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Fort Collins Property Division Lawyer

After choosing to go through a divorce, division of property is a necessary step. This can be a challenging step as well. Determining how you and your spouse will divide the property may involve some difficult negotiations and some raw emotions. With our Fort Collins property division lawyer on your side, you can be certain we will fight for your wants and needs. Understanding which property is subject to these division rules in a divorce is something our team will also help with.

Division of property can be a complex issue with its own nuances. Although the court can make the decision for the parties, things go more smoothly when the two sides bring an agreement to the court. At The Cossitt Law Firm, we will analyze your financial circumstances and those of your spouse. We will take the time to understand what you want to achieve out of the property division negotiations. We will work tirelessly to ensure all your assets are considered in making a proper and fair division.

Contact our property division lawyers in Fort Collins for a consultation today.

How Our Fort Collins Property Division Attorney Can Help Your Case

According to Colorado statute § 14-10-113, pg. 61, the equitable distribution of property requires a four-step process:

  • Determining whether an item fits the legal definition of property
  • Classifying property as marital or separate
  • Valuing the property
  • Equitably distributing the property.

If any of these steps are in dispute, we will be ready to help. Our property division lawyers will stand up for your rights and your desires concerning the property. We will not let your soon-to-be-ex spouse’s representatives introduce arguments that simply aren’t true. We know how to counteract techniques opposing attorneys sometimes use to try to win an unfair property division judgment.

How Courts Divide Property in a Divorce

According to Colorado law, the equitable division of property is guided primarily by considering these factors:

  • The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition of the marital property
  • The value of the property attributed to each spouse
  • The economic circumstances of the parties at the time of the division
  • Which parent has responsibilities related to any minor children
  • Any increases or decreases in the value of separate property during the marriage.

As you can imagine, these guidelines create some gray areas in a divorce property division case. When we are arguing your case on your behalf, we can use the facts to show why you deserve the property items you’re seeking. For example, if you will be bearing the responsibility of primary care of the children, you deserve to maintain residence in the house. The court does not want to upend the children’s lives any more than the divorce is already doing. This means the court tries to avoid moving the kids out of their home as a result of property division decisions.

Our Fort Collins Property Division Lawyer Will Explain Everything You Need to Know

When you hire The Cossitt Law Firm to represent you, rest assured we will keep you informed every step of the way. We will be available to answer your questions. We want you to be comfortable with the process and strategies we are employing. Here are some of the most common terms you should understand as you prepare to go through property division negotiations in the divorce proceedings.

Marital Property

Marital property is any property obtained during the marriage. This may include real estate, vehicles, retirement accounts, pensions, personal injury settlements, business interests, and personal savings accounts. Debt accumulated throughout the marriage also counts as marital property, including mortgages, credit card bills, or medical bills.

Separate Property

Separate property includes any property that one spouse owned before the marriage. During property division, the court typically allows the spouse who originally owned the property before the marriage to keep it. Separate property may become marital property, however, if the two spouses commingle it with marital property or use it as part of the marriage.

Fair Property Division

Understand that Colorado law doesn’t require a 50/50 split of marital property. Instead, the state uses the term “equitable” when describing a property division. This means that one spouse may receive a greater percentage of the value of the marital property after the split because he or she contributed more to the acquisition of that property during the marriage.

Special Circumstances

Our Fort Collins property division lawyer can help with special circumstances involving the following items:

  • Property acquired by gift, bequest, devise, inheritance, or descent
  • Property acquired through exchange of personal property
  • Property acquired by one spouse after the decree of separation
  • Property excluded by a valid agreement of the parties.

Dividing Property in a Separation Agreement

Ideally, you and your spouse will agree during negotiations to establish your own property division arrangement in a separation agreement. Under such an agreement, you may divide the property in any way you wish. If you both agree to this division, the court likely will accept it. When representing you in these negotiations, our Fort Collins property division attorney can help you ensure that the agreement is ready for court review.

By creating a separation agreement, you and your spouse can negotiate with one another to split up the marital property. This ensures that you each receive the property that’s most important to you. Our property division lawyer knows how to move these negotiations along. We will fight hard during negotiations to ensure you receive the property items you want.

Rather than leaving the decision to a judge who is unfamiliar with any emotional attachments you have to certain pieces of property, let our team help you negotiate a desirable settlement. Contact us to talk to our team at The Cossitt Law Firm today.

Using Appraisals With a Property Division Attorney

Appraisers can be helpful in providing a value for any property that may be in dispute during the divorce process. You and your spouse can choose to hire an appraiser on your own, or the court can require an appraiser. Our Fort Collins property division lawyer has a network of appraisers we work with regularly. Our appraisers have expertise with certain types of property to help you understand the full picture of your assets and their value.

Real estate appraisals are extremely common; however, anything that has a value may be the subject of an appraisal, including antiques and collectibles. Our property division attorney will work with you to obtain the information needed to provide an accurate analysis of your assets.

We Can Hire Business Valuation Experts

A business valuation expert can be especially helpful in a high-net-worth divorce or when you have a business. Determining the value of a business is extremely important in a divorce, as the business may have more value than all other involved properties combined. An accurate valuation of the business then can help the court make a fair distribution of the other property. Hiring a business valuation expert can provide valuable information used for negotiations toward a separation agreement. The three basic approaches to valuing a business are:

  • Cost, which is the market value of underlying assets or the adjusted book value of the business
  • Market, which determines how the value of the business compares to that of similar businesses in the area
  • Income, which involves the estimation of income or cash flow to the prospective owner/buyer.

Common Questions for Our Fort Collins Property Division Lawyer

Throughout our many years of representing people going through a divorce, we have heard some questions frequently. The following are some divorce property division FAQs that may answer questions you have at this time.

If you and your spouse have a prenuptial agreement in place, it may address division of property in the event of a divorce. As long as the prenuptial agreement is legally binding in the eyes of the court, this agreement negates the need for the court to determine property division.

The name on the title of a car or on another piece of personal property should not matter during divorce property division. If you and your spouse purchased the cars during the marriage, they should be marital property. If your spouse received the vehicles as a gift or inheritance, though, the court may consider them separate property.

Unfortunately, if the debt was accumulated during the marriage, the court is likely to split it equitably between both parties. In a case like this, your best option is to try to convince your spouse during negotiations that it is proper for them to take on the debt. As your representative in divorce negotiations, perhaps we can convince your spouse that accepting responsibility for this debt is the right thing to do. However, there is no guarantee this tactic will work.

No, it does not. In Colorado, no-fault divorces are the only option. This means that the court does not care what moral misdeeds, such as adultery, led to the divorce. Your spouse’s adultery will not help you receive extra property or a more favorable outcome.

The Cossitt Law Firm Is Ready to Represent Your Interests

To book a confidential consultation about your property division concerns with an experienced family lawyer, contact The Cossitt Law Firm today. We understand the emotional ups and downs of going through a divorce. We also understand how important it is to protect your financial interests. Allowing us to work toward your desired result in property division negotiations can go a long way toward ensuring you start your post-divorce life on the best possible financial footing.

Contact our for a consultation with our property division lawyers in Fort Collins. We will give your case the attention to detail and professionalism you deserve.

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