All property acquired during the marriage (with a few important exceptions) is considered marital property under the Uniform Dissolution of Marriage Act in C.R.S. § 14-10-113.

Upon dissolution of marriage, unless parties have executed a valid property settlement agreement, the court will divide marital property “equitably”. The court cannot divide a party’s “separate” property. Separate property is most commonly property held by a party prior to the marriage, or received as a gift or inheritance.

Marital property is divided without consideration of marital misconduct or “fault”. There are circumstances though when a party’s financial activity might be considered, such as where a party dissipated assets or made financial decisions without the knowledge or consent of the other party which result in negative financial consequences.

The first step in dividing assets and debts in a Colorado divorce is to determine which property is marital and which is separate. After creating an inventory, the assets and debts must be valued. Some assets, like checking accounts, change frequently and may be treated differently. Assets such as stocks or retirement accounts should all be valued on the same valuation date to account for changes in the market, as much as possible. Some assets, such as real estate or business equipment, may need to be appraised.

We can help you create an inventory of marital and separate property, as well as how to assign values. Whenever possible, hiring a neutral appraiser or reaching an agreement on values prior to deciding who will be awarded specific marital property, is a cost-effective method for working through the division of property.