Those couples undergoing a divorce or legal separation in Colorado will have to divide up the property between them.
Like most other states, Colorado is what is called an equitable division state. This means that, assuming the couple cannot work out an agreement themselves, a judge is supposed to divide up the marital property fairly.
Although in practice it often ends up this way, a fair division does not mean that the judge will split the property 50-50 between spouses. Rather, the judge will consider a number of legal factors and ultimately decide on a division that she considers just under the circumstances.
One big question is what is and is not marital property, or, for that matter, a marital debt.
In Colorado, who has legal title to the property matters little; if property was acquired during the marriage, a judge is with few exceptions going to recognize it as marital property subject to division. However, there are special cases involving gifts and inheritances.
In other cases, one of the spouses may have acquired a lot of wealth prior to their marriage and may argue that he should keep it outright. On the other end of the spectrum, once a couple has legally split, their property and assets are not considered martial assets.
Once a judge has decide what is marital property, she will then have to decide who gets which property. An important related question is how much each item of property is worth.
While this hopefully serves as a good overview of how the property division process works, each case is different and should be evaluated carefully.