The real estate market in Colorado has shifted drastically in the last decade. Properties that you may have purchased long ago are likely worth far more than what you initially paid for the property. The change in property values poses unique issues to couples considering a divorce in Colorado.
One of the most pressing concerns in the asset division process for most couples is how to fairly split up the family home and other real estate holdings the family has. Even for the wealthiest family, real estate is often one of the largest assets in the marital estate.
From your primary residence where you raised your family, to your ski lodge or timeshare at the lake, your real assets likely represent a substantial amount of your overall marital estate. Placing a fair value on these major assets is critical to a fair outcome.
Have a professional place a value on any real property
There are many prices or values associated with the average piece of property. There is the taxable value for the property, which serves as a sort of official value for the home. There is also the insured value on your homeowner's insurance policy. Then, there is the amount of the mortgage that financed your property.
However, all of these figures can often be vastly inaccurate. They may not account for increases in property value or improvements you have made to the exterior or interior of your home. You also can't take the estimates provided by various real estate websites seriously either.
To get an accurate idea of what the current market value of your home is, you need to work with a real estate professional. Whether it is an appraiser or a real estate agent who lists properties in your region, real estate professionals can provide a more accurate idea of the price that your home or other real property currently represents.
Know what your goal is
Given that real estate represents such a significant investment, it is natural to want to ensure that you receive your fair share of value or equity from any real property. Maybe you want to stay in the marital home or keep the vacation house. Perhaps you just want other assets or cash in the amount of your share of the equity in the property.
Whatever your preferred outcome, the courts will make decisions based on your circumstances and the assets and debts you report. You may be able to reach amicable terms with your ex that include splitting up your real property. If not, the courts will make those decisions based on Colorado law.
Setting concrete goals and working toward them can help you as you divorce. Staying focused on the bigger picture is a way to avoid emotional mistakes that can have financial consequences.