When deciding who gets what in a divorce, all property must first be classified as “marital” or “separate” before the court can divide it. Marital property is owned by both parties and is subject to division; while separate property is typically only owned by one spouse and is not subject to division. Determining whether property is marital or separate can be a long and tedious process; for this reason, if you and your spouse cannot decide upon the division of property, an experienced Colorado divorce lawyer can help you through this complex process.
When couples own a great deal of property and other assets, it’s important to have the guidance of an attorney to ensure you get everything to which you’re entitled. Colorado law regarding dividing marital property is very specific and has detailed definitions for both types of Colorado marital property:
“Marital property is defined as any property which either spouse acquires during their marriage, except for property acquired by gift, inheritance or property excluded by a prenuptial agreement. Contrary to popular belief, the manner in which the property is titled is not conclusive.”
Any property obtained during the marriage, even property that has only one spouse’s name on the title, may still be deemed marital and divided between the spouses. Bank accounts, retirement accounts, pensions, club memberships, frequent flyer miles, stock options for past services, and any tangible property such as automobiles all fall under property obtained during the marriage that may only have one spouse’s name as the “owner.”
In addition, there are many less-obvious or intangible items of property which could be deemed marital property under Colorado law. These might include business interests, professional practices, and personal injury settlements. Many of these assets are often overlooked, so it is important that you work with a good Colorado divorce attorney and possibly a forensic accountant to make sure your rights are protected.
If you have a question about Colorado marital property and what is involved with dividing marital property, request a consultation with an expert from the Harris Law Firm today.