It is not uncommon for married people to embrace the saying, “What’s mine is yours, and what’s yours is mine.” It generally means that individuals who have committed their lives to each other are willing and able to share that which they acquire with the people with whom they have decided to spend their lives. However, in the world of property, identifying what is “mine” or “yours” is important if those individuals decide to go through a divorce.
The property that the parties to a couple own must be divided up in the event that their marriage ends. Property that is identified as separate will go with its individual owner. Separate property may be considered the property a person owned before they got married that was never converted to marital property; it may also be property that was gifted exclusively to one party to a marriage.
Marital property is everything else. In Colorado, courts follow the theory of equitable distribution to decide which spouse gets what amount of property from their marriage. Equitable distribution does not ensure that the parties will emerge from their divorce with the same value or quantity of property, but rather that what they take is fair based on the circumstances of their divorce.
Property negotiations during a divorce can be stressful and confusing for individuals who may have generally shared what they had with their soon-to-be ex-spouses. Settling property matters, though, is an important part of establishing one’s self for the future one a marriage is over. Divorce and family law attorneys can support their clients as they work toward fair property settlements with their partners.