Not long ago this Colorado family law blog offered a post to its readers regarding what it means for the state to operate under equitable distribution principals of law for the purposes of dividing marital property. When a court uses equitable distribution to decide which partner will take particular items of marital property it relies on fairness to guide its decisions. Courts can therefore have a lot of power when it comes to deciding who will become the owner of property previously owned by both partners.
Though marital property is subject to division during a Colorado divorce, separate property generally is not. It is important that individuals understand what separate property is so that they can protect it as they move toward marriage dissolution.
Separate property is generally any property that is owned by just one of the partners to a marriage. For example, if a spouse had a bank account that they fully funded before they got married and that they never used for marital purposes, that account may remain their separate property when they go through their divorce. Gifts that are made to just one member of a marriage and inheritances that are only to one person in a married couple may also be considered items of separate property.
If a person attempts to make an item of separate property appear to be a marital asset then that item may be subject to division when the parties’ property division negotiations begin. With the help of a dedicated family law attorney, a person may be able to identify and protect their separate property so that they may retain it when their divorce is completed.