Despite people’s best efforts, some marriages don’t work out and end up dissolving. In Colorado alone, the divorce rate is at 12%—the 15th highest in the country. If you’ve made the decision to dissolve your marriage, knowing what to expect during the process will help relieve the stress and uncertainty. In this article, we’ll discuss the divorce law in Colorado so you can prepare yourself for what’s to come. We’ll also answer clients’ most frequently asked questions about divorce proceedings and what’s in store for you when you hire Lewis & Matthews, P.C. as your divorce lawyer.
Divorce and Dissolution of Marriage
Colorado used the term “Dissolution of Marriage” (DOM) to mean divorce.
Grounds for Divorce
Colorado is a “no-fault” state, which means neither party has to prove a biblical or moral reason for the dissolution. It also means that you don’t need the consent of your spouse to file for a divorce. Parties seeking a no-fault divorce list “irreconcilable differences” or the “irreparable breakdown of the marriage” as their reasons.
Basic Requirements for Divorce in Colorado
- One of the spouses must have been a Colorado resident for at least 91 days prior to the filing of the petition
- The marriage is irretrievably broken
- 91 days have passed since the summons was served on the other party
- Colorado must have jurisdiction over the respondent spouse
- If the parties have shared children, Colorado should have been their home state for at least 181 days
The Colorado Divorce Process
We’ve enumerated the general step-by-step process of the divorce process so you can have realistic expectations with regards to timelines and legalities:
- Initial filing of paperwork and service of documents
- Case management and temporary court orders (custody, finances, etc.)
- Discovery and financial disclosure
- Court proceedings and settlement negotiations
- Legal dissolution of marriage
Hiring a Divorce Attorney
Although it is possible to pursue a divorce without representation and legal counsel by a lawyer, it is not advisable. The entire process is an emotional, exhausting, and complicated one. A lawyer can ensure that your interests are protected, handle all the complex paperwork, and simplify legal jargon for you so you can focus on your personal healing. It’s ideal for each party to have an attorney, even in an uncontested divorce.
Below are some questions you can ask your lawyer during your consultation:
- Do you have a track record of working on divorce cases, and what are their usual resolutions?
- How long have you been practicing family law?
- What is your strategy for my case?
- What are your rates? What other costs do you expect will come up as we go along the process?
- Would you support me if I decide to seek settlement outside of court?
Lewis & Matthews, P.C. would be glad to answer any questions you might have about us and our legal services. We keep our clients well-informed and involved in every decision while making sure that they feel safe, comfortable, and respected.
Our lawyers have many years of professional legal experience in Colorado. Throughout the years that we have represented our clients in divorce proceedings, we have come to understand how each individual has unique needs and circumstances. We tailor our approach according to those needs and circumstances. Ultimately, our goal is to fight for our clients’ best interests—be it the protection of their home, assets, the custody of their children, or their dignity and independence.
When Do You Need a Divorce Lawyer?
Some situations definitely call for the need for hiring a divorce attorney. These are:
- There are problems with abuse
- You suspect that your spouse is lying or being vengeful
- Your spouse has hired their own lawyer
- The divorce involves children or complex financial matters
How Is Property Divided?
In Colorado, assets must be determined as “marital property” or “separate property.” First, a court will identify separate property, such as:
- property acquired before marriage
- gifts or inheritance
- property excluded for the marital estate by a valid agreement between the spouses
All other assets acquired by either spouse during the marriage (but before separation) are considered marital property. The court will divide marital property equitably (not to be confused with equally) according to Colorado statutes. For more information, read this more detailed guide.
Consult a Seasoned Divorce Lawyer
Deciding to get a divorce, for whatever reason, is a brave personal decision we respect. However, it’s just the first step to a long and arduous journey toward dissolving your failed marriage. When you work with Lewis & Matthews, P.C., rest assured that you’re in good hands. Learn more about divorce law in Colorado and how we can help you through all the ins and outs of divorce proceedings by visiting our website. You may also contact us at (303) 329-3802 or fill out the inquiry form to schedule a consultation with our team.