Equitable property division is the method of property division used in Colorado when a couple divorces. Equitable property division means that property will be fairly divided between the divorcing couple which does not necessarily mean that it will be equally divided on a 50-50 basis.
The type of property impacts whether or not it will be subject to the property division process. Property is typically divided into two categories including marital property and separate property.
Marital property includes income, property and assets the couple acquires during their marriage. Marital property is generally subject to the property division process during divorce.
Separate property includes property and assets one of the spouses entered the marriage with and is generally not subject to the property division process during divorce. Examples of separate property include gifts, inheritances and personal injury awards.
When dividing property during divorce, the family law court will consider a variety of factors including:
- The duration of the marriage;
- The age, health and special needs of each of their spouses;
- The financial needs and liabilities of each of the spouses;
- The financial situation of each of the spouses and their potential earning potential;
- The amount each parent contributed to the marital property, including non-monetary contributions;
- The value of each spouse’s separate property;
- Any existing child or spousal support obligations; and
- Adverse actions by each of the spouses.
Equitable property division is conducted on a case-by-case basis and the family law court will work to divide property as fairly as possible. The process can help guide divorcing spouses as they work on their property settlement agreement and can also help them understand what to expect during their divorce and how to protect their interests.