Is Colorado a Common Law Property State?

Colorado is a marital property state, not a community property state. Assets and debts acquired during marriage are divided equitably between spouses upon the dissolution of marriage, legal separation, or annulment.

Colorado follows "equitable distribution," the court will divide property in a manner deemed fair to both parties but not necessarily equal.

How Is Marital Property Divided in a Colorado Divorce?

Let's be clear about just what marital property is. It's generally anything received or purchased during the marriage. This could include homes, cars, boats, home furnishings, collectibles, and gifts.

By contrast, separate property includes anything one of the spouses owns before marriage. It can also include property that's excluded in a legal agreement, as well as individual inheritances. If a couple had a legal separation before divorce, any property acquired by the individual spouses during that separation period is also considered separate property.

Of course, couples can determine how they wish to divide their property during a divorce without giving the decision to a court. Many Colorado couples who can work through their divorce settlement and child custody issues amicably, or at least civilly, choose some form of alternative dispute resolution, such as collaborative divorce. This can decrease the cost of the process and ease the stress on the couple and, more importantly, their children. It also keeps the decisions in their hands rather than a judge's.

Source: FindLaw, "Colorado Marital Property Laws," Jim Halfens, June 26, 2015