You may have the instinct to handle your divorce yourself or pro se. But a divorce lawyer can help guide you through a complicated and emotional process while explaining your rights and advocating for the best possible outcome.
Denver Divorce Attorney Michael Fayard will help you make the best decision for your and your family’s future, not ones clouded by resentment or anger.
Each state has different laws and requirements for ending a legal marriage. Here is what you need to know about divorce in Colorado.
The first condition for filing for divorce in Colorado is meeting the residency requirement. Both parties must reside in Colorado for at least 90 days before filing.
Colorado recognizes no-fault divorce, meaning neither party is required to prove wrongdoing of the other, only that irreconcilable differences exist. The state will grant a divorce because the marriage is irretrievably broken, per C.R.S. 14-10-110(1).
In addition to a formal divorce to end a marriage, you can also request legal separation or annulment.
If you and your spouse are legally separated, you remain married in the eyes of the law, but your assets are divided and you live separately. If applicable, child custody, child support, and alimony would be decided as they would in a divorce case.
Annulment is the process of declaring a marriage legally invalid. To qualify for an annulment, you must prove that your marriage is invalid on at least one of the grounds outlined in C.R.S. 14-10-111. Grounds for annulment are narrow, including scenarios such as if one spouse was ineligible to be married due to a lack of ability to give consent.
Colorado is an equitable distribution state, meaning that assets and debts will not necessarily be split 50/50. Instead, the court will attempt to divide property and other assets equitably based on factors such as the contribution of each spouse to the acquisition of the marital property, including the contribution of a spouse as a homemaker.
In Colorado, child custody refers to the allocation of parental responsibilities and is split into two areas: allocation of parenting time and allocation of decision-making responsibilities.
These areas are not always assigned equally. When deciding parental responsibilities, the court will consider the child’s wishes, each parent’s ability to provide a stable income, and other factors. Child support payments are decided according to similar factors.
Spousal support payments may be ordered to maintain similar living standards for both parties after the divorce. While aggravating factors such as domestic violence and child abuse can influence child custody and spousal support ordered by the court, infidelity is likely to be considered a lesser factor with little influence on the court’s decision.
Michael represented a client that sought an uncontested divorce from her husband. He was able to facilitate the divorce action and get the process completed and the couple divorced within 4 weeks and without the client appearing in court at all.
Michael represented the husband in a divorce. Former wife was seeking an increase in alimony. Michael successfully defended the increase and got the alimony reduced.
Once you meet the 90-day residency requirement, you can begin filing for divorce in your county of residence by completing Colorado’s information sheet and petition for divorce forms. You can file on your own and complete a summons to serve your spouse or file jointly by signing the petition with your spouse.
After filing the forms, the court may request further documentation. If you and your spouse agree on the terms of your separation and how you will support your children (if applicable), you will attend a hearing to finalize your divorce.
Suppose your former partner responds to the petition and decides to contest the divorce. In that case, you may be required to attend mediation, where a neutral third party will attempt to help you reach a compromise in areas of disagreement. If you and your spouse have children, you may also be ordered by the court to attend a parenting class. A contested hearing will be set where you and your spouse will present evidence in court and be overseen by a judge to resolve the issues at hand.
You are not required to retain a lawyer to file for divorce. Many people choose to file their own divorce or annulment paperwork, especially if the breakup is uncontested or amicable.
However, if you represent yourself, you are bound by the same rules and procedures as an attorney. This means making a mistake in court or in the documents you submit can have big consequences on the outcome of your divorce.
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Even if your divorce begins amicably, you never know when conflicts might arise. That’s why it’s wise to hire a Denver divorce lawyer. Your attorney will fight on your behalf to protect you, your assets, and your family. It’s better to be represented than go to court alone.
Attorney Michael Fayard knows that every divorce is different, and his background can help you achieve the outcome you want. Attorney Fayard is in your corner to negotiate when it comes to what you are entitled to and how to best move on with your life.
For reliable and effective divorce help in Denver, contact us at (303)-990-8585.