Colorado Property Division Representation | Metro Denver
In Colorado divorces, the marital property of the spouses is divided on an equitable basis. Equitable does not mean equal, but most courts attempt to achieve something close to equal. If the division is somewhat unequal, then there is usually a balancing out done with spousal support. A court may also award a greater amount of marital property to a party in order to find no need for spousal support.
Only marital property can be divided by the court (although it can separate property into account before dividing marital property). Marital property is any property acquired after the marriage (and sometimes in anticipation of the marriage) except for gifts, inheritance, property exchanged for separate property, and a few other exceptions. A list of all property is generally made and accounted for in your case.
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I practice Colorado divorce and domestic relations law in the entire Denver Metro area including:
Denver • Adams County • Arapahoe County • Boulder County • Broomfield County • Douglas County • Elbert County • Jefferson County
Sometimes property has both marital and separate property components. If separate or premarital property has been mixed with marital property, then "tracing" will be necessary to show to what extent the property is separate. Tracing is a process which basically identifies what happened to specific property.
Kelly Blue Book Values for vehicles and appraisals for homes are typically used. Financial accounts like bank and securities are determined by the statement balances. If property was owned prior to the marriage that went up in value (e.g. home, retirement accounts, etc.) then one can subtract the value at the time of marriage from the current value to determine the marital value.
How can you divide a retirement account or other deferred compensation plans? This is where qualified domestic relation orders or QDROs come in. This is a special order that essentially splits the retirement or pension plan by recognizing the spouse's marital ownership interest. The non-employee spouse is awarded a portion of the retirement benefit as an alternate payee.
Valuing a business can be tricky. Different approaches are used in Colorado including the Cost (Asset), Market, and Income approaches. The appropriate method should be matched to the specific business. Sometimes a combination of methods are used. Additionally, goodwill should be considered if the business is closely held. An appropriate business valuator should be consulted to determine the fair market value of the business.