Division of Marital Assets & Debts
The allocation of marital assets and debts, also referred to as “property division,” is one issue the court will address in your divorce case. All assets and debts of the parties accused over the course of the marriage is collectively referred to as the “marital estate.” The primary statute that addresses property division is Colorado Revised Statute §14-10-113. Colorado is not a “community property” state, but rather, an “equitable division” state. This means that, although the court will typically start off with an approach of considering dividing the marital property 50/50, the court is NOT required to actually divide the marital property equally.
The court may take into account several factors when it allocates the marital estate between the parties, such as each party’s contributions to the acquisition of marital property, including the contributions of a spouse as a homemaker and the value of property awarded to each spouse, the economic circumstances of each spouse. With regard to economic circumstances, the court may consider separate property that is not a marital asset upon which a party may rely, separate debt that is not a marital debt but which a party is obligated to repay, as well as any increases or decreases of separate property during the marriage. It may be important to the court if a party depleted a separate asset by way of contributing the same towards the marriage. At times, a parent who will be the primary residential parent for the parties’ child or children may desire to remain in the marital home, which is a factor the court may consider.
Allocation of the marital estate may be extraordinarily complex, and we highly recommend that you contact an experienced Denver divorce attorney to guide you through the process.
For instance, if either spouse is a beneficiary of a trust, is self-employed, owns real property that was purchased prior to the marriage, owns stock, has an interest in pensions, 401(k)s, IRAs, or other retirement accounts, you may need to engage a qualified expert to assist in determining which portion, if any, of these assets should be included in the marital estate.