Property Division Attorney in Colorado Springs

Asset and Debt Division

In any divorce where the case is not settled, the Court will have to perform marital asset and debt division with the assistance of an attorney experienced in property division. This means, you not only have to think about the assets you have, but you also have to determine if it's a "marital asset", the value attributed to each asset, and provide the proof of value. If an item is not “marital” such as something purchased or owned before marrying, you will not need to disclose or value this property. However, the chance that something could be considered “marital” even if you claim you owned it before marrying, compels a lot of disclosing and valuing— just to be certain.

What is a "Marital Asset"?

Everything you and your spouse purchased during the marriage or own is likely a marital asset.  Even if you do not fully own the item because you are still paying a mortgage or a monthly loan payment, the item is still considered an “asset” and a value must be determined. If you are unsure whether an asset qualifies as a marital asset, ask your property division attorney for clarification.

 

 

Marital Asset Division Colorado Springs

Your Home

  • Can be valued based on an appraisal or a market analysis from a realtor minus any amount of mortgage owed
  • If the home was owned by one of the Parties before marrying, a value must be sought for the date of marriage, since the “marital share” of the home will begin on the date of marriage and be based on the home’s value as of that date.
  • How to Show Proof: Proof of the appraisal or market analysis and the mortgage statement must accompany this determination of the home’s value

Your Vehicles

  • Including the car you drive every day, the camper trailer, snow machine and ATV and the Harley all need to be included as assets
  • Vehicles can be valued based on a NADA or Kelley Blue Book value minus any amounts owed.
  • How to Show Proof: Print outs of the NADA or KBB and of the monthly loan statement should accompany this determination.

Your Investments

  • Financial investments (mutual funds, stocks, annuities, whole life insurance policies, etc.) and retirement accounts (IRAs, Thrift Savings Plans, 401(k)s, RSUs and pensions, etc.) are assets
  • This is also the procedure for bank accounts (whether joint or individual), health savings accounts, money market, savings, debit, checking and certificates of deposit and any other type of “account” that could be valued.
  • If you started or had a retirement account, investment account or bank account before the marriage you will need to determine the “marital share” of the account. You can do this by determining the value of the account on the date of marriage and the value today.
  • How to Show Proof: Provide print outs of the statements as proof of the value. (Determining the “marital share” of these accounts will need to be done before they can be divided)

Your Furniture

  • Furniture, household goods and other personal property tends to not require the same level or specificity of proof—unless it is particularly valuable and will be singled out for distribution to one person or the other.
  • How to Show Proof: For these valuable household and personal items, receipts or insurance values as proven by an insurance declaration can establish the value.
  • For regular everyday household furniture and items, a number to sum up a Parties’ opinion about the value of all the contents in the home ($5,000, $10,000, etc.) is often sufficient. This is because Courts will not waste precious time to divide blenders and sofas.
  • How to Show Proof: “Garage sale” values, at best, will be attributed to any list of household items or personal property. However, if an item is considered particularly valuable, an eBay “sold” price for the identical item or an actual appraisal or an insurance declaration may work to establish value. Ask your attorney if you are unsure how to obtain ‘garage sale’ values.

Your Jewelry

  • Jewelry may be listed individually for particular pieces, but, absent proof of current higher dollar values, jewelry will be assigned a value just like everything else in the home.
  • Any jewelry scheduled with an insurance company or purchased for investment is likely worth getting a present-day value.
  • Often the jewelry in a marriage is a gift—meaning it may not even be considered “marital” and will not be valued and will simply remain with the person who received it as a gift. Wedding rings, while technically an asset, are rarely valued and usually remain with the Party in possession.
    • One exception, if one Party is still paying off the engagement or wedding rings, a Court may be inclined to award the ring to the paying Party.
  • How to Show Proof: Obtain a present-day value and provide documentation.

Your Artwork, Heirlooms, Guns, Etc.

  • Artwork of particular importance, heirloom furniture and, for example Oriental or Persian rugs, and guns—firearms of any description--are not generally included in the “garage sale” value concept.
  • These items can be specifically valued and often the purchase price is adopted as the value of the item.

Your Miscellaneous Items

  • Frequent Flyer Miles or Star Wars collectible figurines: can be valued and considered when dividing the assets. Frequent Flyer miles are more easily divided since dividing them does not require they be assigned a dollar value.
  • Collector Cards that may have used substantial marital funds to restore or upgrade them: determining a value can be more complex and require receipt histories and significant record keeping. Expert appraisers could also be used.
  • Those Gold Bars under the mattress: Don’t forget to include those, too! And when they were purchased and what money they were purchased with.

What is a "Marital Debt"?

Just like with assets, material and significant debts must be divided in the divorce.

Monthly Payments

  • Mortgage, Car Payments, Insurance, Health Club Membership, Massage Subscriptions, Netflix, Cell Phone Bills, Pet Insurance, Utilities

Credit Cards

  • Credit cards—even those with a zero balance—must be disclosed and considered by the Court with the current balance and the monthly minimum that must be paid.
  • How to Show Proof: Print outs for 3 or more months of each credit card statement will be needed.

Other Bills

  • Bills that occur more frequently (groceries, gas) or only occasionally (oil changes, Caribbean cruises, root canals) can be looked at over a year’s time and divided by 12 months to get an estimate of what is paid monthly in order to create a budget.
Dividing Assets and Debts Colorado Springs

At The Law Office of Jeanne M. Wilson & Associates, PC, our attorneys are highly experienced with property division. We take the time to learn our Client’s financial picture and determine the proof we need to protect the assets and limit the debts.  It’s that important to us because it is your financial future.