Marital property is defined as any property either spouse acquires during their marriage, with the exception of property acquired by gift, inheritance or property excluded by a prenuptial agreement. Colorado Revised Statute 14-10-113 governs the division of marital property in a divorce. Contrary to popular belief, the manner in which the property is titled, for example a home or car, is not necessarily conclusive of ownership right. Additionally, one spouse’s name being absent from the title does not exclude that spouse’s right to the subject property.
When a piece of marital property enters a marriage separately but the value has increased or decreased during the marriage, the difference in value in either direction is subject to marital property division during a divorce mediation. Since there are generally multiple layers of marital property in dissolving domestic cases such as a home, automobiles, jewelry and retirements, there are multiple ways to equalize the marital estate to get both clients to an equitable distribution.
Equitable distribution of marital property in divorce mediation is not necessarily a mathematical 50/50 split in every case. Clients many times have their preconceptions of equitable distribution before they reach the mediation table. In most people’s opinion, a 49/51 split is quite close to equally divided. If that division keeps the parties out of the lengthy and costly courtroom process, isn’t that what the process of mediation is for?
My goal is to help everyone get the settlement for marital property that makes them as comfortable and as fair as possible in a divorce mediation. Sometimes one spouse will keep the house and the other spouse will get the vehicle and retirement money. At times they will sell the marital home and divide the cash and assets between them. There may be great grandmother’s vase and grandpa’s old truck that mean more than the market value in dollars. You (the client) choose the fate of all those important decisions. The possibilities are up to you. You decide the division of property in a mediation. My professional opinion is that your active role in mediation is one of the most appealing reasons to mediate your settlement.