Not too long ago, this blog discussed the property division process in Colorado. It was pointed out that marital property in the Centennial State is subject to equitable division in a divorce. Sharp-eyed readers may have noticed that this suggests there may be property that is not considered marital property. This property is usually called separate property, and in Colorado, it is not subject to equitable division in a divorce.
Colorado law lays out what kinds of property are considered separate property, not subject to equitable distribution. Separate property includes property inherited by one spouse or received as a gift to one spouse. It also includes property acquired before the marriage and even property acquired in exchange for property acquired before the marriage. It also includes property acquired by a spouse after a decree of legal separation and property excluded from marital property by a valid agreement of the parties.
All property acquired after the marriage is assumed to be marital property under Colorado law. What this means is that if a certain item of property is in fact separate property, but was acquired after the marriage, the spouse who owns it will be expected to show the family court that the item is separate property. When this is demonstrated to the court’s satisfaction, the item will be excluded from the equitable division process.
Divorce can be a complicated thing. Spouses who are informed about the divorce process may be at an advantage. There are many resources available for spouses seeking more information and assistance.