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Valuing marital property in Colorado

In a Colorado divorce involving a couple with significant property, accurate valuation of assets is critical for a just distribution. If your spouse offers to let you keep the house as long as they get to keep the art collection, you'll need to know what both are worth before you can respond to the offer.

Colorado courts divide marital property on an equitable basis. Marital property is any property obtained during the marriage by either spouse, other than through inheritance or gift. Valuing marital property can be a complex task. For some assets like artwork and real estate, professional appraisers must be retained.

Separate property includes that which either spouse owned separately before the marriage, or acquired during the marriage by inheritance or gift. Separate property is not divided in Colorado, but remains with its owner. Any increase in the value of separate property during the marriage is considered marital property, however, and is subject to equitable division. For separate assets that have appreciated in value, including real estate, IRAs, 401(k) accounts and retirement accounts, two valuations are necessary: one to show the asset's value at the commencement of the marriage and one to show its value today.

When a spouse owns a business, additional complexities arise. Valuing a business is a sophisticated exercise that requires expert assistance and analysis not only of asset values but cash flow, debt, competitive position and goodwill. Experts' opinions as to the value of a business can vary greatly. In many cases each spouse will want to perform their own valuation of the business.

The law firm of Shea L. Burchill P.C. has been handling complex property division cases for over a decade. I understand not only the nuances of business valuations, asset appreciation and related matters, but how to use that knowledge to help my clients get a fair deal in the property division.

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