When it comes to the property division portion of a Colorado divorce, many spouses hold false impressions about which assets will be subject to division. In fact, many spouses postpone filing for divorce based on these misperceptions, largely due to the misguided belief that they will fare poorly in the property division process. This is a topic that deserves careful attention, because the results of the division of marital property will have a great deal of influence on the financial standing of both parties in the months and years following a divorce.
Many spouses wrongly believe that certain assets are not subject to division. These often include assets earned through the employment of one spouse. Examples are retirement savings, stock options or other perks related to a position. In reality, however, these are all considered marital property, and all are included in the property division negotiation process.
When it comes to assets that are excluded from division during divorce, the list is short. In some cases, property that was a gift to one spouse is exempt from division. Also, money that comes from an award for 'pain and suffering' from a personal injury lawsuit may be exempt. Certain types of property that was owned prior to marriage may also be shielded from the property division process. Each situation is unique, but it is important to realize that most types of assets will become part of the property division process.
When considering filing for divorce, Colorado spouses should make that decision based on what is right for their individual circumstances, not on fears concerning the financial fallout from a divorce. In many cases, the property division process will lead to a far more favorable outcome than imagined. At the end of the day divorce is the process through which a new life can be reached, and the property division portion of that transition is how one's financial standing will be shaped.
Forbes, "Divorcing Women: The Truth About Your Husband's 401(k) And Other Assets," Aug. 8, 2013