Depending upon how a state categorizes the property of the married people within its borders it will either be called a community property state or an equitable distribution state. Community property states assume that property owned by both of the parties to a marriage is equally shared and therefore should be split equally when the couple ends its marriage. Equitable distribution states do not necessarily divide marital property down the middle and will instead evaluate what the fair or equitable division of wealth and debts should be between the parties.
Colorado is an equitable distribution state, so depending upon the financial situation of the party it could either help or hurt them in their property division process. For example, if a party was the higher earning spouse during the marriage and contributed more in terms of financial support than the other then that party may leave the marriage with more property than the other. If a party did not work and relied on their spouse to provide for them then they may have less property to take away from the marriage.
Courts in equitable distribution states look to do what is fair for the individuals appearing before them in divorce-related property division processes. However, it is important that readers remember that even if a spouse receives less property than his ex during the property division process, that individual may also receive alimony or spousal support augment his post-divorce financial standing.
Specific questions about equitable distribution, separate property, marital property and property division should be directed to individual family law attorneys. This post is provided to give readers a very general overview on a complex legal topic. Its content should not be interpreted as legal guidance or advice.