How Is Your Property Distributed After Your Divorce?

Getting a divorce is a stressful situation. From decisions about alimony and child support to your asset distribution, who will get what is often the most complex part of the process. When a couple is getting divorced, these are the main questions that strike their minds.

If a couple has been married for decades, they have likely gathered various assets together during their married years. In these cases, it is usually difficult to determine their individual share. That is why you should consult a lawyer specializing in family Law. For example, Denver family lawyers, such as the ones at Divorce Matters can help Colorado residents abide by Colorado-specific divorce laws.

Property Division After A Divorce

When the court grants the divorce, the property will be allocated equitably, not equally, between the couple.Equitable distribution refers to fair division. This is decided as per the Equitable Distribution Law.

So, when marital property is allocated equitably, it is divided as fairly as the court thinks between the two spouses. Although this does not ensure that the court will determine the property should be split equally (50-50), this is what generally happens.

The property that you own can be divided into two categories –

Marital Property

  •         Property that a couple buys during their marriage is marital property.
  •         No matter whose name is on the property deed, it will be distributed between both of them.
  •         Pension plans, 401ks, IRAS, and other retirement plans are also marital property.

Separate Property

  •         Property that you own before your marriage, inheritance or a gift by someone who is not your spouse is your separate property.
  •         Your spouse is not entitled to any of your separate property after the divorce.
  •         However, if your spouse has invested in your pre-owned property to make modifications to improve it, it would be considered as marital property.
  •         Additionally, if you have included your separate property like your inheritance money in your joint bank account, it would be treated as marital property.

How Does The Court Decide What Is Equitable?

To decipher beforehand how much are you going to get after the divorce, contact your family lawyer for an estimation. The court considers the following things while deciding about the division of the marital property.

  •         The property and income of each partner at the time of the marriage.
  •         The length of the marriage.
  •         The health and age of both spouses.
  •         If the couple has children. The decision is affected by whether or not the custodial parent required the house or any of the marital properties while the children are growing up.
  •         Pension benefits and the loss of inheritance.
  •         The effort of one partner in the household. For instance, a homemaker quitting her career for her husband’s sake.

What Happens To Debts?

You must seek professional advice from a local family lawyer to see if there is any way you can avoid paying your ex-partner’s debts.

  •         If you have co-signed a debt with your former partner, you are liable to pay the debt amount.
  •         The creditor can sue you if your former spouse fails to pay the sum.
  •         If you have a joint account and your former partner uses it to get a debt, you are responsible for non-payment. Always remember to close such accounts during the divorce.
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