What is equitable in the eyes of the family court may not be even

When you get divorced in Colorado, you will have to split up your assets, debts and parental rights and responsibilities. Some couples can complete the process quickly and easily because they have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that outlines how they want to divide parenting time and their property. It’s also possible for couples to go through mediation to set terms for an uncontested divorce.

Not all families can come to an amicable agreement on property division on their own. Many couples going through a divorce will have to ask the courts to divide their property. If the courts are the ones who wind up making the decisions, it’s important that you understand the system they apply toward asset division.

The Colorado family courts aim for the equitable distribution of assets

Colorado’s approach toward marital property involves the court carefully reviewing the circumstances of the marriage to determine how to do so. Instead of a 50/50 or even split, the goal is the equitable or fair distribution of the assets and debts accrued during the marriage. Fairness means looking at many aspects of the marriage to determine what’s reasonable for the family’s unique circumstances.

Factors such as income, unpaid household labor, the length of the marriage and even the parenting arrangements for a couple can influence how the courts divvy up their possessions during a divorce. The judge presiding over the divorce has the right to split assets or even to order the couple to sell major assets, like a home, and split the proceeds of the sale.

Marital misconduct is not a factor that influences a fair outcome

When you think of fairness, you might think of all the injustices from your marriage that prompted you to file for divorce. For example, if your spouse cheated on you, you may feel angry and hurt. It is common for people to expect that the courts will provide them with some sort of justice after an act of infidelity leads to the dissolution of marriage.

While there are situations in which this kind of financial justice is possible, the courts will not consider marital misconduct, including adultery, when they determine what is a fair and reasonable way to split up assets during a divorce. Their focus will instead be on the practical considerations for the family.