When a couple decides who gets what in a divorce, the focus is quite frequently on who gets to keep certain assets. The house, the retirement accounts and even the pets in the family will be focal points in the process.

Your credit card balances or student loans are something you probably don’t think about at all. However, in Colorado, equitable division of your property involves not just your assets but also your marital debt. How do the courts decide what debts to split and how they divide them?

The focus is on a fair solution

There is no clear-cut formula for the division of debt in a Colorado divorce. A joint credit card balance could wind up the responsibility of one spouse if they have the resources to pay and have asked for other assets of value as a trade-off. Other times, each individual assumes responsibility for half of the balance of specific accounts or half of the total value of all the household debt.

If the courts divide the household debts and assets, they try assure a fair outcome. They might use debt to offset high-value assets or simply divide both the debt and the property. Debts incurred during the marriage to support the household will likely be subject to division. That means that credit card debt, even in one person’s name, will get split if the balance represents groceries, insurance premiums, furniture and other living expenses.

However, debts incurred in secrecy or as a form of marital dissipation may remain the responsibility of solely one spouse. The more information you have about your finances, the easier it will be for you to push for a fair division of your debts along with your assets in a divorce.