Real Estate Portfolios and Divorce

May 27, 2022

Real Estate Portfolios and Divorce

One of the primary concerns of any divorce is protecting one’s financial rights and assets, and if you have real estate holdings, the matter is that much more complex. Often, a couple’s home is their most significant asset, and this can amount to considerable challenge when it comes to the division of marital assets in a divorce. If, however, you have a real estate portfolio, you can expect the financial complications to be that much more pronounced, and you need a dedicated Colorado divorce attorney in your corner. At Johnson Law Group (text 720-730-4558 or calls 720-463-4333), we have extensive experience successfully guiding cases like yours – involving real estate portfolios and divorce – toward advantageous outcomes, and we are here for you, too.

Equitable Distribution

To begin, it is important to know how the division of marital property is addressed in the State of Colorado. Colorado’s Family Code guides these determinations, and the basics include:

  • Assets, including real estate, that you and your spouse acquire while you are married are considered marital property.
  • Exceptions include any gifts or inheritances that either of you received independently during the course of your marriage, which are considered separate property.
  • Any increase in the value of a separate asset during the course of your marriage is considered a marital asset that will be addressed in the division of your marital property.

Because Colorado is an equitable distribution state, your marital assets will be divided between you in the divorce process in a manner that the court considers equitable – or fair – given the circumstances at hand. High assets and real estate ownership tend to make this already complex matter that much more so.

Forward Planning

If you are a real estate investor – or own considerable real estate – prior to marriage, it is often a good idea to directly address the matter of keeping these assets separate prior to marriage. Toward this end, you have the following two basic options:

  • Addressing the separate nature of your real estate holdings in a prenuptial agreement (as addressed in Colorado’s Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreement Act)
  • Setting up an asset protection trust in which you include your real estate properties

While no one enters marriage with thoughts of divorce, being proactive when it comes to protecting your real estate is a sign of prudence – not a sign that your marriage is doomed or that you are not fully invested. If, however, you are currently facing a divorce and do not have a premarital agreement or trust in place, the knowledgeable Colorado divorce attorneys at Johnson Law Group have a wealth of experience helping clients like you resolve their concerns related to real estate portfolios and divorce favorably.

Your Real Estate Portfolio

If you owned some or all of the real estate in your portfolio prior to marriage – and you kept the assets disentangled from your marital assets (which can be a high bar) – the court will likely deem these properties separate assets. Any increase in their value over the course of your marriage, however, will be marital – and will need to be divided between you fairly upon divorce. If, however, you obtained your real estate holdings while you were married (other than as a gift or through an inheritance in your name only), they will be considered marital, and you can expect the division of these assets to be challenging at best.

Complicating Factors

The division of marital assets is one of the most hotly contested terms in any divorce, and when those assets include a real estate portfolio, there is that much more to contest. All the following can be complicating factors:

  • Putting a value on each of the real estate holdings can be challenging in and of itself. Either you and your divorcing spouse will need to come to an agreement regarding who will be doing the professional valuations or you will need to obtain your own valuations and find a way to meet in the middle of the results.
  • The higher the value of a property, the more room there is for engaging in practices that hide or otherwise dissipate marital assets. As such, the more substantial your real estate portfolio, the more likely it is that you will need to involve forensic accounting.
  • There are also complicated tax implications involved in the division of a real estate portfolio and long-term planning concerns that come into play in relation to real estate portfolios and divorce.
  • If one spouse is far more involved in the real estate portfolio than the other, it can make it more difficult for the less-involved spouse to obtain a fair assessment of the assets and to protect his or her financial rights moving forward.

There are few things that complicate a divorce more than substantial assets like real estate holdings.

Protect Your Financial Rights

If you are heading toward a divorce that involves a real estate portfolio, there are some important steps you can take to help protect your rights, including:

  • Consult with a skilled divorce attorney who has considerable experience handling complex cases like yours early in the process.
  • Be proactive when it comes to documentation and begin gathering financial information sooner rather than later.
  • Remember that, because a real estate portfolio is involved, your divorce is very likely to be more complicated (and perhaps more contentious) than most. My remaining patient but firm in your efforts to preserve your rights, you improve your chances of obtaining a favorable resolution

Consider Contacting an Experienced Colorado Divorce Attorney

If the matter of real estate portfolios and divorce is on your mind, it is time to reach out to the capable divorce attorneys at Johnson Law Group. Our accomplished legal team takes great pride in our impressive track record of successfully protecting the financial rights of clients like you. If your divorce involves a real estate portfolio – or any other significant assets – we are on your side and well prepared to help. To learn more, call us at 720-463-4333 or text with us at 720-730-4558 today.

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