What Is Marital Property?
Every divorcing couple must go through the process of dividing their property. This process can become quite complex and confusing for many couples. You first must determine what property is marital (owned by both of you as a couple) and what property is separate (owned by only one of you). Colorado law defines marital property as assets that were bought, earned or received during the marriage. Property owned prior to marriage or received as a gift or inheritance by one spouse is generally considered separate property.
At Pearman Law Firm, P.C., our attorneys understand the legal definition of marital property, as well as the tax issues and financial consequences of owning and dividing certain assets. Talk to us today about how we can help you determine which property must be divided during the divorce process.
Equitable Distribution Should Equal Fairness
Colorado law follows the “equitable distribution” principle for dividing marital property. That does not mean an even split down the middle. It means that the court looks at many factors affecting each spouse and makes a division based on fairness. Some factors the court may look at include:
- Income and earning capacity of each spouse, including age and health factors
- Value of the marital property subject to division
- Contributions of each spouse to the marital property, including homemaking contributions
- Needs of each spouse after the divorce, especially in caring for any children (such as keeping the family home for the children to continue to live in)
- Major changes to the value of separate property one spouse may rely upon in the future
The Court Steps In If You Can’t Come To An Agreement
Many couples are able to come to an agreement called a Marital Settlement Agreement regarding how they want to handle the marital property and debt. You can make this agreement without going through the court process, and we will certainly help you do that, if possible. Other couples use mediation to help them work through sticking points. If you simply cannot come to an agreement, however, the court will step in and decide how to divide the property based on the factors above. If that happens, you will need experienced legal representation ready to defend your property rights in court. At Pearman Law Firm, our attorneys have decades of combined experience helping clients through the divorce process.