A divorce can impact your life in a variety of ways, from your emotional and mental health to your financial well-being. Preparing for the divorce process can help you minimize the financial fallout and give yourself time to heal.
Here are 7 steps to take prior to ending your marriage.
1. Make Sure the Relationship Cannot Be Repaired
Divorce is a serious solution. Make sure it’s the right one before filing the paperwork. Depending on the issues driving you and your spouse apart, you may want to try marriage counseling first. Ensure that you feel confident about the decision to divorce before moving on to the next step.
2. Connect With a Reliable Attorney
It’s crucial to have legal representation when going through divorce, even if you and your spouse agree on the division of assets and liabilities. Doing so ensures that you meet court deadlines and submit the proper paperwork.
3. File for Divorce
To begin moving through the rest of the process, you must file a summons and petition for the dissolution of the marriage. The other party has 20 days to respond if currently residing in Colorado, and 30 days if out-of-state.
4. Settle Temporary Court Orders
Temporary court orders are used to handle many pressing issues that arise early in the divorce process. If you and your spouse agree on issues like custody and spousal support, the court can draft a temporary order based on these terms. Otherwise, the court will decide at the initial hearing.
5. Meet All Court Deadlines During the Discovery Process
The discovery process aims to uncover each party’s financial status, including debts, assets, and income. Answer all requests for documents promptly and well before the deadline. Delays can set back the divorce timeline. Your attorney can assist you in responding to requests, as well as asking for specific documents from your soon-to-be ex-spouse.
6. Negotiate Division of Assets and Liabilities
Tension is often high during a divorce, even if both parties agree on important topics. It’s crucial, however, to negotiate issues like asset division, liabilities, custody, and spousal support in a calm and fair manner. If both parties agree on everything, your attorney can draft a final orders agreement, and the court will then review it. If one party requests a final orders hearing, final decisions must be made at a pretrial meeting.
7. Wait for the Final Court Date
Most states have required waiting periods for couples seeking a dissolution of marriage, and Colorado is no exception. There’s a mandatory 90-day waiting period, which begins from the date of filing. It’s important to note that some divorces can take much longer than 90 days, particularly if either party disagrees on important topics and issues. Whether your divorce is contested or uncontested, wait for the hearing date for things to become finalized.
Streamline the Colorado Divorce Process
The decision to end a marriage is never an easy one, but it helps when you have the proper legal support. With the family law experts at Kinnaird Law, you get dependable representation throughout your divorce. Call (719) 520-0003 to schedule an appointment.