Ryan Kalamaya goes through the basics of how property is divided in a Colorado divorce.
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Ryan Kalamaya and Amy Goscha provide tips and recommendations on issues related to divorce, separation, and co-parenting in Colorado. Ryan and Amy are the founding partners of an innovative and ambitious law firm, Kalamaya | Goscha, that pushes the boundaries to discover new frontiers in family law, personal injuries, and criminal defense in Colorado.
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Ryan Kalamaya (1s):
Welcome to divorce at altitude, a podcast on Colorado family law. I'm Ryan Kalamaya each week, along with my business partner and cohost Amy Gosha or an expert, we discuss a particular topic related divorce or co parenting in Colorado. In addition, we have created a short series of lessons that will take you through the legal process of divorce and answer your questions from simple to complex divorce. Isn't easy. The end of a marriage, especially when children are involved, brings a great deal of loss and change. We hope these practical tips and insights will help you on your journey to a new and better life For a long time listeners or viewers of this podcast.
Ryan Kalamaya (46s):
You'll recall that we have a fictional divorce client, Eric Wolf. Now, one of the questions that Eric Wolf asks himself, and if you want to go back and listen to Eric Wolf story, you can find that in episode one, you can also find it on our website. You can find it by Googling my last name and Eric Wolf. But one of the questions that he asks is what is going to happen with my property? Am I going to have to start all over? And what's going to happen with my business because Eric is a business owner, and This episode is focused on property division, just in general, in a Colorado divorce in subsequent episodes, I'll break down and tackle individual issues such as marital versus separate property, valuation issues, closely held businesses trusts, and the like, so first Colorado is an equitable distribution state.
Ryan Kalamaya (1m 36s):
What that means is that the court is asked or required to divide property equitably. That doesn't necessarily mean equally. One of the most common misconceptions that Colorado divorce clients come to us and ask us about is Colorado divides property equally, right? No, not necessarily. The judge in Colorado is going to look at a variety of factors in determining how to equitably or fairly divide the assets involved in the divorce and determine who gets what. So let's kind of cover some basic property division concepts. As I said before, Colorado is not necessarily an equal division state, so the court can divide Property 60, 40, 70, 30.
Ryan Kalamaya (2m 22s):
It really depends on the circumstances. Most importantly, Colorado cannot consider marital fault. So if there is an affair, if there's lying, if there's abuse, domestic abuse, those kinds of issues, which people frequently ask about are not supposed to be considered when dividing property. Now there is a concept called economic fall or dissipation of assets. We'll get into that in a separate episode, but generally speaking, marital fault does not matter in dividing property in a Colorado divorce. So what factors does the judge look at in dividing property? First, the court is going to look at the contributions of each spouse in the acquisition of marital property.
Ryan Kalamaya (3m 4s):
And that includes the contribution of a spouse as a homemaker. Next, the court's going to consider the value of the property set apart to each party next, the economic circumstances of each party at the time of the division of property. Finally, the court is going to consider any increase or decrease in the value of separate property for this spouse during the marriage or the depletion of separate property for marital purposes. Now separate property and marital property are terms of art. And I will have another episode explaining what exactly that means in Colorado. As I've mentioned several times before Colorado does not have to divide property equally that said most judges view the contributions by each spouse as equally.
Ryan Kalamaya (3m 55s):
And most judges will divide property equally. The courts, however, are given great latitude in making an equitable division of property, depending on the facts of each case. So you may be asking yourself if the judges divide property equally because they generally consider the contributions to be equal. What's the point? What can you fight about? Well, the short answer is that there is frequently a lot of disputes. There can be disputes about what's marital and what's separate. There can be disputes about what the value is, and you can get in a whole host of different issues involving property. So you may be asking yourself if the judges typically look at the contributions as equal and equally divide the marital assets, what exactly is the point?
Ryan Kalamaya (4m 40s):
What can we argue about? Well, the short answer is that you've got lots to argue about first. You've got differences between marital and separate property. Again, we'll talk about that. In a later episode, you also have issues as to valuations. One party could own a business such as Eric Wolf. He might own a business and he could believe that it's very little, whereas Melanie will, his ex-wife may believe that it's worth considerable. Wow. And there could be a difference of opinion as to what exactly the parties should settle or what exactly that business is worth. Finally, you might have an agreement as to the value and the contributions by each party, but you might have a disagreement about who gets what.
Ryan Kalamaya (5m 21s):
So for example, the marital residence, there could be an argument about who exactly is going to keep that house. It's one of the questions that Eric Wolf asked in episode one, but for now that hopefully gives you an insight and overview into how property division works in a Colorado divorce. Thanks for listening or watching this short lesson on the Divorce at Altitude podcast. If you found this helpful, please leave a review or share with a friend. It does help for others that are going through or thinking about divorce in Colorado. If you want to find out more information, please visit Kalamaya.law or divorceataltitude.com and that's kalamaya.law. Remember, this is educational information.
Ryan Kalamaya (6m 2s):
It's not intended to be legal advice. Please consult with an attorney about the particulars of your case. We're happy to answer questions. Feel free to give us a call at (970) 315-2365.