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Property division in Colorado, and how it works

Property division is a complex area of divorce law, and when it comes to this complex area, there are two schools of thought that dominate the discussion: community property and equitable distribution. Community property, which essentially gives each spouse a 50 percent stake in any marital assets, is not of any concern here in Colorado, because we don't abide by that set of laws.

Does the spouse who filed for divorce have an advantage?

Many divorce filings are the result of a couple's mutual discussions. However, under Colorado law, a spouse can file for divorce even over the other spouse's objections. The mere act of filing for divorce often satisfies the required showing of a marriage that is irretrievably broken. 

How is property divided in Colorado?

When spouses divorce in Colorado, an agreement must be made about how property should be divided between the two parties. If spouses are unable to come to their own agreement, a judge will make a ruling about property division. Because Colorado is an equitable distribution state, the marital property owned by both spouses won't necessarily be divided equally.

Asset division concerns in Colorado divorce courts

A primary concern in all types of divorce is the classification of property and its division. This process can be more complex in high-asset divorces as well as marriages that began later in life, but asset division is a common factor in most divorce agreements. Jefferson County courts are required to craft an equitable division of assets, excluding non-marital property, when divorcing parties cannot reach an acceptable agreement.

Understanding property division rules in Colorado divorce cases

When a couple in Colorado divorces, they should understand how the state handles the distribution of property. Two parties may arrive at an agreement on their own and then make it official through a Marital Settlement Agreement that is approved by the courts. The other option is to have the courts order and decree the division through a Decree of Dissolution of Marriage.

Separate versus joint property in divorce

Colorado spouses who receive inheritances or large monetary gifts before or during their marriage should know that they can take steps to protect those assets if they ever get divorced. In general, gifts or inheritances that are given to one spouse individually are protected from division during divorce. However, there are exceptions.

Financial matters commonly overlooked during a divorce

Colorado couples who are in the midst of a divorce may face hardships regarding the settlement process. Especially in high-asset divorces, couples can overlook some important financial aspects. Understanding these aspects may help avoid complications during divorce proceedings.

What to know about equitable divorce laws

When a Colorado couple gets divorced, they split up their property in one of two ways. The first way is for the couple to decide on their own how property is divided. However, this scenario may not be possible if the couple that is getting divorced is not on good terms. When an agreement cannot be reached, community property might be split in a way that is equitable to a judge while property acquired before the marriage remains in the hands of its owner.

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