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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.

In an equitable division state, such as Colorado, a judge will determine the most fair way to divide property between the two. In this scenario, equitable does not mean a 50-50 split or a near 50-50 split in all cases. Sometimes, a judge will add up the value of community property and give one party the cash value of that property while allowing the other party to keep a physical asset.

There are a number of things a judge might consider when making a decision on division. Some factors may include who uses a certain piece of property more, if one spouse needs a home to take care of a child or needs extra financial support to provide for their needs immediately after the divorce. If the couple had pets, a judge may award custody of the pets to whoever can took care of them or whoever provides the best living situation for those animals.

Colorado residents may wish to talk to a divorce lawyer when negotiating a divorce settlement. An attorney may be able to negotiate a reasonable split of marital property that provides for the financial security of both parties. This may make it possible to avoid leaving the resolution of such a contentious issue in the hands of a judge.

Source: FindLaw, "Divorce Property Division FAQ", August 01, 2014

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