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What is not considered marital property in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Sep 25, 2023 | Divorce |

Colorado family law cases can be difficult. This is particularly relevant to property division. Colorado is an equitable distribution state where property is divided in a manner the court believes to be fair instead of split in half. That, however, does not answer all questions that people will have as they move forward with their case.

Marital property might be shared relatively equally, depending on the circumstances. Some properties are not categorized as marital property. When the court makes its determination as to how the property will be divided, it will look at these properties as if they belong to one individual. Knowing which properties will be viewed in this context under the law is important.

Some property is not marital

When the term “marital property” is used, it refers to items that were accrued after the couple got married. If they bought a home, then it is marital property. The same is true for furnishings, automobiles and other items. Still, there are exceptions.

If a person was named in a will and received property through the document, then it belongs to them alone. A loved one might have died and given a person money, family heirlooms, artwork or anything else. That is not viewed as marital property even though it was acquired after the marriage.

Those who owned property before the marriage and exchanged it for new property will get to keep that as their own. The same is true when exchanging something they received as a gift or by descent. When a couple legally separates and they amass property in the aftermath, that property is theirs despite them not getting divorced yet.

Finally, if there is property that has been excluded by an agreement between the parties, it is not marital property provided it is valid. A prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement can detail which properties belong to whom. The agreement must be valid and it will be assessed to determine if it is legally binding. If it is, then the property will belong to one person.

A successful family law case requires preparation

There can be confusing aspects in family law cases. Property division is among the most complex parts of the law. People might not realize that certain properties were acquired after the marriage that are not viewed as marital property.

Knowing this and other facts about the law can be essential to reaching a positive outcome. Whether it is a relatively amicable case or the sides are in dispute about myriad issues, it is useful to be completely prepared from the start.