When you’re divorcing, the one thing you’re trying to avoid is being left with so much less than you had in your marriage that your life becomes difficult. You want to minimize the risk of losing assets that you’ve collected over time and increase the chances of walking away with at least half of your marital assets.
Some people believe that because they have been in a marriage together that both parties will divide their assets 50-50, but that isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, in Colorado, the law is that you should divide your property equitably, which doesn’t necessarily mean equally.
You also have to know that the division of property refers to marital property only. Any assets you can prove came with you into the marriage or fit into one of several exemptions will not be considered as marital property and may not be divided.
Figuring out which property is separate or marital property
Trying to establish which property is separate property and which is marital property can be tough, but it’s important that you do all you can to clarify those two categories. You’ll want to try to put as many of your assets into separate property as you can. Your spouse will be trying to do this as well.
Then, any assets that you purchased during the marriage or that were obtained while you were married may be added to the “marital assets” category. Your attorney will go over exceptions to the rule with you, such as what to do with personal injury settlements or inheritances.
With equitable distribution, no one is owed half
To answer your main question, your spouse won’t automatically receive half of all your assets upon divorce. They could, hypothetically, receive half of all the marital assets. Since Colorado is an equitable division state, there is no requirement for either party to split their marital assets down the middle, so it’s possible that you could have a different type of settlement, such as a 60-40 split or a 75-25 split.
Every case is different, so take your time identifying and categorizing your assets before you separate that property.