Divorcing your spouse can be a long and complicated process. It is likely to impact each aspect of your life, including how your property and assets will be divided in the separation. Although some may plan for their vehicles and homes to be divided, it is common to forget that things like retirement accounts and debts will also be divided. The fear of an unequal separation can be severe, as leaving your marriage with less than you are entitled to puts you at a disadvantage while you are building your new life as a single person.
Even during an amicable divorce in Englewood, CO, it can be helpful to speak with an attorney to ensure an equitable division of all marital property. Johnson Law Group, LLC, can thoroughly examine the property, assets, and debt that you share with your spouse. We can help you understand which property is subject to being split and help you make well-informed decisions throughout the Colorado divorce process.
In an ideal situation, the spouses will be able to work together, resolving any property division disputes between themselves without requiring the assistance of a judge. If the couple is unable to create a mutually satisfactory plan for property division, a judge will step in and divide the property based on state law. There are two main methods of property distribution in U.S. states: community property and equitable distribution.
It is important to understand the laws that will impact what gets categorized as marital property and how it will be divided. Speaking with an experienced divorce attorney can help you plan for your upcoming property division based on applicable laws.
Colorado follows the equitable distribution system, without consideration for marital misconduct. To determine how the property should be divided, the court must first determine separate and marital property. Marital property includes all property acquired during the marriage, with the following exceptions:
If the parties cannot create their own property division agreement, the court will follow state law to equitably split the assets and debts. The considerations that the court will use to divide the assets include, but are not limited to:
A: In most cases, a judge will grant a property division agreement that was created by the divorcing spouses. One potential exception would be if one of the spouses was not represented by an attorney through the process, and the division of property is inequitable. The judge may make inquiries to determine if the division is just and fair.
A: Determining the value of your assets depends on the type of asset. Assets with specific balance amounts, like bank accounts and retirement accounts, are easy to valuate. Some assets are more complex and require professional assistance to correctly determine their value. For example, an appraiser can be hired to evaluate real estate, and a business valuation expert can be contacted if the couple shares a business.
A: In most cases, it is not ideal to retain joint ownership of assets following a divorce. This means that your marital real estate will need to be divided equitably in your divorce. You and your spouse can choose to sell the property and split the profit, or one spouse can retain the property and offer their spouse a similar value in other assets.
A: Any debts that were created during the marriage are considered marital debts, even if they are only in one spouse’s name. Similar to other marital property, debt is distributed equitably between the parties depending on the circumstances. The higher-earning spouse may receive more of the debt, or the spouse that incurred the debt may be responsible for a larger portion.
A: The first step is determining separate and marital property. Once you have created a list of marital property, you can begin assigning an owner to each asset. Beginning with larger assets, divide the property in an equitable manner while also keeping track of the total value of each spouse’s estate after each designation. If you cannot reach an agreement, a judge will step in.
Divorce proceedings can quickly become contentious and volatile, so working with an experienced Englewood family law attorney can help you approach the process from a calmer emotional state. Johnson Law Group, LLC, is dedicated to ensuring that our clients leave their marriages with their fair share of marital assets. Through both mediation and litigation, our skilled team can fully advocate for your rights. To speak with our full-service family law firm about your divorce, contact our office today.