In divorce, it’s not just the individuals who “consciously uncouple.” The assets also do. Some couples are able to decide within themselves how to split possessions, while others would need the help of mediators or attorneys. When disputes arise, discussions are elevated to the court. This is when people commonly ask, how exactly do judges decide on splitting assets?
A Fair Division
The Colorado law demands that there be a fair split of assets between divorcing individuals. In weighing this, the court will consider the economic situation of each spouse, the increase and decrease of value in the assets throughout the relationship, and the right of the parent who received physical custody of the children for most of the time.
As divorce lawyers in Colorado Springs explain, the judge will also determine if a certain possession is a marital or separate property. Marital property pertains to assets earned and debts incurred in the course of the marriage. Separate property, on the other hand, are possessions a spouse already owned before marriage or earned during the relationship through inheritance. When a separate property improves in value in the course of the marriage, that added value is considered marital property.
There are instances when a separate property becomes marital, for instance, changing terms into joint ownership. Some divorce cases also have “commingling,” in which separate assets are mixed. This is typical when there’s a bank account owned by one spouse and the other partner contributes to it. It can be difficult to know which is yours and not yours, so it’s important to consult a divorce lawyer as you go through your assets.
Value of Assets
When the classifying of assets is done, the courts would then determine the value of each property. Appraisers or accountants would help in this process. Once the value is determined, couples agree on what to do with the properties. Some ex-couples try to keep marital assets, owning them together, especially the family home for the benefit of the kids, while others sell and then divide the profits.
The split of assets in a divorce is a very complicated matter. It’s best to consult an experienced family lawyer who you can trust with the ins and outs of what’s required of the law.