There are two primary ways that property is commonly divided during divorce and different states followed different methods. Colorado is referred to as an equitable property division state and what that means is important for divorcing couples to be familiar with as they enter the property division process during their divorce.
Equitable property division differs from some of the other property division methods utilized in other states such as community property in which martial property is divided in half. Equitable property division essentially means that the marital property shared between the divorcing spouses will be divided equitably, or fairly, between them if they decide to divorce.
Only marital property is divided between the divorcing couple when they decide to divorce. This excludes separate property from the property division process. Separate property is typically considered property one of the spouses enters the marriage with and can include inheritances, personal injury awards and gifts. Marital property, in contrast, is property that the divorcing couple acquired during their marriage. A third category of property is commingled property which can be more complex but is important to understand.
Understanding how property is divided during the divorce process can help divorcing couples better advocate for their needs and interests as the property division process progresses. How property should be fairly divided between the divorcing couple will look different in each situation and will require the evaluation of a variety of factors so divorcing spouses can better protect their interests by being prepared for how the process works.