Colorado is an “equitable division” state in which marital property division divorce is to be divided equitably between the parties. While the spouse’s respective interests in property are often divided equally, this is not necessarily the standard as it would be in a community property state. Pursuant to statute, equitable division means that the Court must consider several statutory factors and usually has tremendous discretion in what constitutes an equitable division. With the exception of separate property, no matter how property is titled, if it is acquired during the marriage, it is considered part of the marital estate.
Equitable division of property is outlined in CRS 14-10-113 and relevant factors include: (a) the contribution of each spouse to the acquisition of property, including that of a homemaker; (b) the value of the property set apart to each spouse; (c) the economic circumstances of each spouse and (d) any increases or decreases in the value of separate property.
Separate property generally are assets which are brought into the marriage, inheritance or gifts received during the marriage. However, any increase in value of separate property may be apportioned between the parties. Certain acts may cause separate property to become part of the marital estate including putting property in both names or commingling.
Asset division and apportionment of payment of debt in divorce can be very complex and should be addressed by an attorney with knowledge concerning valuation, accounting, tax issues and various other factors. Common asset issues which must be addressed by a competent Colorado divorce attorney include such assets as retirement, businesses, real estate, professional practices, trusts, inheritances, stocks, bonds, investments, jewelry, art, antiques and other valuable personal possessions.
Division of Personal Property
Of course the parties are free to divide their marital property by agreement. However, if it is not possible to reach an agreement, the Court will order division.
Often, the Court will elect to attempt to divide property in kind. Different assets would be awarded to each party in an attempt to obtain an equitable disposition.
It is frequently necessary for the Court to obtain a value of the marital assets. If a business or professional practice is involved, often an evaluation by an experienced forensic divorce accountant is appropriate. Often significant monies are at stake with the outcome of divorce accounting and determination of value by the Court.
Ultimately, the Court has discretion with regard to both valuation and equitable division of property and it is important that a professional presentation be presented to the Court to obtain a favorable decision.
It is important to ensure that your assets are appropriately protected and valued. Mr. Gottesfeld has multiple years of experience in working with these types of financial concerns and will not hesitate to call upon trusted valuation and tax experts when necessary. To speak with Mr. Gottesfeld about your divorce and the division of your property please email him or call 303-892-7000.