One of your first concerns after filing for divorce may involve your marital property. “Who gets what?” is a common question that is not necessarily easy to answer. Many Colorado couples find that emotions often run too high to take control of splitting up their own property.
Mediation or going before a family law judge are often both better options than trying to figure out asset division on your own. These routes involve individuals who have more experience in family law, and can provide better guidance on equitable distribution.
What is equitable distribution?
Equitable distribution is the guiding principle used to divide marital assets during a divorce. In this approach, each spouse receives an equitable portion of community property. This does not, however, mean that the division is exactly 50/50.
In this sense, equitable does not mean equal, but, instead, it means whatever is most fair. Depending on the situation, one ex might receive only one-third of the marital assets. Although not a 50 percent share of the property, it might represent what the court deems as the fairest portion.
What about my personal property?
Asset division does not include personal property, and as such, these items remain with the owner. Separate property may apply to a number of different assets, including:
- Personal gifts
- Court awards
Additionally, a person usually acquires his or her personal property before saying “I do.” However, some people acquire certain personal assets — such as inheritances — after they have already married. It is important to keep these assets wholly separate during the marriage and ensure that you do not commingle them with any marital funds. Otherwise, they might lose their personal property protection.
My ex isn’t cooperative, is there anything I can do?
Not all divorces are amicable. In many cases, there are significant amounts of animosity that prevent couples from working together to reach an agreeable divorce settlement. In such situations, it is usually necessary to go before a family law judge who will consider many different factors.
Colorado family law is incredibly complex, and navigating asset division can be overwhelming and worrying, especially when you are concerned about your financial future. By providing vigorous representation, guidance from an experienced counsel can be especially helpful during this stressful period of life.