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.
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.
It is not unusual for spouses in Colorado to have significant assets coming into a marriage, particularly if they marry at an older age. For example, they may own a home or business prior to getting married. However, what happens to these assets should the couple later divorce?
While some couples in Colorado marry young without much by way of assets to their names, it is not unusual for couples to marry at older ages these days, or even to divorce and re-marry a second time. This also means that it is not unusual for couples to enter into a marriage with significant assets of their own. Some of these assets may be investments, retirement accounts, bank accounts or even a house.
Couples may spend many years during their marriage accumulating assets that they believe to be "ours." However, if a couple's marriage fails and divorce is on the horizon, they will have to start looking at how to divide their marital assets into "mine" and "yours." If a couple is unable to reach a settlement on their property division issues on their own, they will have to turn to the court for a decision.
Some people in Colorado may think that property division in a divorce is simple -- each party simply walks away with half of their shared assets. However, the reality of property division is much more complex. First of all, Colorado is an equitable division state. This means that the court will divide property based on what it deems to be fair, and this may not mean an even 50/50 split.
Usually, the longer a couple is married, the more assets they will acquire. Some of these assets, such as the family home and retirement accounts, can be quite valuable. However, even less costly items can still hold a great deal of sentimental value. Therefore, when a couple in Colorado decides to divorce, they will have to determine how to divide their assets.
The family home is where memories are made that will last a lifetime. From carrying the bride over the threshold, to birthday and holiday celebrations and more, people in Colorado can become very attached to the family home. That may be why it is such a hotly sought-after asset should a couple divorce. However, it is important to understand what keeping the family home after a divorce entails.