One of the most important issues to address in any divorce is property division. Colorado law states that all marital property will be subjected to equitable distribution. It’s important to understand that “equitable” does not mean “equal”, it means that property will be divided in a way that is fair.
The courts encourage the parties in a divorce to reach their own property division settlement. In the event the parties are unable to agree on how to divide and split their marital assets and debt, the court will intervene. When determining a property division award, the courts take into consideration several factors to ensure property is divided fairly. These factors include:
- Each spouse’s contribution to the acquisition of the property (this includes contributions a spouse makes as a homemaker)
- The value of the property set apart to each spouse
- Each spouse’s financial circumstances at the time of the divorce
- Whether one or both spouses wants to keep and remain in the family home
- The child custody and visitation arrangement
- Increases or decreases in the value of separate property
Because Colorado is a “no fault” state, the court will not take into consideration marital misconduct when determining a property settlement.
What is Considered Martial Property?
Differentiating between martial property and separate property is very important during the property division stage of a divorce. Only marital property is subject to equitable distribution laws. Separate property remains in the possession of the person who acquired it.
Marital property is defined as any assets or debt accumulated after the marriage began but before a couple files for divorce. Property that is not considered marital property includes:
- Property acquired by gift, bequest, devise, or descent
- Property acquired in exchange for property acquired before the marriage or in exchange for property acquired by gift, bequest, devise, or descent
- Any property acquired after the divorce
- Property excluded by valid agreement of the parties, such as property listed in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement
A Denver divorce attorney at Denver Family Lawyers would be happy to provide you with more information about the property division laws in Colorado. To set up an appointment to discuss your divorce, please call (303) 225-3343 today!