If you and your spouse have significant assets, it can be quite difficult to divide them up during a Colorado divorce. These assets might include houses, pension and retirement plans, businesses, stocks and brokerage accounts. Even if your divorce is rather amicable, it can still be a long process, and if your divorce is combative, it’s guaranteed to be even longer.

There is a difference between separate property and marital property. Separate property is what you or your spouse came into the marriage with or inherited alone during the marriage. In addition, judgments from lawsuits awarded to you or your spouse are separate property.

Marital property is what you and your spouse acquired together during your marriage. It doesn’t matter whose name it’s under – in most circumstances. In addition, the increase in value of marital property is also seen as marital property.

There are some exceptions to these definitions and you should speak to your Colorado defense attorney for the specifics. For example, if in some states, if you title separate property in both spouses’ names, it becomes marital property. In addition, the increase in value in separate property becomes marital property in other states. You must have a knowledgeable attorney who knows all the laws in your state to be able to fight for what is rightly yours.

Colorado is a Community Property state, meaning that a 50-50 marital property split is the rule. This is different from an Equitable Distribution state, which means the marital property has to be divided in a fair and equitable manner. More than 95 percent of these divorces are settled out of court.

When considering a divorce in Colorado, contact an experienced attorney to learn more about property division, child custody, child support, spousal maintenance and other aspects that will directly impact your life or the lives of your children. You have rights and responsibilities under the law and your attorney will ensure your rights and interests are protected.

Source:  huffingtonpost.com, “Understanding How Assets Get Divided During a Divorce” Gal Time, Jun. 14, 2013