Denver Divorce Lawyer
Couples who are considering divorce have a lot to think about before engaging in divorce proceedings. In addition to making sure that they meet the legal requirements to divorce in Colorado, each spouse must also consider how they will manage their joint resources and debts once they are no longer married. If they are parents, they may have even more to decide regarding where and with whom their children will live.
A Denver divorce lawyer could help you figure out these issues and more. If you are ready to end your marriage, it may be time to speak with a seasoned family attorney about your legal options. En Español.
Legal Requirements for Divorce in Denver
For a couple to divorce in the State of Colorado, at least one of the spouses must have been a state resident for 90 days before the petition is filed. This law prevents people from moving to Colorado from another state to take advantage of more liberal divorce laws.
The petitioner—or any Denver divorce attorney they have retained—must serve their spouse with the legal paperwork that begins the divorce. The respondent then has 20 days to answer the petition, or 30 days if they live outside of the state. If the respondent fails to file an answer, the judge may enter a default judgment granting the petition in favor of the person who filed it.
Divorcing couples can only file for divorce on the grounds that a marriage is irretrievably broken. Colorado is a no-fault dissolution state under Colorado Revised Statutes §14-10-106, which means that parties no longer have to prove some fault-based ground for divorce, like abandonment or adultery. Once both parties are served with the divorce paperwork, the law requires a waiting period of 90 days before the court may grant the divorce.
Dividing Property in a Divorce
A key part of any divorce is determining the size and value of the marital estate. A couple choosing to divorce can decide how they would prefer to split up their property. If they cannot decide, a judge may divide their marital property for them.
Parties are also allowed to keep their separately-owned property, but they must share their joint property and debts equitably. A Denver divorce lawyer could help with creating separation agreements that distribute marital property outside of the courtroom, and they may also file motions and hold hearings on the property that is contested or disputed.
Providing Financial Support
Colorado has a relatively generous spousal maintenance statute. While a spouse can petition the court to lower or waive the amount of maintenance that they pay, the state legislature has provided judges with guidance for consistent spousal support awards under C.R.S. §14-10-114.
In general, if the divorcing couple earns less than $75,000 per year combined, the court would usually award some temporary alimony to the lower-earning spouse. If the couple’s combined income exceeds $75,000, an award of temporary or permanent spousal maintenance would only be warranted if one spouse does not have the resources to support themselves.
Determining Care and Custody of Children
Divorcing parents in Denver must create a parenting plan that allocates parental responsibilities and visitation time. They must also follow the state’s guidelines for child support and make sure that they are acting in the best interests of their children.
A judge must approve the parties’ parenting plan, custody arrangement, and child support schedule before finalizing the divorce. Like with the division of marital property, a judge can decide the parenting schedule and child support obligations if parents cannot determine these terms for themselves.
Speak with a Denver Divorce Attorney About Legal Options
Filing for divorce does not have to be difficult. With the help of an experienced divorce attorney, you could start negotiating a plan that divides your property, accounts for support payments, and cares for your children without a lengthy court battle.
Parties to a divorce who use family attorneys often find that their case moves quicker and has fewer complications than if they had handled the matter on their own. If you are ready to move forward after your marriage ends, contact a Denver divorce lawyer and schedule an appointment. The Amy G Injury Firm co-counsels family law matters.