Colorado is an equitable distribution state, which means that marital assets are divided based on need as opposed to a true 50/50 split. There are many factors that a court may look at when determining if a divorce settlement is equitable and can go into effect. Here are a few of the most common variables used to determine if a proposed settlement conforms to state law.
Is either party a custodial parent?
Generally speaking, a custodial parent is granted a larger share of a marital estate to make it easier to raise his or her child. If you are your child’s primary caregiver, you might be awarded the family home, a larger share of a joint bank account or other assets in an effort to do what is in your child’s best interests. You may be entitled to alimony, child support payments or other assistance in addition to these assets.
Is there a prenuptial agreement?
A valid prenuptial agreement will typically override state property division laws. Therefore, it’s important that you understand what you are signing before doing so. For a custom marriage contract to be valid, it must generally refrain from addressing issues that don’t have anything to do with a couple’s finances. Furthermore, it must also be signed by individuals who are of sound mind and who do so free of undue influence.
Are you capable of providing for yourself?
It’s not uncommon for a marital estate to be split fairly equally even if one person makes significantly more money than his or her spouse. This tends to be true if the spouse who earned less money has the ability to find gainful employment after a divorce.
A divorce settlement may be reached privately, with the help of a mediator or in court. Typically, matters related to child support or custody must be approved by a judge before they go into effect. However, you are free to address these issues with your spouse as part of the divorce settlement process.