How is property split up in a divorce or legal separation?

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How is property split up in a divorce or legal separation?

We own 7 properties. My wife has only her name on 2 that she bought before we got married. 5 properties have both our names on them. She says only her money went into the last 3 properties, but I paid for half the repairs and put my time into repairing them. All properties are paid off. I have worked in her company for 9 yrs and she says we are 50/50 in the company, but never put my name on it. However, she has benefited and made money off me working in it that helped her to put more money into these properties, even the ones with only her name on them from before we were married.

Asked on October 22, 2010 under Family Law, Colorado

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Colorado is what is known as an equitable distribution state, meaning that martial property is divided equitably but not necessarily equally.  The courts prefer that the parties divide their property by an agreement between them.  But if they can not so divide it then the court will intervene.  Property is then divided in to "marital property" and "separate property" by looking at certain factors.  For example, property acquired prior to marriage is generally seen as separate property.  Property acquired during the marriage - even if only one name is on the property or one spouse claims only their income went in to paying for it - does not make it only "their" property.  And money earned during the marriage is "marital" money regardless of who earned it.  You need to seek help from an attorney here as to your options.  Your not having a partnership agreement can be a problem here depending on other factors and how they are laid out.  But even if you are not a partner the business can be determined "marital property" of which you may be entitled to a share.  Get help. Good luck. 


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