Divorce is a complex and emotionally charged process, and it involves the division of assets acquired during the marriage. One significant aspect that can complicate matters is the question of whether an inheritance received by one spouse can be divided between spouses. In of Colorado, like in many other jurisdictions, the treatment of inheritance in divorce cases is subject to specific rules and considerations.
Understanding Separate Property
In Colorado, property is generally classified as either marital or separate. Marital property includes assets and debts acquired during the marriage, while separate property includes assets acquired before the marriage or received as a gift or inheritance during the marriage. The distinction between marital and separate property is crucial in determining how assets are divided in a divorce.
Treatment of Inheritance
Colorado courts follow the principle of equitable distribution when dividing marital property in a divorce. Equitable distribution does not necessarily mean an equal 50/50 split, but aims to achieve a fair and just distribution based on various factors. When it comes to an inheritance, the general rule is that inheritances are considered separate property.
However, the treatment of an inheritance can change depending on how it is handled during the marriage. If the inherited assets are commingled with marital assets or used for the benefit of both spouses, in Colorado the court may reclassify the inherited assets as marital property subject to division.
Along with this, even if one spouse receives a large inheritance and does not commingle it, the court can give the other spouse more of marital property since the other spouse will not have access to the inheritance under the principle of equitable distribution.
In conclusion, while inheritances are generally considered separate property in Colorado divorce cases, the treatment can vary based on how the assets are handled during the marriage. It's crucial for individuals navigating divorce proceedings to seek legal advice to understand their specific situation and ensure a fair and just division of assets. The attorneys at Knies, Helland, and McPherson Law can provide guidance on the complexities of property division, including the treatment of inheritances in accordance with Colorado law.