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Equitable and Fair Distribution of Property
One of the most difficult aspects of divorce proceedings is dealing with property distribution and debt settlement. Making the decision to divorce is never easy, and many ex-partners struggle to come up with a property settlement plan.
At Elkus & Sisson, P.C., we know how challenging this process is, and our divorce attorneys are knowledgeable and skill in property settlement. We will help you come up with a plan that is fair and equitable. Typically, both parties are responsible for the property and the debt acquired during the marriage, and we will work diligently to help you come to a property settlement agreement.
Our property settlement attorneys will work with you to coordinate a marital settlement agreement between you and your estranged spouse. If an agreement cannot be achieved, and the court’s intervention is necessary, the court will decide upon how your marital property will be distributed.
Factors to Consider when Dividing Up Property
The courts consider several factors when dividing property including:
- contributions of each spouse when the property was originally acquired
- financial and domestic contributions made by both individuals
- the economic means of each spouse.
Throughout this process, your family lawyer from Elkus & Sisson, P.C. will work closely with you, gathering all pertinent information related to both property and debt acquired during your marriage, ensuring that you are represented to the courts fairly and accurately.
Issues related to property settlement cases
Complex asset division
If the couple owns a lot of real estate or one spouse has a lot of stocks and bonds then the division of assets get complicated quickly. In these cases it is much better to get legal counsel instead of trying to divide them up on your own.
Stocks and Bonds
Dividing up stocks and bonds can be a complex issue when getting divorced. Even though assets might be in one name, if they were obtained during the marriage then they need to be distributed equally. A couple of options would include:
- Liquidate the investments and split the money
- Paying one spouse the cash value of their half
- Dividing up the amount of shares so that they are considered “equal”
In Colorado the property division must be “equitable” but this does not necessarily mean each party will receive 50% of the assets in the divorce settlement.
What factors are used to determine equitable distribution?
- The current earnings of each spouse
- The potential earnings of each spouse
- The tax implications
- The length of the marriage
- Who has custody of the children
Property division can be even more complicated if one of the spouses is dishonest and attempts to hide assets. Both parties should have access to and be aware of financial records. If one spouse appears to be dishonest then a more complicated discovery process may be needed. There are tools available that should, in most cases, reveal all the assets. Examples include:
- Oral depositions
- Written requests
- Document demands
- Hiring a forensic accountant to uncover all financial records
There can be serious penalties for the spouse that is unwilling to comply or be honest during this process.
Tax and title issues
It is important to consider the tax implications in a divorce settlement. A common tax question is:
Will I Have to Pay Tax on a Property I Acquired in a Divorce?
Typically, you will not need to pay gift tax. Other taxes associated with owning the property still apply.
It is important for our property settlement attorneys to investigate the tax implications of assets to be acquired in the settlement.
What Assets Can and Cannot be Split Up in a Divorce Settlement
Marital vs Non-Marital Property
Marital property is considered to be the assets that can be divided up in the divorce settlement. However, not all assets owned by the divorcing couple can be considered Marital Property. Typically, the assets obtained during the marriage will be subject to division. Typical Marital property may include:
- Homes and real estate bought during the marriage
- Home furnishings
- Stock & bonds
Non-Marital property may include:
- Any property owned before the marriage
- Property owned after the divorce filing
Can Changes Be Made To A Marital Settlement?
Yes, changes can be made to the final decision made by the courts but you need to make an appeal quickly. A general guideline is to file an appeal within 30 days.
There will also need to be a good reason for the appeal. An attorney that cares about your situation will be able to guide you in the right direction and help you decide if an appeal is a good idea.
Property Settlement Attorneys with Experience
In addition to helping you achieve a reasonable and fair property settlement agreement, our divorce attorneys can help you with all aspects of your divorce. Our family law team has extensive experience in property settlement cases.
We take the time to get to know you personally and are always available to answer your questions. We work diligently to present you with all options and are committed to finding the solutions that are best for you and your family.
Property settlement is a difficult process. Get help from our experienced family law attorneys today by calling (303) 567-7981.