Divorce is a multifaceted process that involves several financial considerations for the divorcing spouses. Some of these issues are likely to influence the divorcing spouses’ lives for years. One of the most contentious issues in Colorado Springs divorce cases is property division, the process of dividing a divorcing couple’s marital assets and assigning new separate property ownership rights over those assets. If you are planning to divorce soon, a Colorado Springs property division lawyer can be a critical asset as your divorce case unfolds.
The team at Johnson Law Group has years of experience representing our Colorado Springs-area clients in complex divorce cases. One of the most commonly cited frustrations among those facing divorce proceedings is property division, the process of splitting a married couple’s property between the spouses. Our team can provide detailed guidance to help you approach your property division proceedings with more confidence and greater understanding.
While it is technically possible to navigate a divorce case without legal representation, doing so inherently puts you at a disadvantage. This is especially true if your spouse hires a divorce lawyer of their own. While you and your spouse may be on relatively civil terms, divorce can easily escalate into an emotional court battle, and having objective and experienced legal counsel on your side can help you remain focused on the practical matters your divorce entails.
Property division requires an extensive financial disclosure process, a detailed review of all the married couple’s assets and property, and careful examination of the couple’s shared and separate debts. Your Colorado Springs property division attorney can assist with these aspects of your divorce case and provide ongoing support as the case unfolds.
Colorado upholds an equitable distribution law in divorce. This means that a divorcing couple’s property must be divided in the most equitable, but not necessarily equal, manner. Colorado is also a “dual-property” state, meaning the state recognizes marital property and separate property in divorce. When a couple ends their marriage, each spouse retains ownership over their separate property, and the couple divides marital property in a way that is fair to both parties. The reason for the divorce rarely influences property division determinations unless the couple has a prenuptial contract in place with specific terms and conditions regarding property division and potential reasons for divorce.
Most couples divorcing in Colorado opt for alternative dispute resolution instead of litigation. Divorce mediation can effectively serve as private settlement negotiation for divorcing spouses, allowing them to complete their divorce in a fraction of the time that litigation would likely require. Your Colorado Springs property division lawyer can help you determine the best approach to your unique situation.
Regardless of how a divorcing couple decides to handle property division, the process begins with a financial disclosure. Each spouse must provide a sworn statement that includes a complete list of all their assets and property, including both marital property and separate property. A Colorado Springs property division attorney can help their client complete the financial disclosure process accurately and identify any discrepancies that might appear and influence the proceedings to follow.
The Johnson Law Group routinely assists Colorado Springs-area clients with difficult divorce cases, and we understand no two divorces are exactly alike. The following are some of the most common questions we hear from prospective clients preparing to divorce in Colorado Springs. Review these questions and our provided answers to learn a bit more about how property division works in Colorado divorce.
Q: What Are the Five Stages of Property Division?
A: Property division is a multi-stage process with five steps: identification, classification, valuation, resolving disputes, and division of assets. The financial disclosure process is essential for ensuring a fair division of assets. Once all property has been accurately identified, classified as marital or separate, and appraised for value, the couple can then negotiate separation via private mediation or allow a judge to resolve their disputes. Private mediation typically enables divorcing couples to reach more personalized agreements, but a judge’s determination may be necessary when divorcing spouses cannot effectively negotiate with one another. Finally, the property is distributed according to the couple’s mediated divorce settlement or the judge’s discretion.
Q: Can Separate Property Be Divided in Divorce?
A: A divorcing spouse’s separate property is typically shielded from division in divorce, and this separate property likely includes property owned before the marriage, gifts, inheritance, and anything given to them by their spouse in a “donatory” capacity. The only time separate property could be subject to division is if there is evidence of transmutation, or that the other spouse’s efforts or contributions significantly increased the value of the separate property.
Q: How Can I Avoid Property Division Litigation?
A: Property division litigation is tedious, contentious, and can take weeks or even months to resolve. The best way to avoid the frustrations common from property division proceedings is to pursue alternative dispute resolution such as mediation. Private negotiations can unfold more quickly than litigation and are also more likely to generate mutually agreeable results for the divorcing spouses.
You probably have many more questions regarding what you can expect in the property division for your impending divorce. Ultimately, you have the right to protect your financial interests and pursue the amount of marital property that you believe is fair for your situation. Your Colorado Springs property division attorney can help you temper your expectations and ultimately reach a more agreeable property division determination than you could have secured on your own.
The Johnson Law Group offers comprehensive legal representation for all types of divorce cases in Colorado Springs. We understand that no two cases are alike, and your divorce will likely involve many difficult decisions and complex legal proceedings. Our goal is to provide the professional legal services you need to approach property division with understanding and confidence. If you are ready to discuss your case with a Colorado Springs property division attorney, contact the Johnson Law Group today and schedule a consultation with our team.