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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.

This state uses "equitable distribution" rules when two spouses are unable to arrive at their own agreement. The process starts with a thorough discovery to classify all owned assets or property and determine what is shared under the law. Monetary values are assigned to all property before it is divided. The division may not be strictly equal, but the court will determine what each partner will receive.

In determining the division of property, Colorado courts consider several different criteria. They look at the contribution of each partner to the household, both in terms of actual income and as a homemaker. They also review the value of property given to each partner and the economic circumstances of each spouse. The child custody arrangements will also be taken into account when determining what a fair distribution of assets is. Finally, the courts will look at how property has appreciated or depreciated over the course of the marriage.

When people are going through a high-asset divorce, they should remember that the property distribution may not be an equal number. Spouses may want to protect their current and future interests by working with professionals who are well versed in this process. It may be possible to have certain property excluded from the equation if the property was obtained before the marriage. Additionally, valuable assets that are expected to drop in value over the coming years may receive special consideration based on the expected changes.

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