In a divorce am I able to keep what I had before marriage?

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In a divorce am I able to keep what I had before marriage?

We have been married for 1-1/2 years in CO. I work and she does not, and has not. Rent and pay student loans, live paycheck-to-paycheck with no assets other than a collectors car and a Harley that I bought with inheritance money before we were married. In a divorce do I get to keep the car and motorcycle? Only married for 1-1/2 years with her never working will I have to pay her anything? With debt to income ratio, even if I was single, there is nothing left for me to pay her if we divorce.

Asked on February 18, 2011 under Family Law, Colorado

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am sorry for your situation.  First, Colorado is an equitable distribution state meaning that assets of the marriage are divided equitably not necessarily equally.  But did you catch the key word:  assets OF the marriage.  When you get divorced the court can determine (or the parties can agree) that certain assets are marital assets and certain assets are separate assets (not to be divided).  Generally speaking anything that was your before the marriage is yours after the marriage, unless you in some way co-mingle the funds thereby evidencing an intent to make them marital.  The increase in the value of the marital home  - even if purchased by one of the parties prior to marriage - is considered marital property in Colorado.  Assets purchased with inheritance - which can be traced as such - remain separate property as well.  As for alimony or spousal support as I think you re alluding to here, the court will take in to account the finances of both parties, the marital situation and the length of the marriage.  I would seek help from an attorney in your area but I do not think that you have much to work about here.  Good luck to you both.


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