Going through a divorce is one of the most stressful experiences any of us can face. Even when both parties are in agreement that the marriage is over, issues pertaining to your home or finances can result in serious arguments and delays. Dividing money and property in a divorce is nothing to take lightly, as the impact of any agreement you make has the potential to affect your financial security, both now and in the years to come. Before agreeing to any terms or signing any agreements, it is important to be aware of what is considered as marital property, as well as the factors the court will consider in deciding who gets what.
What Is Marital Property
Regardless of your net worth, it is important to be aware of the type and number of assets you possess, as well as when and how they were accumulated. Marital property refers to those assets which were bought or received during your marriage, as opposed to assets you had before the marriage. Marital property may include any of the following:
- Real estate, such as your home and any other property you own;
- Home furnishings, such as furniture and appliances;
- Jewelry and accessories, including expensive coats, shoes, or other items;
- Collectibles, such as stamp or doll collections;
- Sporting equipment;
- Business assets, owned either whole or jointly;
- Financial accounts, including checking and savings, stocks, and bonds;
- Pension accounts, including IRAs;
- Life insurance plan benefits.
Division of Marital Property Under Colorado Law
Some states are known as ‘community property’ states, meaning that any marital assets are divided evenly between the two parties in the event of a divorce. Colorado is an equitable division state, which means that the court attempts, rather than simply dividing property evenly, to divide it in a more equitable manner, based on each party’s contributions as well as their liability. Under the Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S. 14-10-113), pertaining to what was accumulated during the marriage only, the court divides this property based on the following factors:
- The overall value of the property involved;
- The contribution each spouse made in acquiring the property, including the contributions of homemakers in providing support for their partner;
- The economic circumstances of each party at the time the property is divided;
- The standard of living the couple enjoyed during their marriage;
- Any custody arrangements concerning children that are in effect;
- Any debts and liabilities either party has assumed.
Under the law, items excluded from equitable division include any property or assets bought or received prior to the marriage, gifts or inheritances received by one of the spouses individually, and any property excluded by way of a prenuptial or post-marital agreement.
We Can Help You Today
If you or someone you love is going through a divorce or separation, contact our Colorado divorce attorneys today. At Robinson & Henry, P.C., we understand how stressful divorce proceedings can be, and act as a strong legal advocate to ensure your rights and interests are protected. With offices in Denver, Castle Rock, and Colorado Springs, we can help you; call 303-688-0944 to begin your free case assessment.