The most ideal way of handling the division of property during a marital breakup, in theory, would be you and your future ex-spouse amicably deciding how you want to divide your property. Unfortunately, this isn’t always feasible in many situations, especially in a divorce featuring high-value assets.

If you cannot come to an agreement on the division of your high-value property, the matter will end up being decided in court with the help of a judge. Here is a look at what you can expect from property division in the state of Colorado.

Colorado: An equitable distribution

Two methods exist for dividing marital property, including real estate, in the United States: community property division and equitable distribution.

The state of Colorado is an equitable distribution state, which means a judge will determine a fair way of dividing all of the qualifying marital assets. Therefore, there is a strong possibility that a court will award you with an amount much greater than 50 percent of your shared property if you earn significantly more than the other party.

A handful of other states follow the community property approach. This means that all of a couple’s property is considered either separate property or community property. The two spouses can retain their own separate property, but a 50/50 split applies during the division of the community property.

What all is included in marital property?

Marital property in Colorado is essentially all property that you and your spouse accumulated during your marital union. It also includes any debts that you both share.

Keep in mind that when it comes to dividing your marital property, the court will not literally split your property. Rather, the court will calculate your marital estate’s total value and then grant each of you a percentage of this value.

What all is included in separate property?

Separate property includes any property that you or your spouse acquired before you got married. It can include any gifts you have received, court awards, pension proceeds and an inheritance. In addition, any property you acquired by using separate property — such as a car purchased with money you received in an inheritance — will remain separate property.

Navigating property division can understandably be confusing, especially when high-value property is on the line. However, an applied understanding of the law may help you to fight for your fair share of assets and achieve the most personally favorable outcome possible.