In this blog post, I will share 35 years of experience, specific suggestions, and factual knowledge to make the mortgage process for a home purchase or refinance transaction far more accurate, less intricate, and as hassle-free as possible, whether you're considering a divorce, in the middle of a divorce, or post-divorce.
One of the first things clients ask me is how a judge will divide property. There are two legal theories when it comes to dividing property: “community property” and “equitable division.” Colorado is an equitable division state. This means that, although courts typically end up splitting the property equally, the court can choose to divide the property unequally.
Colorado is a “no-fault divorce” state. This means that, as a general rule, a party’s conduct during the marriage is not considered during the divorce. However, there are several exceptions to this general rule. I frequently see this issue come up in the context of an affair, domestic violence, criminal charges pending against one parent, or drug or alcohol use.
In Colorado, there is a difference between being physically separated from your spouse (living at separate addresses) and being legally separated from your spouse (having a Decree of Legal Separation).
Occasionally, a client asks me how gifts that were given to the other spouse during the marriage are divided in a divorce. The answer depends on what was gifted. However, in most cases, the gift is considered the other spouse’s separate property, and is not divided as part of the divorce.
Because of the special relationship between spouses, Colorado law requires “full and honest disclosure” of all material facts that effect both spouses and their children. Part of this requirement includes mandatory disclosure of financial documentation (“mandatory financial disclosures”).
Divorce lawyers often use the term “commingling.” Depending on which side you are on, it can be used in a positive or negative way. Generally, you do not want to be the party who has “commingled” assets.
The death of a spouse is a tragic event. This can be compounded if the deceased spouse attempted to disinherit the surviving spouse, or left no Will. In those situations, Colorado law provides statutory rights to the surviving spouse. The rights depend on whether the deceased spouse died with a Will or not.
There are two types of property in the context of divorce: marital property and separate property. The court can only divide marital property. Separate property is automatically retained by the spouse who owns it.
This article is the second part in a series on the division of retirement accounts during a divorce. Today, we are discussing the division of IRAs.