Property Division in Colorado Divorce
When a couple decides to file for divorce, each spouse must consider how best to protect his or her financial future, including the division of marital assets. Because Colorado is an “equitable distribution” state, the court must divide marital assets equitably, but not necessarily equally. Colorado property division laws can be complex. It is wise for divorcing couples to seek experienced legal representation as early as possible in the process.
If you are filing for divorce and would like to protect your future and assets, get in touch with our Colorado property division attorneys at Jorgensen, Brownell & Pepin, P.C. right away. We can look at the assets you and your spouse share and ensure you get your fair portion. We will protect your rights and enable you to make informed decisions.
Discuss your case with our legal team today. We are backed by 30 years of determination, experience, and persistence.
What is Marital Property?
Marital property is any property acquired during a marriage so long as it was not acquired by inheritance or as a gift solely to one spouse. Properties that are not considered marital are called separate properties. When one spouse’s separate property increases in value during marriage, such increase in value would normally also be considered martial property. Separate property for which the title is changed to include both spouses jointly can also become marital.
How is Property Divided in Colorado?
Colorado judges and courts will divide marital property equitably. There are certain circumstances that will result in an equitable division that is not necessarily equal. This can occur when one spouse has a much higher income or ability to replace assets, or it may relate to spousal support. Unequal property division may also occur when one spouse is allocated a larger amount of marital debt. It is imperative that each party be able and prepared to explain to the court the equity of a proposed division.
In Colorado, a judge or court shall include pensions and retirement plans earned by each spouse as marital assets available for division. These retirement benefits are divided into the following two groups:
- Defined Contribution Plans -
This is money belonging to an employee. The employer or employee can make defined contributions. Although the balance of the plan constantly fluctuates, the value is definable at any given plan. Profit sharing plans, 403(b)’s, and 401(k)’s fall into this group.
-Defined Benefit Plans -
This is a benefit an employer promises to pay to an employee in the future. Pensions and annuities fall into this category. The amount to be paid may be determined by a formula that is based on an employee’s salary near the end of the employee’s career and the number of years the employee worked for that employer before retiring. The present value of this future benefit can be determined so that this asset can be fairly assessed and allocated.
At Jorgensen, Brownell & Pepin, P.C., we understand that divorce is stressful and difficult. We stand ready to safeguard the futures and assets of those moving through this difficult process. When you entrust your case to our team, we will listen to the details of your particular situation and determine which legal strategies can help you obtain the most positive results. Our team knows that the family court system is not easy to navigate, and we are here to lead you through the legal process.