In Colorado, Property Division Rules Are Complex
If you and your spouse both made the same amount of money, nobody hid assets and neither of you owned any separate property, achieving a fair division of property in divorce would be simple. Simply split everything down the middle. However, with most families marital property division is a little more complicated than that.
Without a good understanding of your property rights under Colorado law, you may make mistakes in how you divide your assets. At the law firm of Buchholz, McDowell & Norman, our lawyers have more than 25 years of experience of helping families in the Denver-Boulder area reach a fair division of assets and debts in divorce.
Will You Need a Lawyer's Help?
If you are going through a divorce, here are some of the property issues that could trigger the need for an attorney's help:
- Inheritances and gifts: If received during a marriage, many inheritances and gifts are considered separate property in Colorado. However, if the value of the assets increase, the increase is considered marital property and is subject to division. Again the rules are complex, often needing an attorney to determine how an asset may be characterized.
- Marital property: This includes all assets acquired during your marriage, except for inheritances, gifts, and possibly property you brought into the marriage. Examples of marital property include homes and other real estate, cars, savings accounts, investment accounts, stock options, bonuses, retirement plans and businesses.
- Marital debts: In addition to assets, debts such as credit card bills must be divided. There is a complex relationship between your responsibility with the credit card company and how the Court treats debts incurred during the marriage. We see many people making mistakes about what debts they are responsible for after the divorce.
- Businesses can have value in addition to the income they produce. If your spouse owns a business or an interest in a business, you have a right to your share in the value of that business. If you own a business, you want to make sure the value is being accurately determined. Our lawyers will hire experts to properly value the business.
- Hidden assets: Sometimes spouses are kept in the dark about marital property. If necessary, our lawyers will hire forensic accountants to shed light on all of the assets that need to be valued and divided.
- Your Taxes: When you are divorced, you will go from a favorable tax status (married filing jointly) to an unfavorable status (single filing separately). It may be possible for your lawyer to limit your tax burden.
- Modifications: Property division agreements are not modifiable after divorce unless one side committed fraud and the fraud is discovered within five years. For that reason, it is important to avoid mistakes in the agreement.
Schedule a Free Attorney Consultation
To discuss your division of marital property case with a lawyer at Buchholz, McDowell & Norman, call 303-578-4215 or fill out the contact form on this site. We serve clients in the Denver-Boulder area.