Do you have to divide your assets 50-50 in divorce?

In a divorce in Colorado, you will be expected to follow equitable distribution rules. With equitable distribution rules, you need to divide your marital assets and debts equitably, not necessarily equally.

If you thought that you’d need to divide your marital assets and debts equally, the law doesn’t actually require that. However, many couples still choose to do so, since they both invested in the marriage and created debts together.

There are reasons to argue against a 50-50 division of debts or property

There are times when it isn’t appropriate to divide your assets or debts equally. For example, if you took out $50,000 in student loans for your own education, it doesn’t necessarily make sense for your spouse to have to pay back half of that debt. Similarly, if your spouse takes out debt on a credit card that is for their own benefit, it won’t necessarily make sense for you to pay a portion of that debt back for them.

You may find it easier to decide which debts you pay or don’t based on the way the debts were created and if you decided to take on a debt together or individually.

For assets, a 50-50 split could be fair, or you may want to argue for a larger portion. For instance, if you have $100,000 in assets but your spouse earns more than you, you might ask for a larger portion of your marital assets to make sure you have the financial support you need following the divorce. Alternatively, if you were the spouse earning the most money and investing the most into your marriage, you may state that you’d like a larger portion of the assets collected since you spent more money on them.

The way you divide your assets and debts will depend on the specifics of your case, if you have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement and if you and your spouse think differently about how you want to separate your finances. It may take time to determine the best way to divide your assets, but going into the divorce with the idea of being fair, not equal, may help.

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