When a couple in Colorado decides to end their marriage, one topic that may weigh heavy on their mind is how to divide their property. After all, oftentimes marital assets such as the family house, automobiles, investments and more are some of the most valuable pieces of property a couple owns. It is understandable that both parties will want to see that the outcome of the property division process is fair.
While some couples can negotiate property division settlements out-of-court, others will need to turn to a judge to make these important decisions. It is important to note that Colorado is an “equitable distribution” state when it comes to property division, meaning the judge will make decisions based on what is fair, and what is fair may not necessarily lead to an even 50-50 split. Therefore, it is important to understand what factors the court will consider when making property division decisions.
One factor the court may consider is what each spouse contributed to the acquisition of the marital assets, which includes any homemaking contributions one of the spouses may have made. The value of the assets set apart to each party may also be considered. Each party’s economic circumstances following the divorce may be considered, especially with regards to the family home. It may be desirable to award the family home to the party retaining custody of any children of the marriage so that the children can continue to reside in the family home. Finally, the court may consider any increases or decreases in the value of non-marital property or whether separate property has been depleted for marital purposes.
Property division issues can be emotionally difficult, which is why it is sometimes preferable to have the court make these decisions. Understanding what the court will consider in such situations is important to ensuring you know what your rights are. Many couples going through a divorce will want to seek legal advice before proceeding, which this post does not provide. Attorneys may be a useful resource to those who want to understand what Colorado courts look at when it comes to property division.