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How does Colorado treat community property from another state?

On Behalf of | Dec 15, 2016 | Uncategorized |

Longmont is a city that attracts people from all over the country. It’s not unheard of for people to move here after having accumulated a lot of assets and other property in another state. This can sometimes present property division issues when married couples relocate here and then file for divorce. This blog post will provide a quick summary of the issues that can arise in this specific situation.

Colorado is a separate property state. This means that marital property is subject to equitable distribution in a divorce. In other words, the family court will decide on a fair division of the marital property. The division may be 50-50, but it does not have to be.

Several states in the western United States are community property states. Colorado is not one of them. In a community property state, each spouse has a one-half ownership stake in the community property accumulated during the marriage. Property division is theoretically a less complex process in these states because each party takes 50 percent of this community property.

But what happens when a couple who accumulated property in a community property state then moves to Colorado and gets divorced here? Does each spouse keep their 50 percent stake in this property if they divorce? Colorado’s property division statute seems to indicate that this will not necessarily happen. The statute says that property classified as community property should be treated as marital property. Marital property, in turn, is subject to equitable distribution instead of a simple 50-50 split.

As with most other legal matters, however, what will actually happen will be determined by the specific facts of each case. A Colorado lawyer with experience in this area would be a good source of guidance.