View Our Practice Areas

Experienced Property Division Attorneys

Many people with questions about the division of marital property may think that property is always divided equally in the event of divorce or legal separation. However, this is not the case. Colorado is known as an equitable division state, which means property is divided in a "fair and equitable" manner, and not necessarily on an equal basis.

As experienced property division attorneys, Shapiro Family Law provides knowledgeable and individualized legal services to guarantee that you will receive the full benefit of the law. We know that Colorado marital property laws can be complex. When representing you, we will help you understand your options, and assist in obtaining a fair agreement or proceed to court when necessary.

Marital Property and Separate Property

Understanding property division means understanding the difference between marital property and separate property, though the line separating the two types of property can get blurry. The courts can only divide marital property (property acquired during the marriage) no matter how titled. The court cannot divide separate property (property owned before the marriage, or acquired by gift inheritance). A court can consider a spouse's contribution to acquisition of property however, and any increase in value of separate property during the marriage is considered marital property.

Property Division Issues in Divorce

There can be complex issues even in divorces involving couples of relatively modest means. The longer a marriage lasts, the more likely it is that separate assets have mingled with or have been transformed into marital assets. There may be questions relating to the marital portion of pension benefits. There may be a marital property component in retirement assets such as 401(k) accounts and IRAs. There can be taxation issues that can affect the property settlement.

Our lawyers are highly knowledgeable concerning these and other financial issues. We will work diligently to protect your rights and property interests throughout the divorce process.

Businesses and Professional Practices

Our firm has considerable experience representing business owners, professionals and spouses. We work with business valuation specialists, accountants and other financial professionals to develop realistic valuations of businesses, and vigorously defend their findings in court.

What if he/she is hiding money/assets etc?

During the course of your case, there are tools and procedures available that can be used to discover assets that your spouse may be trying to hide. This can include forensic accountants, private investigators, requests for information pursuant to Colorado Law, subpoenas, etc. If a party is successful in hiding assets and if it can be proven, the consequences can be quite severe.

Can I keep the house?

It is possible for a party to retain the marital residence. It really depends on the amount of equity in the house and the other assets and debts in your marital estate. Another issue might be removing the other's name as an obligor on the mortgage. Discuss these issues with your lawyer.

What will happen to my retirement?

If your retirement was earned during the marriage and if it is a "vested" account, it is a marital asset subject to division. Some plans require a special order, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, to accomplish the division of the plan. Dividing retirement assets incident to a divorce does not usually result in tax consequences.

Contact Our Firm

To learn more about property division in divorce and how we can help you, contact Shapiro Family Law in Denver by calling 303-309-9580.