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How does Colorado divide marital assets in a divorce?

On Behalf of | May 30, 2024 | Divorce

When couples in Colorado decide to divorce, the court must figure out how to divide their property.

Colorado follows the principle of “equitable distribution” to divide marital assets. Equitable does not always mean equal; it means fair.

Determining marital and separate property

According to the CDC, the divorce rate in Colorado is 3 per 1,000 couples. The court must determine which assets are marital and which are separate. Marital property includes any assets acquired during the marriage. This can include houses, cars, bank accounts and even debts. Separate property includes assets one spouse owned before the marriage or received as a gift or inheritance during the marriage.

Factors in asset division

Once the court identifies marital assets, it considers several factors to divide them. The court looks at the length of the marriage. Longer marriages often lead to a more equal division of assets. The court also examines each spouse’s economic situation. If one spouse has a higher income or better job prospects, the court may award more assets to the other spouse.

Contributions to the marriage

The court also considers each spouse’s contribution to the marriage. This does not only mean financial contributions. It includes non-financial contributions like homemaking and child-rearing. For example, if one spouse stayed home to take care of the children while the other worked, the court sees this as an important contribution.

Value changes in separate property

The court also takes into account any decrease or increase in the value of separate property due to marital efforts. For example, if one spouse owned a business before the marriage and the other spouse helped it grow, the court might consider the increase in value to be marital property.

Ensuring fair distribution

In addition, the court looks at the value of the property set aside for each spouse. It ensures that the division does not unfairly favor one spouse over the other. The court may also consider any agreement the spouses made, such as a prenuptial agreement.

Special considerations

In some cases, the court may decide to award a specific asset, like the family home, to one spouse. This often happens when the couple has children and the court wants to provide stability for them.

Divorce can be a difficult process and the couple must settle several things.