Property & Debt Division
Divorce – Division of property overview
If only divorce was as easy as agreeing to part and going your separate ways. Unfortunately, when two people decide to break their legal bonds, it calls for a severance of all the bonds that tied them together financially as well. This means that it now needs to be decided who owns what.
This goes far beyond the mere possessions of each person concerned. Possessions also need not be assets. You can possess a debt as well. And when you separate, who gets the debt? This article provides a brief introduction to how property is divided. Due to this being a very complex subject, it’s advisable to contact us before you decide anything.
Divorce: Division of property uncontested
Property division in divorce becomes very much easier if the couple decide amongst themselves how to go about it. In the case of property division, an uncontested divorce requires the parties to merely sit down and decide who gets what. There’s no need to talk about legal terms like marital property and the like simply because the two of you agree.
However, dividing the debt is much more complex. Either you or your spouse may have been legally responsible for the debt that was run up during the marriage – like credit card debt for example. Or the card may have been held jointly. In that case, you are both liable.
A fair distribution of the debt might be possible if one party decides to take on all the debt of a particular item, as well as a corresponding extra share of the assets. Better still, if you can pay off the debt completely by liquidating joint assets, life will be that much simpler for the both of you.
Property division in a contested divorce
Colorado courts allow for what is called a “No fault divorce”. This means that a spouse cannot file for divorce on the grounds of adultery, mental cruelty etc. Irretrievable breakdown is the only legal reason. This means that one spouse cannot get an extra share of the assets due to the “fault” of the other.
Divorce and the division of property in Colorado is determined by what is the “marital property”, or the property that was acquired during marriage. This is different from property that belongs solely to either spouse. The courts decide to share the marital property equitably after taking into consideration factors such as who contributed more, and even the fact that one spouse may have played an exclusive role as the homemaker in the marriage.
In other words, Colorado courts try their best to allow the dissolution of marriage to take place in a peaceful manner without encouraging revenge. However, factors such as how to divide the debt are still very difficult as they also involve the lenders and not just the divorcing parties. Such issues can make a contested divorce in Colorado last for a year or more.
Due to the complexities involved in either divorce – particularly with regard to the legal separation of debt – it is best to contact an experienced lawyer who will look out for your interests and protect your rights.
A Full Disclosure of Marital Property
The process of distributing property, assets, and debt requires each party to provide a full disclosure regarding finances, income, and debt. We are adept at identifying behaviors that may cause delays in the process. These behaviors include hiding marital assets and withholding other crucial financial information. If necessary, we will refer to experts such as forensic accountants, subpoena records, and take other proactive steps to ensure all assets are correctly identified. These issues can arise if a person owns a business or is self-employed.
Marital property division involves many technical issues that The Springsteen Law Firm is experienced with. We strive to reach a reasonable and fair settlement without litigation. However, if a fair settlement cannot be reached, we are prepared to aggressively litigate on behalf of our clients. Property that can be included in the settlement includes:
Second home or vacation home
Stocks, bonds, and other investments
Recreational equipment such as boats, motorcycles, and RVs
Would you like to speak with a lawyer about marital property division and divorce asset protection?
Contact The Springsteen Law Firm to arrange a consultation.