Divorce can be emotionally and financially stressful, especially if there is debt involved. In Colorado, martial debt falls under the Equitable Distribution Rule which means that it will be distributed fairly between the parties. However, this does not mean that debt is divided exactly 50/50.
What is Considered Marital Debt?
All marital debt and assets are referred to as “marital property.” Marital debt is any debt acquired during marriage as well as any debt acquired before the divorce or separation is finalized. Some examples may include mortgages, joint credit card debt, or medical debt. On the other hand, non-marital debt is any debt incurred before the marriage or after the divorce or separation is finalized. Some examples may include student loan debt or credit card debt that occurred before the marriage.
What does the Court Consider when Dividing Marital Debt?
First, the court will determine what is marital debt and what is non-marital debt, or separate property. The court and attorneys will typically consider all of the assets and property involved in a divorce when determining how to divide debt. Specifically, four factors are carefully considered:
- 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.
Spousal behavior during marriage cannot be considered when determining how the marital assets and debt should be divided. Meaning, if one spouse cheated during the marriage, the court would not distribute less assets to them or assign them more debt because of their behavior.