Divorcing in Colorado: How Are Assets Divided?

When a marriage ends in divorce in Colorado, one of the most important considerations is how to divide the assets that were acquired while the couple were married. The process of dividing assets can be a complex and contentious issue, and it is important to understand the laws and guidelines that govern this process. 

In this blog post, we will discuss how assets are divided in Colorado divorces and what you can expect during this process.

What Coloradans Should Know about “Equitable Distribution”

Colorado is an “equitable distribution” state, which means that the court will divide the marital assets in a fair and equitable manner when people divorce, taking into account several factors such as:

  • the length of the marriage
  • the contribution of each spouse to the marriage
  • the financial needs of each spouse

Equitable distribution does not necessarily mean equal distribution, but rather a division that is fair and just.

Marital Asset Division in Colorado – Step-by-step

  1. Determining Marital Property

The first step in the asset division process is to determine which assets are considered marital property. Marital property is defined as any property that was acquired by either spouse during the marriage and before the date of separation. This includes assets such as the marital home, bank accounts, investment accounts, retirement accounts, and other assets.

  1. Determining Asset Values

Once the marital property has been identified, the next step is to determine the value of each asset. This can be done by hiring a professional appraiser or by relying on financial statements and other documents. 

  1. “Fair and equitable” Asset Division

Once the value of each asset has been determined, the court will then divide the assets between the spouses in a fair and equitable manner. In Colorado, there are several factors that the court will consider when dividing assets. 

Contribution. One of the most important factors that the court will consider is the “contribution” of each spouse to the marriage. This includes both financial contributions, such as income, and non-financial contributions, such as homemaking, childcare, and care for elderly parents. 

Before dividing the assets, the court will look at how each spouse contributed to the marriage and assign a value to those contributions.

Financial need. The financial needs of each spouse are also an important factor that the court will consider when dividing assets. 

For example, if one spouse has a lower earning capacity because they do not possess the same level of education or they have been out of the workforce for a significant period of time, the court may award them a larger share of the assets. This is done to ensure that they will have the financial resources they need to support themselves once they are no longer splitting that cost with a spouse.

Marriage length. Another important factor is the length of the marriage. The longer the marriage, the more likely the court will be to consider each spouse’s contribution to the marriage and the financial needs of each spouse. 

For example, if one spouse has been a stay-at-home parent and has not worked outside the home, the court may consider that spouse’s contribution to the marriage and award them a larger share of the assets.

Other factors. In addition to these factors, the court may also consider the tax consequences of dividing assets, such as the tax implications of transferring property or selling investments. The court may also consider the ability of each spouse to manage their share of the assets, including their ability to manage investments, make financial decisions, and pay bills.

Colorado Springs Divorce Attorney

As you can see, there is a lot that goes into determining who will receive which assets in our state, as well as the overall percentage of marital assets. Because of this, as well as Colorado’s divorce laws in general, it is important that you understand how our state’s divorce process works and have someone on your side who is able to adequately present your role and contributions throughout the time you were married, including how that may have evolved.


About the Author:

Andrew Bryant is a well-respected Colorado Springs criminal attorney who has been practicing in the area for years. A Colorado native, he returned to the home he loves after graduating from the University of Kentucky College of Law. Now, he uses the knowledge he gained as an El Paso County District Attorney to fight tirelessly for his clients’ rights. He is AV-Preeminent rated, has been recognized for his work by The National Trial Lawyers, and has been named to Best of the Springs lists by The Gazette for years.