Divorce Attorneys in Denver, Colorado
There are times in life when everybody needs a little help. Of these, going through a divorce may be the hardest. Fortunately, there is knowledgeable and compassionate legal help available to those who are filing for divorce and need help with one or more aspects of it.
Many divorcing couples are unsure of the issues that will come up in their divorce and whether they’ll be able to resolve them on their own. You may have questions about the grounds to divorce in Colorado or you may wonder how long a divorce takes.
Whatever your concerns are, Attorneys at Law Timlin & Rye, P.C. can help. Call us today if you’re in and around the Denver, Colorado, area, including throughout Adams, Arapahoe, Jefferson, and Douglas counties.
Eligibility to File for Divorce in Colorado
In Colorado, a divorce is technically called a “dissolution of marriage,” but the two terms are used interchangeably. Any married couple can file for divorce in the state, though there are a few requirements they must meet. The first is a residency requirement which states that the couple must have had a permanent home in the state for at least 91 days before filing. Another requirement is that if the couple has children, they must have called Colorado their home state for at least 181 days.
In some states, you also have to show “grounds” for divorce (a reason or cause for the divorce), but Colorado does not impose this rule. Instead, Colorado is known as a “no-fault” state for divorce, meaning you don’t need to provide any reason for your divorce other than citing it’s “irretrievably broken.” Additionally, you only need one spouse to file for divorce and the other cannot prevent it from happening. In other words, no one can force you to stay married.
Types of Divorce in Colorado
There are two basic types of divorce: uncontested and contested. The route you take will determine, in large part, what the divorce process will look like for you.
Uncontested: In an uncontested divorce, the couple is able to come to an agreement on all aspects of the divorce without the court intervening. In most cases, the two spouses will still make use of attorneys in some respect, whether it’s for consultation, for mediation, or to help negotiate on their behalf. Once the couple has agreed on all issues, they can file their petition with the court for approval. An uncontested divorce is almost always less expensive and quicker than a contested divorce.
Contested: In a contested divorce, the couple cannot come to an agreement on one or more issues and must then turn to a judge to decide. This means you must present evidence and arguments in front of a judge who will then make a determination that will be legally binding.
Division of Marital Assets and Debts
Per state law, when a couple divorces, their marital assets and debts should be split equitably between the two spouses. Note that this doesn’t necessarily mean the assets should be split equally. If the couple can’t decide how to split their joint assets, they can either enlist the help of an attorney or the courts to intervene.
Spousal support (also called alimony) is never required in a divorce but may be awarded under certain conditions. For example, if one spouse was the breadwinner of the relationship and the other performed non-paid labor (such as raising children), the higher-earning spouse may be ordered to temporarily pay the other a monthly allotment until they can get a job, obtain training, or increase their income to meet their expenses.
Depending on the nature of your relationship and your family structure, you may have concerns about child custody, child support, or establishing a parenting plan. An experienced lawyer can help you with all this while ensuring the needs and best interests of your child are always given priority. In most cases, a judge will make sure that the child has meaningful and consistent contact with both parents.
How Long Does a Colorado Divorce Take?
There’s no easy answer to this, but meeting with a family law attorney can give you a better sense of what you can expect as far as timelines and your overall expenses. They can also give you practical advice on ways to minimize costs and shorten the length of time it takes. Uncontested divorces are almost always shorter and may be wrapped up in a few months, while a contested divorce can take over a year to complete.
Divorce Attorneys in Denver, Colorado
If you’re considering divorce or if your spouse has just served you divorce papers and you aren’t sure of your next steps, our team at Attorneys at Law Timlin & Rye, P.C. is here for you. Call us today to schedule a consultation if you’re in or around the Denver, Colorado, area.