A Family Attorney’s Guide to Separate and Marital Property in CO and MN

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Separate or marital property

Property division is crucial to family law, especially when ensuring fair and just outcomes for divorcing couples. Colorado (CO) and Minnesota (MN) each have distinct legal frameworks governing the classification and distribution of assets. As families undergo the challenges associated with separation and divorce, understanding the nuances of separate and marital property becomes paramount.

Perusse Family Law aims to clarify the fundamental principles governing property division in CO and MN, providing valuable insights for those seeking clarity regarding a marriage dissolution or separation.

Understanding Separate and Marital Property

During a divorce, all property must be identified as either marital or separate (sometimes called “non-marital”). Separate property includes assets that belong to one spouse and that aren’t typically divided. However, marital property belongs to both spouses, so it must be divided and distributed according to each state’s laws during divorce proceedings.

In most cases, marital property is anything obtained during the marriage. It could be payroll earnings, real estate, retirement benefits, or other assets. Debt accumulated during the marriage is also normally included. However, there are some exceptions to marital property rules, which vary by state but typically would include inheritances and gifts.

Separate and Marital Property in Colorado

In Colorado, separate property is owned by one spouse and not divided between spouses during a divorce. Examples include:

  • Inherited property or assets
  • Property owned prior to the marriage
  • Property obtained after a legal separation
  • Gifts from one spouse to the other, unless deemed marital property by the court

Marital property, on the other hand, is anything acquired or earned by either spouse during the marriage. Marital property may include:

  • Real estate
  • Bank accounts
  • Retirement accounts
  • Personal property (including vehicles)
  • Investment accounts
  • Pets

During divorce proceedings, the court divides marital property in a fair and equitable manner. That doesn’t mean everything will be split 50/50. The court considers all of the applicable circumstances to make a decision.

Navigating Property Division in Minnesota

Minnesota’s approach to property division during divorce proceedings is firmly grounded in state-specific statutes and regulations. Like Colorado, Minnesota follows the principle of equitable distribution, emphasizing fairness rather than an equal split.

Marital property in Minnesota includes real and personal property, retirement or pension accounts, and any property obtained by either spouse during the marriage (regardless of how the property is titled).

Non-marital (separate) property is anything acquired before the marriage, gifts given by a third party to one spouse, inheritances awarded to one spouse, or anything noted within a valid antenuptial (prenuptial agreement) contract.

Handling Separate and Marital Property with Perusse Family Law

Understanding property division laws is crucial to navigating a dissolution of marriage or separation. The laws surrounding separate and marital properties can be complex, and how they are handled depends on your state’s statutes. For couples and families in Colorado and Minnesota, seeking guidance from a trusted family law attorney who understands the legal nuances associated with marital property laws is critical.

Cindy Perusse at Perusse Family Law provides decades of family law expertise to assist you through this challenging time. Our dedicated and compassionate team is ready to provide you with personalized guidance to help safeguard your rights and assets.

Contact us today for a consultation and to get on the road to a fair and just resolution.

Separate or marital property