Sadly, some marriages will end in divorce. At the time of the wedding, there were only bright visions of the future filled with laughter, joy, trips around the world, and growing old together. However, there are bumps in the long road of marriage and some people find that they cannot continue the journey with their spouse. Maybe a dark side of them revealed itself after a harrowing experience, such as losing a job; perhaps there were extramarital affairs because the fire of romance went out in the marriage due to lack of communication and caring; or maybe two people drifted apart simply because we grow as individuals as time goes on and who the spouses became were no longer compatible. Whatever the reason may be, couples contact Colorado Springs family law attorneys to file for divorce and one of the immediate ramifications is the division and splitting of assets.
Marital property can be summed up to things, such as cars, land/condos, 401k and other retirement savings, or assets purchased or received during the marriage. An interesting note is that even if only one spouse has their name attached the to the item, say a car that was purchased while the couple was married, it is still considered marital property. The division of marital property in Colorado is done equitably, in that the higher earner will receive a larger share of the assets as it is safely understood more of their money was put towards the items. However, there is a subsection of items considered non-marital property, or separate property, that remains in the ownership of the individual spouse during and after the divorce.
If assets or property were inherited by one spouse during the marriage, in most cases that are regarded as non-marital/separate property and cannot be given to the other spouse during divorce proceedings. A rule of thumb to go by is that if you owned it before the marriage occurred, it is separate property at the time of divorce. There are some caveats and tricky situations in which a Colorado Springs family law attorney will need to explain and negotiate before and during your trip to the courts. For example, if you owned property before the marriage that increased in value during the marriage, at the time of divorce, it will be considered marital, and not separate, property. In instances such as these, to protect your separate property, a prenuptial agreement may be in your best interest.
If you are considering, or are currently facing, a divorce, we are here to help you through this difficult time to ensure you do not lose assets and property that are legally yours. Contact a Colorado Springs family law attorney at Kinnaird Law to learn more about your options and next steps; we’re here to assist.