Different people value things differently, and some see property as mine, not ours. That is why division of property can be so difficult. Colorado law requires equitable, meaning a fair, division of marital property. That means the division must be fair even though it may not be exactly equal. For instance, a gun inherited from a favorite uncle may have much more value to one party than the value that might be assigned by the court. Some of these issues can be avoided by separating out “marital property” from “separate property.” Often couples can work this out on their own. Dylla Family Law has experience helping in these situations and can bring in mediators and experts in to make the process even smoother.
When Colorado judges divide property, they will consider each person’s economic circumstances, who has physical custody of the children and how property division may affect those children, what each party brought to the marriage and how a spouse’s separate property may have increased or decreased during the marriage, and the overall value of the property ceded to each spouse. What one spouse takes in terms of his/her own “separate assets” is also relevant to the overall equitable distribution of the marital estate.
It will be important for each party to identify what property was owned before marriage and what assets or debts were acquired during the marriage, which is considered marital property. This needs to be documented through financial records or other proof. Increases in the value of separate property becomes marital property but the original value remains separate property and is not subject to the equitable division requirement of divorce.
Pre-nuptial documents can sometimes make this process easier, but separate property sometimes gets changed into marital property when title changes from individual to joint ownership, or when property becomes “commingled” or mixed together. Such cases can become complicated and Dylla Family Law can help you through so you can document and claim the property that is just yours and also claim what has accrued to you in the course of the marriage. We know excellent appraisers and financial professionals who can assign value and help you navigate your way through insurance policies, retirement accounts, investments, and a number of other financial situations that may arise.
After the property is identified and valued, there are a number of ways to divide it. Some couples decide to continue co-owning certain property, others sell all and divide profits, while others may sell some things and provide compensation to the other partner in order to keep certain items. This division occurs in terms of debts as well. Dylla Family Law knows the professionals and guides them so costs are kept as low as possible while also helping you walk away with the deal you deserve.
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We can meet you at our main office in Parker, or can travel to offsite locations throughout Colorado. We represent clients throughout the state.