The difference between nonmarital and marital assets is important when divorcing. Your marital assets are part of the property division aspect of your divorce, but nonmarital assets are considered separate. As a result, any assets you can have assigned as nonmarital assets will not be given to your spouse, unless you give them the asset yourself.
It isn't always easy to know which assets are separate or marital, but with some evidence, you can have your separate property identified correctly.
What items are usually considered separate property?
- Assets purchased prior to a marriage
- Assets that are purchased with inheritances
- Personal injury awards
There are others, too. Your attorney can talk to you about assets you have and help you understand which assets are separate property and which are marital property so that you can decide how you want to negotiate for your assets. Some people are content with splitting assets 50-50, while others will want to divide their property in a different manner.
Since Colorado is an equitable distribution state, there is no law requiring you to split your marital assets 50-50. As a result, it's up to you to decide how you will divide your assets. You and your spouse can decide between yourselves, or you can turn to a mediator or arbitration for help. If you cannot decide on how to divide your assets, then you may end up going to court, where a divorce trial will be held, and a judge will determine how your assets will be split. What you want to do is up to you, but it's usually best if you can agree on a property division settlement with your spouse prior to any trial.