Colorado Divorce Law Firm
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Information on Divorce in Colorado
Considering a divorce in Colorado? When all other avenues to salvage a marriage have failed, you may reluctantly have to consider divorce as an option. Colorado is one state that features “no-fault” divorce. “No-fault” divorce means that it isn’t necessary to convince a court that your marital circumstances justify the dissolution of your marriage contract. In order to obtain a divorce in Colorado, one of the parties to the marriage must state that irreconcilable differences have arisen between the parties.
If you and your spouse have been living in Colorado for at least 90 days, then you can seek a divorce. Even if one partner lives in another state, the parties can agree to submit to Colorado jurisdiction and have the divorce heard in-state. If you are seeking an annulment of a marriage instead of a divorce, keep in mind that different rules apply in the State of Colorado for annulment proceedings.
To initiate divorce proceedings, a spouse or their attorney must file a “petition and summons” (also note that both parties can file together) in the relevant court. Notice of the impending divorce must also be provided to the spouse if the other party does not file the petition jointly. If your spouse is unwilling to agree to service of process, then our attorneys can help ensure that the spouse is served so that the proceedings can begin.
Note that although the Colorado no-fault divorce process is fairly straightforward, it is by no means a one-step process for divorce. To be legally divorced, a court order is still required that terminates the marital contract. Without a court order, the parties remain married and are not able to legally remarry without potentially running afoul of state bigamy laws.
Once the divorce petition is filed in court, then the parties must wait at least 90 days
before the divorce can be finalized. During this time, the parties can negotiate the various terms between one other.
The parties are required to provide financial disclosures to each other and file proof of the disclosures to the court. This statement is known as an “affidavit of financial affairs.” Colorado is not a community property state, instead Colorado is a state where marital property is divided “equitably.”
If the parties can agree to the terms before the 90 day period, then the court will approve an agreement between the parties and the divorce can be finalized shortly after the 90 day period expires. Assuming that the parties are unable to come to an agreement on the terms of the divorce, then a court date will be set.
Based on the specific court caseload and the issues that need to be resolved, the divorce can take six months or longer to be finalized. The number of children and the amount of marital property can also prolong the divorce process. In some situations, a divorce may be finalized by submitting the relevant forms to the court via mail. A court order terminating a marriage contract in the State of Colorado is a “Decree of Dissolution of Marriage.”
When a divorce is initiated, a series of court orders go into effect for both parties that help protect their interests:
- A party to the divorce shall not disturb or harass the other party;
- Children are not to leave the state for any reason without agreement of both parents or a court order;
- Insurance policies may not be cancelled by either party; and
- Marital property shall not be hidden, destroyed, transferred, or borrowed against without consent, except in the usual course of business or for the necessities of life.
Failure to follow the court orders can result in penalties to the party violating the order. If you or your spouse purposely disregard a court order, possible penalties include jailtime, a fine, or other penalties / sanctions.
Other temporary orders that may be sought during the proceedings:
- Child support payments;
- Parenting time schedules for non-custodial parents;
- Temporary primary parental responsibility of minor children;
- Who resides in the marital home until the divorce is finalized;
- Whether a party is eligible for maintenance or assistance with attorneys fees
- A short term division of marital property; and
- The responsibility for pending bills.
The divorce will issue one or more “permanent orders,” which will address a number of potential issues including:
- Division of property and debts;
- Maintenance (also known as alimony);
- Parental responsibilities; and
- Divorce expenses.
How the Divorce Law Firm of Wessels & Arsenault can help:
Whether you are seeking a divorce, annulment, or whether you have been served with divorce / separation papers, the family law attorneys from the law firm of Wessels & Arsenault can help you navigate the Colorado divorce laws. We can sit down and discuss your situation during our consultation, review your legal options, and provide specific answers to your questions.
Please contact the law firm of Wessels & Arsenault today for a consultation with an experienced Colorado divorce attorney that can help you today. We offer affordable rates and reasonable retainers. Our law firm is willing to work with you and your financial situation to ensure that your best interests are protected.
Read some of the laws that pertain to YOUR case: This website contains selected statutes from The Colorado Revised Statutes, click HERE for selected family law statutes.
Where we practice: We serve clients in family law matters throughout the Denver metro area. A Colorado based firm, we serve most of our clients in the counties of Adams, Jefferson, Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver and Douglas, amongst others near the metro area. This includes cities such as Westminster Louisville, Broomfield, Arvada, Golden, Boulder, Longmont, Thornton, Lyons, Aurora, Denver, Littleton, Englewood, Evergreen, Commerce City, Federal Heights, Gunbarrel, Lakewood and other metro cities. While we normally service these areas, depending on the type and complexity of the matter, we have the ability to take cases across the state, especially in areas east of the Divide.
We pride ourselves on the ability to remain flexible and to act quickly; we also are able to generally offer same day or next-day appointments. We make ourselves as available as possible to help keep moving forward on your issues. Because this ability may be hindered somewhat by travel time outside of our normal reaches, we will also evaluate your matter from a logistical standpoint and try to arrive at a solution that can work for both of us.
LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR OTHER FAMILY LAW PRACTICE AREAS
Wessels & Arsenault, LLC
1333 W. 120th Ave Suite 219
Westminster, CO 80234