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Are All Assets Equal In Your Divorce?


When two individuals enter into a marriage it is more than a love match, it’s also a legal contract in Colorado. When spouses divorce, they officially end that legal contract as well as their marital relationship. Dissolving any legal contract comes with consequences. In a divorce in Colorado, the consequences of dissolving the marriage contract include dividing all assets and debts acquired during the marriage.

But does that mean that divorcing spouses must divide their assets and debts 50/50? Actually, unlike a handful of states requiring equal division of assets during a divorce, Colorado is an equitable division of assets state. So, what does “equitable division of assets” mean in a Colorado divorce? The Fort Collins divorce attorneys at The Law Offices of Stephen Vertucci are here to inform you.

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Equitable Division of Marital Assets in Colorado

In an equitable division of marital assets divorce state like Colorado, spouses retain any separate assets but must divide all assets accumulated during the marriage in a way that either they agree is fair and equitable in a divorce settlement agreement, or in the way a judge decides is fair and equitable in court if the spouses are unable to reach an agreement outside of court. A spouse’s separate assets that are not subject to division include the following:

  • Assets and property owned by one spouse before the marriage
  • Personal property and clothing
  • Assets and property inherited by one spouse during the marriage
  • Assets gifted to one spouse alone during the marriage

Marital assets subject to division in a divorce include the following:

  • All real estate property purchased during the marriage
  • All bank accounts regardless of whose name is on the account
  • Retirement accounts
  • Investment accounts
  • Cars, RVs, and boats
  • Artwork, antiques, and valuables
  • Household furnishings, appliances, and electronics
  • All debts incurred during the marriage

In an equitable division of marital assets state, divorcing spouses have more latitude in crafting a settlement agreement. For instance, if a vacation property has deep personal meaning for one spouse they may agree to “trade” the marital residence for the vacation property even if both properties aren’t of equal value.

How Do Spouses Accomplish “Fair and Equitable Division of Property?”

When divorcing spouses are able to communicate and compromise effectively, they can form their own settlement agreement through their attorneys and with the help of a mediator. Once they’ve settled all aspects of their property division as well as the other terms of the divorce, such as child custody, child support, and spousal support, their family law attorneys in Fort Collins take the signed agreement to the court for a judge to sign. If they aren’t able to resolve one or more disputes, such as which spouse retains a property or asset, then the divorce becomes a contested divorce, requiring both sides to present their arguments in court. 

In a contested divorce, a judge reviews the financial disclosure, hears both arguments and makes the final decision on a fair and equitable division of the spouses’ assets and debts. The terms of the asset division are issued in binding orders in the divorce decree signed by the judge.


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