Some people may assume that if they keep their marital finances separate, a court will not require them to split any of that property in case of divorce. In an equitable division state like Colorado, the assets that individuals earn may be considered their own separate property, but people should not count on this being the case. An attorney for a spouse may successfully argue that these assets should be shared. If this is the case, the assets will be divided equitably.
Equitable is not the same as equal, and in a divorce, several factors may help a judge determine how property is divided. However, couples who are concerned about ensuring that their assets are separate may want to consider a prenuptial agreement. A prenup carries the advantage of forcing couples to be open with one another about their finances and to talk about their attitudes toward money. A survey by the American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers found that more people are requesting prenuptial agreements than ever before.
Despite this, some couples may feel that a prenup is not the right solution for them. They can still take steps to protect their finances. For example, making sure they have records of all the assets they are bringing into the marriage can be important. They should also avoid mingling any inheritances with the family finances.
A person who is thinking about divorce may want to consult an attorney to discuss what may be considered shared property and how property might be divided. For some couples, it might be possible to reach an agreement on property division without going through litigation. An attorney may be able to help with negotiation. Discussing possibilities ahead of time along with financial goals for life after divorce might help a person prepare for these negotiations.