By: Curtis Wiberg
In a typical divorce where a couple are owners of a home, that home is often one of the most valuable assets of the marriage, and the issues of possession and division of the net equity can become a greatest sources of dispute. The court is tasked with a duty to equitably divide the parties’ assets and debts under C.R.S. 14-10-113 and the timing of this division generally occurs at the time of the final orders and decree.
Because the net equity can be a ready source of cash at the time of sale or refinancing, parties are often desirous of tapping into that asset while the divorce is ongoing. At times, they agree to allowing one party to refinance and buy out the other spouse from their share of the equity, or just selling the house and dividing the net proceeds from the sale at closing. Under CRS 14-10-107, an automatic temporary injunction goes into effect, at the commencement of the divorce, against both parties, which prohibits disposal of marital property without an order of the court or by mutual agreement. If the parties agree to the disposition of property during a divorce, they can submit their agreement to the court, for it to become a court order.
There are divorces, however, in which one party wants to sell the marital home as soon as possible and the other refuses. What then? The Colorado Court of Appeals addressed such a case in In re: Marriage of Gavend, 781 P.2d 161 (Colo. App. 1989). Continue reading