Answers from an Experienced Denver Family Attorney
Q: What are the grounds for a divorce in Colorado?
Q: Do you have to prove fault for the divorce to be approved?
Q: How long could the divorce take?
Q: What other issues are handled during the divorce?
Q: What will happen once the divorce petition is filed?
Q: What is parenting time?
Q: What is alternative dispute resolution (ADR)?
Q: How is marital property divided in a Colorado divorce?
Q: What is the main difference between a conventional divorce and divorce
mediation or collaborative divorce?
Q: What do I do if I can no longer pay for maintenance obligations set
up in my original divorce decree?
Q: What is the difference between a contested and uncontested divorce?
What are the grounds for a divorce in Colorado?
The only grounds for dissolution of marriage in Colorado are that the
marriage is irretrievably broken and there are irreconcilable differences
between them. To file for a
divorce, one of the parties must be a resident in the state for a minimum of 90
days before the filing.
Do you have to prove fault for the divorce to be approved?
In the state of Colorado, there is what is called "no fault"
divorce. This means that your marriage can be dissolved without having
to prove that your spouse did anything wrong. The court is not interested
in why or who wants the divorce, the only thing that must be proven is
that there are irreconcilable differences and the marriage is broken.
How long could the divorce take?
A divorce in Colorado will not become official until at least 90 days have
passed after the completion of service. The process will go much quicker
if both parties are able to agree on the terms and conditions of the divorce.
If they cannot reach an amicable decision however, they will have to wait
for a court date and settle the matter in court. In cases like this, the
divorce could easily last up to six months or so. It is important to have
a good Denver family attorney on your side for the best possible outcome.
What other issues are handled during the divorce?
During a divorce case, several other issues must be addressed and resolved
before the divorce can be successfully dissolved. When two parties are
breaking physical ties, the assets and property must be divided,
spousal maintenance and
child support will be determined and a
child custody agreement must be put into place. The divorce expenses and court fees
must also be handled. Once these issues are decided on by the court, they
are referred to as "permanent orders," if the two parties reach
the final agreement themselves, it is called a "separation agreement."
What will happen once the divorce petition is filed?
As soon as the divorce is filed, there are certain limitations that both
parties must abide by until the divorce is final. These restrictions are
put into place to protect the rights of both parties and legal action
can be taken if they are violated. The automatic orders are as follows:
- The parties should not pester or harass the other party
- The children cannot be taken out of state without a court order or permission
from the other parent
- No property can be transferred, hidden, or destroyed without the consent
of the other party
- Insurance policies cannot be canceled by either party
What is parenting time?
The phrase "parenting time" is another meaning for child
visitation time. This is the court ordered, scheduled time that each party is allotted
to spend with the child. If there is no history of domestic violence,
then the court will always give both parents visitation time so that the
child's normal routine is not majorly changed and interrupted by the divorce.
What is alternative dispute resolution (ADR)?
Alternative dispute resolution is a way to resolve your divorce or family
matter without having to go to trial. This is done by means of mediation
which is where they come to a favorable conclusion themselves with the
help of a neutral third party mediator. There is also arbitration which
is also done outside the court. Arbitration is where both parties agree
to have their case heard by a neutral third party and they will be bound
to whatever the arbitrator decides. Using alternative dispute resolution
is much more cost-effective and quicker option than settling your divorce in court.
How is marital property divided in a Colorado divorce?
If the parties cannot agree on how the marital property and assets should
be divided then the court will rule on an equitable distribution. Equitable
distribution does not necessarily translate to an equal distribution but
to a distribution that the court deems fair and just based on a number
of factors. These factors include what each party has contributed to the
marital estate, including the contributions of a homemaker, the value
of the property that is to be awarded to each spouse, the financial circumstances
of the each spouse after the divorce, who will be providing the main care
of any children involved, and other relevant factors.
What is the main difference between a conventional divorce and divorce
mediation or collaborative divorce?
In a traditional contested divorce, the two parties retain divorce attorneys
who argue their cases before the court so that the court can decide how
such issues as child custody,
property division, and spousal support will be settled. In divorce
collaborative divorce, these issues are decided through negotiation outside of the courtroom
which allows the parties to maintain more control over the divorce settlement
terms, is faster, less costly, and less adversarial. Agreements reached
between negotiating divorce parties through these alternative methods
often last longer and result in a more positive experience than litigated divorce.
What do I do if I can no longer pay for maintenance obligations set up
in my original divorce decree?
When your financial circumstances change, whether due to a change in jobs,
a job loss, reduced wages, a costly illness or accident, or other support
or financial obligations, you may wish to seek a
modification of the court order regarding support arrangements that was originally made. This can be done
by petitioning the court.
What is the difference between a contested and uncontested divorce?
There are always two kinds of divorces and they depend solely on the ability
of the two parties to agree and communicate. A contested divorce is much
more difficult and could take longer to resolve because the two spouses
cannot see eye to eye and agree to the issues pertaining to their divorce.
If they are not able to come to a mutual decision on terms and conditions,
then the matter will have to go to trial. An uncontested divorce on the
other hand, is when the two people are in complete agreement on every
issue regarding the terms of the divorce. This does not mean that the
decision to divorce is mutual, but rather they were able to come to agreeable
decisions regarding the divorce, without going to court.
If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to
contact Jones Law Firm, PC today! We can meet you with in person to answer your questions specifically.