When a married couple splits, the most valuable assets are often at the center of property division. For many Colorado couples, the family home is the most contentious asset in a divorce. Some divorcees may wonder if a house bought during a marriage is considered joint property, even if only once spouse is listed on the mortgage.

Joint property can be an emotional and financially significant aspect of a divorce. For example, one party might have put the down payment on a house but the other could have spent the same amount, or even more, on upgrading the property. This is why, legally, a home that is acquired during a marriage is considered joint property unless there are extenuating circumstances. If an individual used inherited funds to improve the property, the situation would remain the same.

Before starting conflict over shared property, one important thing to consider is whether there is equity in the property. A formal appraisal may be required to determine if there is any equity in play. If one spouse is the reason there is no equity, this could also become a factor; for example, if mortgage repayments were neglected without the other spouse’s knowledge.

Marital homes are a major challenge in a divorce. Some have emotional ties to property, while others worry that abandoning a property could lead to a net financial loss. Talking to the mortgage company can help clarify the situation. More importantly, having an experienced Colorado lawyer on hand can help to allay some of the challenges of a marital home in a divorce.