COLORADO DIVORCE LAW
If you are contemplating a divorce or legal separation in Colorado you may have many questions or concerns. A divorce or "dissolution of marriage" in Colorado is the termination of the marital relationship between a husband and wife; they will both be considered legally single and be able to re-marry. Divorce or legal separation may encompass many complicated issues such as property distribution or residency. It is important contact a Colorado divorce attorney when contemplating divorce.
Legal Separation The difference between a legal separation and a divorce is that in the case of a legal separation, you are still legally married. In Colorado, legal separations require the same legal procedure as divorces, with all issues relating to children, custody, financial support, and property division formally resolved before a judge. Should you decide to file for divorce later, the process may need to be completed again in its entirety, though the resolutions regarding material possessions arrived at during the separation proceedings may or may not be reconsidered during divorce proceedings. Common motivations for choosing legal separation over divorce include preservation of legal marriage status for tax or religious reasons. To promote the amicable settlement of disputes between the parties to a marriage attendant upon their separation, the parties may enter into a written "separation agreement"containing provisions for the maintenance of either of them, the disposition of any property owned by either of them, and the allocation of parental responsibilities, support, and parenting time of their children.
Grounds For Divorce Unlike legal separations, which do not require any grounds for court approval, divorces do require a no-fault filing in Colorado. Filing a divorce on no-fault grounds typically asserts an "irretrievable breakdown" of the marriage relationship. If both of the parties have stated that the marriage is "irretrievably broken" or one of the parties has so stated and the other has not denied it, there is a presumption of such fact, and, unless controverted by evidence, the court shall, after hearing, make a finding that the marriage is irretrievably broken and grant a divorce.
Divorce Residency Requirements In Colorado, you must meet the divorce residency requirements before you are able to properly file for divorce. If the court finds that one of the parties has been domiciled in this state for ninety days preceding the commencement of the case, then residency requirements have been met.
Availability of Simplified or Special Divorce Procedures Dissolution of marriage by affidavit is possible when there are no minor children, a separation agreement has been entered into, there are no disputes, no marital property (or in the alternative, agreement as to its division), and the non-filing party has been served with all relevant paperwork. An affidavit signed by both parties, represented by counsel, and stating these facts, will be sufficient for dissolution of marriage by affidavit..
Annulment in that the annulment declares the marriage to have been invalid, such that it never properly existed in the first place. Thus, if an annulment is obtained, a divorce or legal separation becomes unnecessary. Colorado courts will grant an annulment under very specific circumstances such as lack of consent (force, fraud), age, mental illness, or the inability of a party to consummate the marriage. Sometimes these factors are not enough to justify annulment; a Colorado divorce attorney should be consulted to discuss the circumstances of your potential annulment.
Division of Marital Property Colorado is an 'equitable distribution"state, also known as common law or marital property. This means that a Colorado court will separate each spouse’s his or her property and shall divide the marital property, without regard to marital misconduct, in such proportions as the court deems just after considering all relevant factors. This does no necessarily mean that the marital property will be divided evenly or 50-50. It is important to discuss property division with a Colorado divorce attorney.
Links to Divorce Statutes