If you have begun thinking about divorcing your Colorado spouse, you need to be aware that you and (s)he will need to divide your marital property fairly and equitably between the two of you.
Which immediately brings up two questions: what is marital property and what is fair and equitable?
Your marital property is that which you and your spouse have purchased or otherwise acquired during the course of your marriage. It does not, therefore, include the separate property which each of you owned prior to your marriage or such things as the inheritances or gifts you received while married.
Some examples of marital property include the following:
- The money in your bank accounts, brokerage accounts and other cash accounts, even if they are registered in the name of only one of you
- Your residence, furniture, vehicles, antiques, boats, vacation vehicles, etc.
- Whatever rental or investment real estate you own
- The money each of you has accumulated in your retirement accounts
- Your debts including credit cards, mortgages, vehicle loans, etc.
Fair and equitable
The Huffington Post reports that the term “fair and equitable” has no precise meaning. Depending on your own situation, fair and equitable could be a 50/50 split of your marital property or it could be something else entirely.
Some factors that go into a fair and equitable property settlement agreement include the following:
- Your age and your spouse’s age
- Your health and your spouse’s health
- Your current earnings and your spouse’s current earnings
- The amount that each of you will likely earn in the future
- The standard of living you achieved during your marriage
- The length of time during which your marriage has lasted
As you and your spouse negotiate your property settlement agreement, keep in mind that the judge likely will approve it as long as it appears that it disadvantages neither of you.
While you should not interpret this educational information as legal advice, it can help you understand how to devise a fair and equitable property settlement agreement.