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Understanding the Divorce Process in Colorado

Whenever a couple seeks a divorce, it is imperative that they understand the laws in their area, as these can vary wildly from state to state. If you want to get a divorce in Colorado, then you need to find an experienced divorce lawyer who is well-versed in this state's laws. But it is important for you to be acquainted with these laws for yourself as well. Here then are some of the basics of getting a divorce in Denver, Colorado.

What are grounds for a divorce in Colorado? As there is no-fault divorce here, the only reason that needs to be provided for a dissolution of marriage is that the marriage is irretrievably broken. You could provide a reason for a fault-based divorce, which could come into play in property division as well as alimony, but you would not provide this fault when you first file for the divorce.

As for the residency requirement in Colorado, at least one spouse must have a residence in the state for a minimum of 90 days. This does not necessarily mean that the spouse has to have lived in Colorado for three months. For example, this residency requirement might be fulfilled by keeping voter registration, changing a mailing address, owning a house, and registering a car in Colorado.

In circumstances where both spouses can agree on the terms of their divorce, they can file a joint petition, after which they must wait 90 days before the divorce will be finalized. What often happens, however, is that you and your spouse are unable to reach such an agreement. Then you would file the divorce petition individually, and then serve your spouse with the divorce papers. He or she would then have 21 days within which to file their response. To serve divorce papers in Colorado, a neutral third party who is at least 18 years old has to give these papers to your spouse, which sometimes means hiring a sheriff's deputy or a police officer.

The next step is the Initial Status Conference. This will take place within 42 days of the divorce petition's being filed, and both spouses with their respective attorneys will speak with a judge. The meeting will be outside of a courtroom, and this is simply a chance for both parties to name the main issues that need addressing, and to schedule court dates.

Both spouses must give one another full financial disclosure within 42 days of filing the divorce petition. Under "Rule 16.2 disclosure", this requires that each spouse exchange information on their bank accounts, retirement accounts, debts, assets, monthly costs, etc. If you feel that your spouse is hiding assets, or if you need further information from your spouse for the divorce, you could initiate a "discovery". With your lawyer, you can create and serve your spouse with written requests for documents and interrogatories. In the interrogatories, a spouse must supply written answers that are under oath; lying in these answers could bring on severe penalties.

After the Initial Status Conference and Rule 16.2 disclosure, either of the parties can ask for Temporary Orders hearings. This would be if temporary child support or spousal support needs to be put in place during the months or possibly years a divorce can take. These support orders would last until a couple achieves a divorce settlement, or has to go to trial (a Permanent Orders hearing).

When you face a divorce, you and your children's futures are being decided. You need to know that your divorce is in good hands, not in the hands of an inexperienced and inefficient lawyer. At Sturniolo & Associates, our legal team has worked on more than 1,000 family law cases, and our Denver divorce attorney has the dedication and tenacity it takes to get you and your family a fair result in a settlement or trial. Learn more about how we may be able to help you when you contact our firm today!

Sturniolo & Associates - Denver Divorce Attorney
Located at 5353 W Dartmouth Ave #202 Denver, CO 80227. View Map
Phone: (303) 732-5010 | Local Phone: (303) 831-4400.
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