Up in the Air With Colorado Divorce Laws

Up in the Air With Colorado Divorce Laws

Colorado is famous for its mountains, including the 58 Rocky Mountain peaks that rise more than 14,000 feet above sea level.  If your marriage is lost in the clouds, you may need to get prepared for a divorce in Colorado.

Divorce Papers – Colorado

It is not that hard to understand how to get a divorce in Colorado.  The state’s courts recognize that filing for divorce in Colorado is often best kept simple.  Many couples have few assets to fight over and cannot afford to hire expensive lawyers to spar with each other.  

The couple just needs to part ways.  So the Courts have developed Colorado divorce forms that can streamline the process.  This makes it possible to get a divorce in Colorado without a lawyer.  

Couples without children just have to have their assets separated.  This can be as simple as splitting a bank account.  It may also require more complicated arrangements, like refinancing the family home so that one spouse can take half the equity in cash.  

One spouse can also be required to pay spousal maintenance, also known as alimony, to the other spouse.  

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Divorce in Colorado – With Child

If you are getting your divorce papers in Colorado, then the court will typically address issues related to any children you have with your spouse.  The first issue is custody.  

Typically, the parents will share both legal custody, meaning the right to make decisions, and physical custody, meaning the responsibility for day-to-day care.  

That means the parents will make major decisions together, such as what school the child will attend.  The child will then spend time living at each parent’s house.  

The second issue is child support.  This is usually a secondary issue because Colorado has a formula that calculates the presumed amount of support based on factors like each parent’s income and the amount of time spent with each parent.  

The parent that spends less time with the child will usually have to make payments to the other parent so that the burden of supporting the child can be shared more equally.  

Divorce in Colorado - With Child

How to File for Divorce in Colorado

Filing for divorce in Colorado and then completing the process takes at least 90 days.  First, one spouse has to file a petition for the Colorado dissolution of marriage.  That petition must state basic information about the couple and the marriage.  

Once you file for divorce in Colorado, the petition creates an injunction under Colorado divorce law that prohibits the spouses from harassing each other or disposing of their assets without a court order.

One spouse must prove to the court that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.  In reality, that is not a high hurdle. Divorce laws in Colorado will not force a couple to stay married forever if one spouse wants out of the marriage.  

That said, the court must wait 90 days before granting the divorce. Plus, a spouse can potentially cause delays and make it harder to get a divorce in Colorado by claiming the marriage is not irretrievably broken. 

Getting a divorce in Colorado can eventually be done even if your spouse tries to stop you, though.

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