Marital or community property is the property that both spouses can claim ownership of equally. It is typically property that was purchased or acquired during the marriage. Any earnings or debts that occur during the marriage can be split 50/50 when the marriage is dissolved.
Therefore, a spouse may not eliminate, alter, or transfer any community property without the legal consent of the other spouse. However, they are allowed to manage half of the assets or property. Examples of marital property may include:
- Real estate
- Bank accounts, investments, or retirement accounts
- Business interests
- Household items or pets
Upon the official legal dissolution of the marriage, the courts may divide the assets to each spouse according to Colorado laws. If possible, spouses may work out a settlement in mediation prior to the court date.
How Property and Assets Are Divided
The division of assets or property is not always based on a percentage (i.e., 50/50) but, rather, what is fair. The circumstances of the marriage and the divorce will be considered by the court in making their determination. There are several factors that determine how the property and assets are divided including:
Each Spouse’s Contribution
The court looks at the total contributions of each spouse. Keep in mind that the contributions are not always financial. For instance, the court may award a spouse property or assets based on their contribution as the homemaker.
The Value of the Property Or Debts
The value of the property is assessed and set aside to each spouse at the time a petition is filed for a divorce. Increases or decreases in the value of the property or debts during the marriage may affect how the property is divided.
Economic Circumstances of Each Spouse
The economic circumstances of each spouse are factored in to determine each spouse’s ability to support themselves or their children. As such, child custody, child support, and alimony may play a role in the division of assets.