The assets and wealth that Colorado residents acquire during their lifetimes can help them plan for the future and set their families up for financial success. However, when individuals go through divorces, they can see their economic power and health diminish. Information and knowledge can help divorcing parties protect their assets and their property ownership.
This post generally discusses property division in Colorado during the divorce process. It does not provide any legal advice. All readers who are going through their own divorces should talk to divorce and family law attorneys familiar with their cases when questions and concerns arise.
Separate and marital property
Property can be owned by married people in two different ways. One way is as marital property. Marital property is property that individuals own with their spouses.
Property can also be owned separate and apart from one’s spouse. Separate property is property that an individual owned before they were married, or property that they acquired independent of their spouse during their marriage. Gifts, inheritances, and other direct bequeathments can result in a married person owning separate property.
Equitable distribution and the division of marital property
Separate property remains under the separate ownership of individuals when they divorce. However, readers should know that separate property can become marital property if it is comingled or shared between the spouses. Actual marital property and converted separate property is divided during the divorce process.
When Colorado courts divide marital property they do so through the rules of equitable distribution. Equitable distribution does not guarantee that parties will receive equal shares of their collective property, but rather that each will receive a fair share of property. Different parties and different divorces will result in different equitable distribution outcomes.
Property division is a significant part of the divorce process. It is important that individuals understand their rights and prepare themselves to advocate for their preferences and needs. Their committed divorce lawyers can support them as they work through the legal ends of their marriages.