Divorce is hardly ever an easy process no matter how long or short of a time you have been married. The legal issues that tend to cause the most headaches during this type of family law proceeding are marital property and debt division.

In the state of Colorado, both marital liabilities and assets are split in an equitable manner between both spouses. What is equitable and fair depends on the individual case. This is why the division of property is one of the most hotly contested matters during the dissolution of a marriage.

Marital versus separate property

Two types of property must be addressed during divorce: marital property and separate property. Marital property refers to any assets that you and your spouse have accumulated over the course of your marriage. However, separate property refers to any assets that you brought into the marriage, or any assets you received through an inheritance during the marriage.

If you and your spouse bought any assets with comingled money, the court will most likely determine this to be marital property. If you do not keep your assets totally separate from your spouse’s, then they will end up being subject to distribution during a divorce proceeding.

What types of property need to be split?

The biggest piece of property for many married couples is the family home. If you and your spouse have children and you are the one who does most of the child-rearing, you will most likely keep the family home. If you do not have children and you bought the house with your own separate funds, you can keep the house and legally demand that your spouse vacate it.

Other assets that must undergo division during divorce include 401(k)s, pensions and retirement accounts. You will also have to split any bonds, stocks or bank accounts you have. Commercial and residential real estate properties are also included among the assets to divide. Finally, personal property, including furniture, jewelry, and even artwork, will need to be divided between you and your future ex.

How can an attorney help?

If you and your spouse have a large amount of property that you need to divide, an attorney experienced in the division of property can help you to figure out where to begin. Your Colorado attorney can also help if you have businesses or other types of high-value assets, which can be challenging to value and divide. With your lawyer’s help, you can fight for your fair share of assets and put yourself in the best position to succeed financially in the years ahead.

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