If you have decided to end your marriage, you may be ready to start the next chapter of your life. Still, you may have some concerns about living on a single income. Because Colorado is an equitable distribution jurisdiction, you should end up with a fair share of everything you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse own.
For planning purposes, it may be helpful to understand who gets what during a divorce in the Centennial State. First, though, you should understand the difference between separate and marital property.
Separate versus marital property
Even though you must divide marital property, you can likely keep your separate property. Separate property is anything you owned before you walked down the aisle. Furthermore, any inheritance or third-party gifts you individually received during your marriage may be the separate property you can retain after your divorce.
Unless you have a pre- or post-nuptial agreement that says otherwise, you probably must divide everything else. Marital property typically includes your home, cars, cash, savings, retirement accounts and other joint assets.
Equitable distribution factors
If you and your husband or wife cannot come up with an acceptable settlement, a judge must apply principles of equity when dividing your marital estate. When doing so, the judge is likely to consider the following factors along with some others:
- Each person’s contributions to the marriage
- Both spouse’s mental, physical and emotional health
- Each person’s age, employment and employability
Ultimately, if you have any concerns about possibly not receiving your fair share during the divorce, you should gather as much financial evidence as you can before filing.