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What should I know about property laws in a Colorado divorce?

Coloradans who decide to end their marriage and get a divorce will often have many issues that they must navigate to settle the matter. It is unusual for divorces to be completed quickly and without some level of rancor. The disagreements can stem from many issues including children, support and property division. While in the greater context the property aspect might seem secondary, it is the foundation for many couples doing battle and having extended disputes as to who gets what. Knowing how Colorado state law handles marital property can provide the basis of handling the case for each side.

In general, marital property will be items that were purchased or received while the couple was married. That does not include that which was owned by the spouses as individuals. Included in the latter are inheritances and gifts during the marriage, and property that was owned prior to the marriage. The couple might also have entered into a legal agreement regarding property prior to getting married. These items will be referred to as separate property.

When a divorce takes place, the law dictates that there will be equitable distribution. This means that there will not be an automatic assumption that marital property is owned by the parties equally. Therefore, it does not mean that there will be an automatic division of these items. In general, the spouse who earns more will get more of the marital property when they divorce.

Disagreements over property owned by a couple is common in a divorce. There can be many perspectives as to the rights to certain property and if the property is of significant value, this can result in a drawn-out process of how the items will be divided. Understanding the state laws when it comes to the division of property is key, especially when there is a home, automobiles, a business, assets, investments, and items of sentimental value. A lawyer who is skilled in handling divorce cases, the division of assets and other aspects of property can help.

Source: statelaws.findlaw.com, "Colorado Marital Property Laws," accessed on May 15, 2018

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