Divorce can be one of the most painful events in a married couple’s life. It is when they decide to legally separate from one another. This process is not only painful for the parties involved but also for their children. Couples should think about it deeply before considering divorce.
Also, divorce is a long and tedious process as it involves property division. In most cases, partners often do not agree with the terms, especially if they think that the agreement is unfair for their part. Additionally, this situation may leave divorcees frustrated, not knowing what to do next with their properties, whether to sell them or not.
Because of this problem, you might need help from a top rated Divorce Lawyer in Denver to help you claim a fair division of assets according to law. Also, the state of Colorado promotes equitable separation, meaning it has to be fair, but not necessarily exactly equal.
Since there are plenty of things you need to know about asset separation, here is a comprehensive guide to property division during divorce.
What Is Equitable Division?
Like other states, Colorado is an equitable property division state. It means that all properties will be separated between the two parties fairly. However, it doesn’t have to be 50/50 when divided.
Partners have the option to divide the properties by themselves. However, an arbiter may help if the couples can’t decide on themselves. If all of this fail, the judge will mediate the division, and here are the factors the judge will consider:
- Their financial status
- Increase and decrease on the value of their properties throughout their marriage
- Dissolution of properties
- The desire to live in the family home
These factors will help the judge to divide the properties fairly based on the given circumstances. Usually, the spouse who earns significantly less than the other may receive more. However, cases are unique and have different circumstances, which may result in different outcomes.
What Is The Difference Between Marital And Separate Property?
Marital properties are all assets and debts the spouses have acquired throughout their marriage. These include businesses, jewelry, art collections, bank accounts, retirement funds, real estate, and more. These properties can be personally divided but not separate properties.
Separate properties are assets acquired and earned before the marriage, and these properties are not subject to equitable division. However, there can be exceptions, especially if they have pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreements.
Unfortunately, the division may become more complicated when ‘commingling’ needs to be done. Commingling happens when separate properties become marital due to several circumstances.
For example, a separate asset may become marital if the heir deposits their inheritance in a joint bank account. That’s why you need an attorney to help you, especially when the division becomes complicated, like the situation presented above.
What Is The Process Of Property Division?
The entire property division process is one of the challenging aspects of any case concerning the dissolution of marriage. Therefore, it is necessary to hire a lawyer to help you understand the things you need to expect along the process, which includes the following:
- You will need to assess the value of the properties and determine the marital from separate properties.
- Spouses will divide the properties based on what they think is right as long as they agree. Also, there are instances when couples may co-own a property. However, it may not be a good option depending on their circumstances.
- With the help of a legal professional, spouses will split all marital liabilities, including debts, such as car and house loans, mortgage, and more.
- If the spouses disagree with the terms, they will go to court proceedings in which a judge will divide the properties based on what the judge thinks is fair for both couples.
Who Will Receive The Marital House?
The family home is one of the primary factors to consider when dividing the properties, but how can they separate it fairly? A judge may consider the following options, such as:
- Selling The House
The couples may sell their home and divide the proceeds equally between them. However, there are instances where funds are not equally divided, especially when one spouse works harder and pays more than the other. If this is the case, the spouse who paid more will receive a higher amount than the other.
- Transferring To One Spouse
If one of the spouses is a custodial parent, which is the one who will take care of their children, the court may give them the house. However, the other spouse may receive more liquid assets, such as bank accounts, to ensure the equitability of the division.
One of the most challenging parts of divorce is the division of all assets and liabilities to both spouses, especially if things become more complicated. There are two types of properties divorcees need to know: marital and separate.
Marital properties are all assets acquired during the marriage, including debts and loans. On the other hand, separate properties are assets gained before the marriage. Things become complicated when they mix these two properties. If this happens, you’ll surely need the help of an expert divorce lawyer or judge to ensure a fair separation of all properties.
But remember, an equitable division doesn’t necessarily mean equal, especially if one earns less than the other or is a custodial parent.