By: Michelle L. Searcy
In Colorado, everything acquired by either party during a marriage is presumed to be marital property regardless of title or possession, with a few limited exceptions. Section 14-10-113(2), C.R.S. lists those exceptions as:
- Property acquired by gift, bequest, devise or descent;
- Property acquired in exchange for property acquired in exchange for property acquired by gift, bequest, devise or descent;
- Property acquired by a spouse after a decree of legal separation; and
- Property excluded by valid agreement of the parties.
Therefore, if your Great Aunt died and left you her car, it is your separate property. If you trade that car in for another car of equal or lesser value, the replacement car is separate property. A legal separation likewise protects your interest in property you obtained after the decree of separation is entered. The final exception requires that the parties voluntarily entered into a marital agreement (post-nuptial agreement) that complies with all of the requirements of section 14-2-309 that was made at a time when the parties intended to remain married. Regardless of exceptions, your actions can potentially lead to your separate property in a divorce being considered marital. Continue reading