If you are getting a divorce and are concerned because you’re not on your home’s deed, now is a good time to talk about how equitable distribution works in Colorado. You may actually be able to claim a portion of your home’s value or even seek to keep the property in your divorce in some circumstances.
When you are not on the deed or mortgage of your home, you technically are not a legal owner. However, there are times when the court will consider granting you a share of that property. For example, if you have a prenuptial agreement that says that you will receive 30% of the value of the property upon divorce, you may claim that. Similarly, if your spouse bought the property when you were married, then the home may still be shared marital property even if it is in their own name.
Is this your marital residence?
One of the things to ask yourself is if this property is your marital residence. Another thing to ask yourself is if you invested any money into paying for the property. These two questions will give you a better idea of if you can seek a portion of the property in your divorce or if it will be treated as separate property.
As an example, if your spouse bought the property before you were married and you made no payments, then the likelihood is that you will not have a right to keep the property. You might, under some circumstances, try to keep a portion of the home’s increased value, though this is a complex situation.
Alternatively, if your spouse bought the home in their name but you paid half of the mortgage and lived there for many years with the home as your primary marital residence, you may be able to seek the property in your divorce and prove that it is a shared property.
This is a complex situation, so it’s valuable to learn more about the law and to discuss with your spouse and attorney how the property should be treated. If there is a conflict, you may need to negotiate or turn to a judge for a decision.