.

Prepare A Final Spreadsheet For Your Attorney.

After you have liquidated all you intend to, you may find that it is easier to divide your assets equitably. Denver Divorce Attorney Cory Gallagher will need a final spreadsheet of your assets to prepare the divorce decree, so update your initial spreadsheet to show who is to retain each item or how much of the liquid cash each party will receive.

Marital Debt

Debt is also divided in an equitable way. You and your spouse can come to an agreement of who is responsible for debts. If you can't a judge will divide debt as they decide what is "fair and equitable".

Debt can also be marital or separate. One way the courts will determine if the debt is marital is if the debt was created during the marriage. People often believe the debt belongs to who's name is on it but that's not necessarily correct.

If the debt was created during the marriage is most likely going to be considered marital debt.

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