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Home / Division of Property in a Colorado Divorce

Division of Property in a Colorado Divorce

Colorado follows the "equitable distribution" system for dividing assets and debts in a divorce. This system seeks a fair and just division of marital property based on several factors.

Key Concepts

1. Marital Property

  • Definition: Includes most property acquired by either spouse during the marriage, such as income, real estate, and personal property.
  • Division: The court aims to divide marital property in a fair and equitable manner, considering factors like the length of the marriage, each spouse's income, and their contributions to the marriage.

2. Separate Property

  • Definition: Includes property owned by a spouse before marriage, gifts and inheritances received solely by one spouse, and personal injury awards.
  • Division: Separate property remains with the owning spouse and is not divided in the divorce.

Factors Considered in Property Division

The court considers several factors when dividing marital property, including:

  • Length of Marriage: The duration of the marriage is a significant factor in determining the distribution.
  • Income and Earning Capacity: Each spouse's income, earning capacity, and employability.
  • Contributions to the Marital Estate: Contributions made to the marital estate, including homemaking and child-rearing.
  • Age and Health: The age and physical/mental health of each spouse.
  • Custodial Parent Needs: The need of a custodial parent to occupy or own the marital residence.
  • Spousal Support Obligations: Any spousal support obligations from previous marriages.
  • Retirement Benefits: The value of retirement benefits accrued during the marriage.
  • Debts and Liabilities: Any marital debts and liabilities.
  • Tax Implications: The tax consequences of property distribution.
  • Fault: Although Colorado allows no-fault divorce, the court may consider marital misconduct in the division of property.

Special Considerations

  • Retirement Benefits: Retirement and pension benefits accrued during the marriage are considered marital property and subject to equitable distribution.
  • Business Interests: Business interests are subject to division based on their valuation and the portion deemed to be marital property.
  • Debts: Debts incurred during the marriage are typically considered marital obligations and are divided between the spouses.
  • Real Estate: The division of real estate may involve complex valuation to ensure a fair distribution.

Conclusion

The division of property in a Colorado divorce follows equitable distribution principles, aiming for a fair and just division. Given the complexities involved, especially with high-value assets or mixed property types, it's beneficial to seek legal advice.

A legal professional can help navigate the division process, ensuring that your rights are protected and that the division of property is handled fairly and equitably.

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