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8 FAQs about Division of Assets in Divorce

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Category: Divorce | Marital Property | Division of Assets

8 FAQs about Division of Assets in Divorce

Divorce is not just about heartbreak, it’s about loss – the loss of a relationship with your spouse, the loss of a single family unit, and the loss of countless other things. Many of the losses experienced in divorce are intangible, but there are plenty of tangible losses that happen during divorce proceedings as well.


One of these tangible losses is that when you get divorced, your assets will be divided based on Colorado’s equitable distribution policy. Below we’re going to dive into what equitable distribution means, and how assets are divided by a judge.


What Are “Assets?”


Assets aren’t just stacks of cash or a shiny new car. Any of the following could be subject to division or distribution by a judge:


  • Homes or vacation homes
  • Business or rental property
  • Land
  • Furniture and rugs
  • Antiques, artwork, china, crystal, jewelry, furs
  • Coin and stamp collections, other collectibles
  • Guns
  • Computer and home office equipment
  • Cars, boats, campers, RVs, ATVs
  • Cash
  • Checking, saving, retirement, educational accounts
  • 401(k) plans, IRAs, mutual funds
  • Trusts
  • Pensions
  • Partnerships or sole proprietorships


Are All Assets Up for Division?


Not necessarily. A judge will distribute marital assets, which applies to assets that were obtained during the course of the marriage. Even then, some property remains separate.


If you or your spouse were given a specific gift by a third party, or you received any inheritance during the course of the marriage, those remain separate property and stay with the intended owner throughout the divorce process without affecting other decisions.


Of course, this can still put many items up for debate in court, especially if you do not have proper documentation that an asset was a gift intended for one person from a third party.


What Documents Do I Need to Provide the Judge?


Colorado Divorce Attorney

After you initially file for divorce, you will have to fill out and hand in a full financial affidavit. This is a group of documents that will give the judge a look at the assets of both you and your ex and provide him or her with other information to help equitably divide them.


A financial affidavit asks for very specific details and numbers relating to your expenses and income. It is also used to determine alimony and child support. Each detail is extremely important, so we recommend running through the affidavit with your lawyer before you hand it in to the court.


Even then, you may want to provide additional documents, or have them handy during negotiations or trial. Any proof that documents any separate property you received throughout the marriage, or shows irrational financial behavior your spouse performed after your divorce was filed, will help you hold the rights to the assets that are rightfully yours.


What Does “Equitable Distribution” Mean?


States that divide assets based on equitable distribution aim to divide all marital property (as well as marital debts) fairly.


Does This Mean It’s An Even Split?


No. An even split of property would be too rigid of a rule, especially when the marriage lasted for many years. When a judge divides assets, he or she will look at more than just the value of the property. Liquidity, tax implications, and other financial factors will also be at play when a judge is dividing your assets.


What Does “Equitable Distribution” Mean in Divorces in Colorado

What Other Factors Will A Judge Look At?


The judge may look at the following factors while diving marital assets:


  • How long the marriage lasted
  • The financial situation of each spouse
  • Whether or not each spouse, or their minor children, want to continue living in their current home
  • Contributions to the marriage (including income, homemaking, child care, etc.)
  • Individual debt and liabilities held by each spouse
  • The actions of each spouse to the assets after the divorce was first filed
  • Whether or not child support or alimony will be paid

What If I Didn’t Work Throughout The Marriage?


Even if you didn’t contribute to the marriage financially, a judge will consider other forms of contribution, and how they affected your ability to earn an income. A judge will also make a note of whether or not you were pursuing your education, or a lower position in order to rise up through a company. If you are pursuing education at the time of your divorce, a judge may factor that into your alimony payments.


Can We Decide What Assets to Split Ourselves?


Absolutely! If you and your ex can come to a mutual decision about your marital property, you may be able to forgo a court date altogether.


Talk to a Colorado divorce lawyer today about the options you have for divorce and how you can get the assets you deserve.


About the Author:


Vernon Ready is an award-winning Colorado lawyer with an in-depth understanding of all areas of family law, estate planning, and personal injury. His energetic and aggressive advocacy approach allow him to successfully navigate complex cases, including high asset divorce and complicated custody issues. During his time at the University of Colorado Law School, Ready won numerous awards for his trial advocacy skills. Since being admitted to practice in 2009, Ready has become well-known throughout Denver and the state for the passionate defense of his clients and his unparalleled understanding of the law.