Divorce, Property Division

A Guide on How Property Division in Divorce Works

Are you going through a divorce and wondering how property division works? It can be complicated, but understanding the basics can make it easier. The divorce process can be emotional and stressful, but understanding how property division works can help alleviate some of the anxiety. In Colorado, property division is based on the principle of equitable distribution. It means that marital property, including assets and debts acquired during the marriage, are divided fairly but not necessarily equally between the parties. It’s important to understand the difference between marital and separate property and community property if you live in one of the few states that follow this model. The court will consider relevant economic circumstances, such as each spouse’s earning capacity and the length of the marriage in making decisions about property division. Keep these factors in mind as you navigate this process. What Types of Properties Are Subject to Division in Divorce? Any property acquired by either spouse during the marriage is generally considered marital property and is subject to division in a divorce. It includes real property, such as a home or land, and personal property, such as furniture, cars, or jewelry. In most cases, any property gained after the marriage commenced will be subject to division. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, non-marital property, such as property acquired before the marriage or through inheritance or gifts, is not considered marital property and is not subject to division. In some cases, divorcing spouses may come to a settlement agreement instead of having the court divide their property. This agreement can divide the property in any way it would like as long as the judge does not find it to be unconscionable. Therefore, many couples prefer negotiation or mediation before resorting to the courts. Factors Considered by the Court Here are some of the most important factors considered in property division in divorce: Length of marriage The length of the marriage is an important factor because it reflects the economic and emotional contributions of each spouse to the marital estate. Generally, the longer the marriage, the more assets to divide. Individual financial needs The court will consider the individual financial needs of each spouse to ensure a fair division of marital property. It may include factors such as the ability to earn income, health, and age. Earning capacity of both parties The earning capacity of both parties is important because it reflects their ability to support themselves after the divorce. The court will consider factors such as education, work experience, and job opportunities. Standard of living during the marriage The standard of living during marriage is important because it reflects the lifestyle to which both parties have become accustomed. The court will try to maintain this standard of living as much as possible after the divorce. Value of each spouse’s separate property Separate property is not subject to division in community property states, but it can still be considered in the overall property division. It includes property owned by one spouse before the marriage and property acquired by gift or inheritance during the marriage. Each of these factors is considered to ensure a fair decision in dividing marital property. It is important to note that the specific factors that are considered may vary depending on the state where the divorce takes place. Additionally, tax consequences can also play a role in property division, as certain marital assets may have tax implications that need to be considered. Process of Property Division in Divorce Dividing property during a Colorado divorce case can be a complicated process. However, understanding how it works can help you prepare for negotiations or court proceedings. When dividing property, an attorney or judge will typically follow these basic steps: Assess the value of your property. Identifying which assets and debts are marital property is the first step in dividing property. Once this has been done, each item will be assigned a monetary value, which may require professional appraisals for real estate, business holdings, and other assets. Begin the division process. If the spouses choose to divide the property themselves, they can assign items to each party and make equalizing payments if one receives an asset that is worth more than the other. They may also agree to liquidate assets and divide the proceeds. In some cases, co-owning property may be an option. Divide marital debts. It is also important to split marital debts, such as mortgages, car loans, and credit card debts, between the parties. Marital debt is crucial in making a court decision when it comes to property division following a divorce. If there is no resolved agreement… If the spouses cannot agree on how to divide marital property, the case may go to trial. A judge will then analyze the facts of the case and allocate property to each spouse based on what is fair or equitable. It is important to note that the specific steps and processes involved in dividing property may vary depending on the state where the divorce takes place. However, understanding these general steps can help you navigate the property division process and work toward a fair and equitable settlement. How to Prepare for Property Division in Divorce The best way to prepare for property division in a divorce is to gather all relevant assets and documents, such as financial statements, deeds, titles, tax returns, and more. As part of the marital estate, all items need to be accounted for during the division process. Additionally, know your state’s laws regarding the division of property. The divide property process may be different depending on the law of each state. The property division process typically involves three steps: identification, valuing, and distributing marital assets. Another thing you can do is to ask for help from an experienced family law attorney. This way, you are guided in every step of the divide property process and ensure all your rights are protected. Call CNL Law Firm Today for a Free Consultation It is important to