Colorado is an equitable distribution state, so in the event of a divorce, the court will look to divide marital assests in a manner that is fair. This does not mean a 50/50 split necessarily.
In your situation, since your spouse does not seem amenable to counseling, you should move quickly to get a Marital Propety Settlement agreement developed. This agreeement will help you to establish what portion of the assets/debts incurred during the marriage will be your responsibility and what will be her responsibilty. Generally, the courts will accept these agreements as written. As part of this agreement, you will want to request that she continue to make her current rate of contribution for the rent (or that portion needed for you to make the payment).
Because it is unclear that she will continue to make payments until your current lease expires, do not sign any documents that will cause you to incur more obligations. Depending on how much of the $75,000 you currently owe will remain your responsibility after the Settlement Agreement is finalized she may find it reasonable to work this out amicably with you while the current leas is enforceable. Is this debt related to the mortgage on the house in Montana? or does it include other debt incurred during the marriage? Did you re-finance the house after you married -- or is the mortgage the original mortgage in your name only? Has the house appreciated since you purchased it? Can you establish that her income was relied upon to help pay for the mortgage and other marital debts? Did you each maintain separate bank accounts?
The answers to these questions will affect the outcome and you will need to review with an attorney. In Colorado, the higher income earner will generally be required to carry a larger portion of the debt. You can also be made responsible for debts incurred by your spouse during the marriage. For these reasons, it is important that you move forward to get a Settlement Agreement which outlines what you will be held responsible for if you cannot get her cooperation to work out your current debts. This Agreement will need to state that any debt incurred by either spouse after the Agreement is the sole responsiblity of that party as of the date stated in the Agreement.
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The information provided is general in nature only and should not be construed as legal advice or as creating an attorney-client relationship. You should always consult with a lawyer in your state.
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