During a divorce in the State of Colorado, there are three main areas of issues that will need to be addressed. One area has to do with the children. If there are no children of the marriage, then there are no issues to deal with on this front. However, obviously in many cases there are, and things such custody, parenting time, decision-making responsibility, and child support all have to be decided by either the parties or the court.
Another area is maintenance, also known as alimony or spousal support. Maintenance consists of payments from one party to the other, and is based on the length of the marriage, the discrepancy in the parties’ incomes, and need, among other factors.
Property division also has to be addressed. In any divorce, the parties will have to agree on how to split up the marital property, which consists of the marital assets and debts. If they can’t come to an agreement, the case will go to a contested hearing, and the court will decide for them.
The law states that when a court grants a divorce in Colorado, the marital property must be divided equitably between the parties. It is important to note that equitably does not always mean equally.
If the parties own a home, property division regarding the marital home needs to be addressed. What happens to the marital home is usually a big part of the property division in most cases, and there are several things that may occur.
First, the parties can sell the home and split or equitably distribute the proceeds between themselves. Courts also hold the power to order that a marital home be sold. If the parties cannot agree as to how the sale will be accomplished, a court might step in and order additional terms and conditions of the sale.
On the other hand, it also happens quite often that one of or both of the parties do not want the marital home sold, as a party may want to continue to live in the home with the children. This brings forth a new set of issues. In many cases, the party that remains in the marital home after the divorce will have to buy out the other party by paying them an amount equal to an equitable portion of the marital equity in the home. Alternatively, one party would keep the marital home and the other party will get an equitable share of another form of marital property. If one party keeps the home, and both parties’ names are on the mortgage, the home will probably need to be refinanced within a set period of time in order to take one party’s name off of the mortgage. This is something the parties can agree to, or that the court can order on its own.
All in all, deciding what to do with the marital home when dividing marital property in a divorce proceeding, and then deciding how to do it, are very big decisions for divorcing parties. If you have questions about your marital home, or any other marital property in a divorce, please feel free to call us for a free consultation.