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Colorado Marital Property Laws

. Marital property is generally those things that were bought or received during a marriage. Marital property doesn't include things that are owned individually by each spouse, such as property owned before marriage, gifts, or inheritance to that individual spouse, property excluded by a legal agreement, or property acquired after legal separation. Those items are called “separate property."

Colorado is an “equitable distribution" state rather than a “community property" state. That means marital property isn't automatically assumed to be owned by both parties and therefore should be divided equally upon divorce. Instead, when a couple divorces in Colorado, the marital property is divided in an “equitable" manner.

This article provides a brief overview of Colorado marital property laws.

Colorado Marital Property Laws: At a Glance

The following table outlines some main aspects of Colorado's marital property laws.

Code Sections § 14-10-113 et seq. of the Colorado Revised Statutes
Community Property Colorado doesn't recognize community property, as it's a separate property state. However, the Uniform Disposition of Community Property Rights at Death Act (UDCPRDA) was adopted by Colorado legislators in 1973. The Colorado UCDPRDA law provides that when one married person dies, half of the marital property goes to the surviving spouse. The other half belongs to the deceased person and will be distributed according to their will or the Colorado intestate succession laws. The surviving spouse will also receive a portion of this marital property as the main beneficiary of their will. If the deceased spouse disinherited their spouse in the will, the surviving spouse can take an “elective share" of the estate. Common law marriages are recognized in Colorado and common law spouses can inherit from their deceased spouses.
Dower and Curtesy Dower and curtesy have been abolished

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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Learn More About Marital Property: Contact a Divorce Attorney Today

The division of property is just one part of what happens during the dissolution process, but it is a very important part. Do you need help with the distribution of your marital assets during your divorce? If so, then you should talk to an experienced divorce attorney who can help you understand Colorado's marital property laws.

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