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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.

We follow equitable distribution in Colorado, and though that may sound like it will mean that each spouse gets a "fair" slice of the pie, that is not necessarily how it works. Equitable distribution means that a judge will determine what "fair" actually means for the splitting couple, given the circumstances of the couple.

So, what does that mean? Well, "fair" could mean that each spouse gets 50 percent of what's at stake. It could also mean that one spouse gets 75 percent and the other gets 25 percent. It depends on the case and it depends on the spouses (and their circumstances).

With that in mind, under equitable distribution there are certain assets that could be exempt from the property division process. A good example of this would be gifts that are given to one spouse. On the other side of the coin, any assets that were purchased with commingled funds would be given to just one of the spouses should a judge rule in that way.

It is important to remember in these property division discussions that you and your spouse will have to deal with each other, and you need to be as respectful and collaborative as possible to get through these important matter.

Source: FindLaw, "Divorce Property Division FAQ," Accessed June 5, 2015

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