Divorce and Division of Property
Can I afford to get divorced? Am I going to lose everything?
The answer depends on numerous factors. Colorado is an equitable division state.
This means that not everything is automatically divided equally. The Courts will
award each of you your separate property, which is property that you had prior to
marriage, property that you inherited, or property that you received as a gift. The
Courts must divide all marital property equitably. Marital property includes
everything that you purchased as a married couple, regardless of how it is titled or
who paid for it. It also includes any appreciation in property that you owned prior to
the marriage, and property that you inherited or received as a gift. This will
usually take the form of real estate, or investments such as stocks, bonds, certificates of deposits, money market accounts, IRAs, pension plans, insurance, and the like.
Unless you entered into a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement protecting your
property from being considered marital and subject to division in the event of a
divorce, essentially everything is up for grabs.
The court will consider equitable factors including length of the marriage, relative
incomes of the parties, and how each person contributed to the marriage.
The longer you have been married, the closer to a 50/50 split the court will make.
Courts usually consider a marriage of at least 10 years in duration to be a longterm
marriage, and the 50/50 rule is likely to apply.
Although it is unlikely that a person will lose everything in a divorce, they may lose
things, which are very valuable to them, and it is not uncommon to see an award
where the lesser wage-earning spouse receives more in property and less in debt than
the higher wage-earning spouse. It is common for courts to obligate debt to each
spouse in proportion to their gross earnings. So, if the husband earns for example,
70% of the combined gross income, he most likely will end up with 70% of the debt
unless some of the debt was clearly for the wife's personal use.
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