Marital Vs. Separate Assets
When a divorcing couple seeks the sell their marital home, the first order of business is to determine whether the house is marital property or separate property. If the home was purchased during the course of the marriage, then it is martial property and the proceeds will be divided between the parties in an equitable manner according to Colorado law.
If the home is considered a pre-marital asset, was purchased prior to marriage, and the spouse was not added to the deed, then the property will be deemed a separate asset and belong to the party who purchased it. However, it is important to note that although separate property belongs to the party who owned the asset prior to marriage, the appreciation of the asset over the course of the marriage is generally considered to be marital property.
For example, if the wife purchased a house for $400,000 prior to the marriage, then the house is her separate property. If the couple decides to divorce several years later and the house is valued at $700,000 at the time of the divorce, then assuming the property sells for $300,000 over the original purchase price, it is possible that her husband may be entitled to roughly half of the appreciated amount.
How to Divide the Marital Home in an Amicable Manner
If the parties to a divorce matter agree that selling the marital home is the best way to proceed, then the only issue will be how to divide the proceeds from the sale. Having Colorado family law attorneys and / or mediators negotiate an appropriate distribution may be the wisest option. Otherwise, the court will make a determination for you if you cannot come to an agreement. In these matters, the final outcome is often better for all involved when the parties to the dissolution can craft an agreement without the court’s intervention.
Obtaining Legal Assistance
In matters of divorce, the process of selling the marital home can be complex and fraught with consternation. To maintain peace of mind in these matters, it is often wise to hire a competent and experienced attorney to help you to negotiate a reasonable agreement and to protect your best interests per Colorado law.
Our Colorado family lawyers at The Harris Law Firm have spent their careers working with families and individuals to ensure they can transition to the next phase of their lives with a beneficial outcome. Give us a call at (303) 622-5502 to speak with a member of our staff, or fill out our online form to request a case evaluation.
Guest blog from Peter Hallquist, a realtor at the Corriere-Ryan Group.