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What does it mean for Colorado to be a common law property state?

How property is divided during a divorce can be one of the most concerning and contentious parts of ending a marriage. When a person makes a list of everything that they own with their partner and on their own, they may be overwhelmed by the real, personal and intangible property that they own. The fact that our state is a common law property state that follows equitable distribution practices may not provide them with much understanding of what will happen with all of their possessions.

In equitable distribution states, courts do not assume that all property owned by the partners to marital couples is shared as joint property. States that follow community property laws follow this line of practice and often divide property evenly between husbands and wives when they divorce. Equitable distribution states, like Colorado, however, look at how to fairly divide up property between the divorcing parties.

It is important that readers remember that equitable does not mean equal. Equitable practices require fairness in their execution and a partner who earns more money and pays for more of the goods that the couple shares may leave their marriage with more property than their lower earning spouse.

How a court will divide up a couple's property during the partner's divorce will depend on many factors and will be guided by any agreements that they may have executed during or before their marriage. In order to understand how the laws of the state may apply to a particular case, readers are encouraged to discuss their concerns and questions with their trusted family law attorneys.

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