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Understanding property division in Colorado

Colorado is an equitable distribution state when it comes to dividing property in a divorce. Unlike community property states, there is no assumption that marital property is owned by both parties at the time of a divorce. Therefore, property is divided in an equitable manner, and the higher-earning spouse may be awarded more of the marital property.

If a married person passes away, half of his or her estate is given to the surviving spouse. The other half of the estate is distributed according to state law or any will or trust that the deceased may have had. It is legal for a surviving spouse to inherit some or all of the other spouse's estate. An elective share of the estate may be granted to the surviving spouse even if he or she was disinherited.

Anyone who is going through a divorce may wish to hire a family law attorney to help with property division and other matters. An attorney may be able to facilitate a divorce settlement that divides property equally without the need for a judge to make a ruling. An attorney can also offer their services to anyone who needs to have a divorce case settled in court.

The services of an attorney may also be helpful when estate planning after a divorce. It may be possible for legal counsel to make changes to beneficiary forms or to any will that may be in existence. This may reduce or eliminate the odds that a former spouse can make a claim to any money or assets under state law that he or she may not be the intended recipient of.

Source: Findlaw, "Colorado Marital Property Laws", January 05, 2015

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