If you are going through a divorce (Dissolution of Marriage), you will likely have incurred debt and/or have acquired assets. Both you and your spouse were not only in a romantic relationship, you were also partners in building together a financial future. You paid bills together. You discussed larger purchases together. You did your budget on the kitchen table after Sunday night’s dinner. You saved what extra you could. You finally bought your first house, etc.
Everyone’s financial picture is different. The Waters Law Firm doesn’t pretend to know yours or even begin to place all our clients into “cookie-cutter” financial plans. Some clients are upside down on their mortgages; others need help distributing their retirement plans. What if one party helped the other to go to law school, should they be compensated? What if one party received an inheritance from their grandparent and stuck the money into a mutual fund? What if that same party’s inheritance was used to pay for a kitchen re-model? Does this matter? Could a lawyer argue re-characterization of the asset and win, thereby the party losing the inheritance exception and adding it in with divisible marital property? Yes.
The point is that property division is a very contentious area of law. Besides parenting time and possibly maintenance, property division will likely have to be litigated at Permanent Orders. The good news though is property division treats both parties the same. Again, Colorado is a no-fault state, so the Court will simply divide the marital property into each party’s share by what is “fair and equitable.” Usually this means taking property (both debts and assets) acquired during the marriage and allocating them equally.
Free legal tip: The one time a Court will award one party more assets and punish the other party with more debts is when there is “marital waste.” One example of this is gambling. When one party deliberately wastes marital property then they will be saddled this more debts and granted less assets. In fact, the party who is wasting marital property may even have to compensate the other party over time, above and beyond, paying child support and spousal maintenance.
Please call Law Office of John Waters at (303) 629-6900 to schedule your free initial consultation. Thank you.