Preparing for Divorce
If you’re anticipating a divorce, preparation becomes your most vital tool. It's the foundation upon which you'll build your future, post-divorce life. Preparing for divorce means understanding the legal process, collecting relevant information, and making informed decisions that protect your interests. It's about approaching the end of your marital journey with clarity and confidence, ensuring you're ready to face whatever lies ahead.
Understanding Colorado Divorce Laws
First things first, it's crucial to understand that Colorado operates under "no-fault" divorce laws. What does this mean? Well, it simply means that neither spouse has to prove wrongdoing or fault on the part of the other to file for divorce. The only ground for divorce in our state is that the marriage is "irretrievably broken. " In other words, if you and your spouse can't get along and there's no reasonable chance of reconciliation, you can file for divorce.
But, before you do so, you must meet certain residency requirements. Either you or your spouse should have had your permanent home in Colorado for at least 91 days before filing for divorce. This is an important criterion and one you need to consider before initiating the divorce process.
Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce: Which One Is Right for You?
When preparing for a divorce, you'll need to determine whether you're facing a contested or an uncontested divorce. If you and your spouse are able to agree on all major issues, such as property division, alimony, child custody, and support, then you're looking at an uncontested divorce. This is often a quicker and less stressful process as it doesn't require court intervention.
On the other hand, if you're unable to reach an agreement on these issues, you're facing a contested divorce. This means you'll need to turn to the courts to make determinations on these matters. It's crucial to consult with a lawyer in these situations to understand the implications of each type of divorce and determine the best approach for your situation.
Cost and Timeframe: What Can You Expect?
The cost and timeframe of a divorce in Colorado can vary significantly depending on various factors. These can include attorney fees, court filing fees, and additional expenses related to property division, child custody and support, and spousal maintenance. Remember, it's always advisable to consult with a lawyer to get an estimate of the potential costs involved in your case.
In terms of time frame, there's a 91-day waiting period from the date the non-filing spouse receives the divorce papers before the Colorado courts can issue a divorce decree. However, the actual time it takes to finalize a divorce depends on several factors, including whether the divorce is contested or uncontested and the complexity of the issues involved.
Child Custody and Support: Keeping Your Child's Best Interests at Heart
When it comes to child custody and support in Colorado, the best interests of the child are always front and center. Judges will consider several factors when making custody decisions, including the child's preferences if they are mature enough to express an opinion. The state has guidelines for calculating child support based on the income of both parents, the amount of time each parent spends with the child, and the child's needs.
Property Division and Alimony: Fairness Is Key
Colorado follows the principle of equitable distribution in property division during a divorce. This means that judges will divide marital property based on what they believe is fair under the circumstances. It's important to identify and organize all your assets, including any separate and marital property. Consulting with a lawyer can ensure a fair division of assets.
Alimony, or spousal maintenance, is another aspect to consider. Judges in Colorado consider various factors such as the length of the marriage, the ability of one spouse to pay, and the physical and mental health of the spouses. Temporary spousal maintenance may be awarded during the divorce process if deemed necessary.
Seek Trusted Legal Counsel for Your Divorce
Divorce is a complex process, but you don't have to go through it alone. With the right guidance and support, you can make informed decisions that protect your interests and those of your loved ones. If you're considering a divorce in Colorado, get in touch with us at Attorneys at Law Timlin & Rye, P.C.
We're here to walk with you on this challenging path. We understand that divorce is not just a legal step, but an emotional journey that requires compassion and understanding. Our dedicated team of family law attorneys brings nearly a century of combined experience in guiding individuals through the complexities of divorce. We're committed to providing personalized support every step of the way, from preparing necessary paperwork to representing you in court. We're not just your lawyers—we're your allies, empowering you to make decisions that will shape your future.
Contact us today if you’re in the Denver area or anywhere else in Colorado, including Adams, Arapahoe, Jefferson, and Douglas counties.