When you divorce, it is not just the riches you need to divide but also the debt. When divorcing in Colorado, the first step is to distinguish the marital property from each spouse’s separate property.

Separate property includes assets brought into a marriage by one party (and kept in their sole ownership), assets protected by pre-nups or postnuptial agreements and assets received as a gift or an inheritance. Marital assets are the rest, including most things acquired during your time as a married couple, co-mingled assets and assets that have increased in value following your marriage.

When it comes to dividing your debts, the same rules apply. If you brought the debt into the marriage, it is probably yours to keep. If the particular debt was incurred during the marriage, most likely it is marital property. However, just as some assets acquired during the marriage can be considered separate property, so can some debts. For instance:

  • Student loans belong to the person who took them out.
  • Credit cards would be split if on a joint card but usually kept separate if only one person signed for that card account.
  • Last-minute shopping sprees before your divorce case is heard would probably be considered your responsibility.
  • Debts you incurred without your spouse’s knowledge or consent might also be yours.

Next, you have to work out the value of everything. You need to know the worth of each asset or debt that counts as marital property and the overall total. Finally, you have to split both assets and liabilities equitably (which may not mean “evenly”) in Colorado.

With a thorough understanding of your assets and debts, and what is marital and what is separate, you can negotiate or fight for the deal you need. Seek legal help to understand more about property division in a Colorado divorce.