Does the Reason for Divorce Matter?Colorado is a “no fault” state when it comes to divorce. This means that a spouse doesn’t have to cite specific reasons for ending the marriage. Additionally, the court will not take “bad behavior” such as adultery into account when determining the division of property or awarding spousal maintenance.
How is Child Custody Decided?There are two types of custody, physical custody, and legal custody. Physical custody determines where a child will live. In some cases, the Court may award joint physical custody, which means the child will spend time living with both parents. However, in other cases, one parent may be awarded primary physical custody, meaning the child will primarily live with that parent. Legal custody determines which parent has the right to make important decisions about the child’s life, such as education, medical care, and religion. Like physical custody, the Court may award joint legal custody or one parent primary legal custody.
When the Court makes a child custody determination in Colorado, they will always do so based on the “best interests of the child” standard. The Court decides where the children will live and how much time they will spend with each parent based on what is in the best interests of that child in their particular circumstances. These factors include the child’s own desires, the desires of the parents, the child’s relationships with other children at school or in his or her neighborhood, the child’s relationship with each parent, the physical distance between the homes of the parents, the emotional and physical health of the parents, and so forth.
How will Bank Accounts and Property be Divided?The first step in property division after divorce is determining what is marital property, and what is separate or individual property. Marital property is all property, including income, acquired during the marriage by either spouse. This also includes any debt acquired. When dividing marital property, the court considers:
- Each spouse’s contribution to acquiring the marital property including the contribution of a spouse as the homemaker
- The value of the property each spouse will receive
- The economic circumstances of each spouse at the time of property division
- Any increases or decreases in value to the marital property during the marriage.
Again, spousal behavior during marriage cannot be considered when determining how the marital assets and debt should be divided.