Getting a divorce is no easy feat. Even with the most amicable of partners, divorce is a long and lengthy process. In Colorado Springs, divorce is referred to more formally as a dissolution of marriage. It is the exact same thing as a divorce, concluding in the same results, just with different terminology. When filing for a divorce, there are a few key things to know before jumping right in. For one, Colorado is a no-fault state. This means that if you are thinking you will get more money out of the divorce because your spouse was having an affair, you are wrong. The courts have no interest in misconduct. This means that when the court decides how to divide property or grant alimony, they take a completely objective stance. There is no gold stars for being a well-behaved’ spouse. It is also worth noting that for a divorce to be granted in Colorado, one spouse must have lived in the state of Colorado for at least 90 days before filing divorce paperwork. In addition, even after the divorce case and paperwork is completed, the couple must wait three months before they are legally considered divorced, and single.
In Colorado, both spouses do not have to agree to the divorce or participate in the divorce process for it to be completed. This means that if one spouse wants to file for a divorce and the other does not, they may still proceed with the divorce case regardless by requesting a ‘default’ judgment. No matter the route one or both partners take in filing for a divorce case, by the end of it, the organization of all assets and child custody (when applicable) will be handled.
When handling property and assets, the couple and/or court will first divide the property into two main categories – separate and marital. This is not always a clear-cut division either, and is possibly one of the lengthiest parts of a divorce case. Separate property is any property or assets that are clearly one spouse’s over the other. This would be any things or money that was acquired prior to marriage and any gifts or inheritances that were solely one spouse’s. Marital property is all property and assets that were shared and acquired throughout the course of the marriage. This is not always an easy division, either, as both spouses may feel equally entitled to certain memorabilia or income. The court will then take into consideration how much each spouse contributed to gaining the property and how much they contributed to homemaking. They will look at the value of the property and assets, the economic standpoint each spouse will face post-divorce, as well as things like the value of each spouse’s separate property and its potential to increase or decrease in value.
The Experienced Colorado Spring divorce attorneys at Kinnaird Law have spent 30 years helping families in the Colorado Springs area go through the divorce process, and in that time we have seen our fair share of challenges and triumphs. But we have also handled some common legal issues related to divorces, including:
Common Law Marriage/Divorce — Couples that can prove that they meet the requirements of a common law marriage in Colorado, which includes living under the same roof, filing joint tax returns, and identifying themselves as married to friends and family, are entitled to the same rights in a divorce such as child support, division of property, and spousal support.
Military Divorce – There are some different challenges in a military divorce, including where to file (can affect division of military pension), how delays for a spouse in active service is handled, and the options that the spouse who isn’t in the military has when it comes to health care after the divorce.
Uncontested Divorce — Also known as a ‘collaborative divorce,’ this is a process in which a couple has come to an agreement on all major issues of a divorce, and do not need to go to court. You still need an experienced lawyer in an uncontested divorce to ensure that all your rights are protected. Our Colorado Springs Divorce Attorneys have explained more about uncontested divorce here.
Spousal Maintenance — This is based on a number of factors, and can create conflict between divorcing spouses who may feel that they are getting more or less than they deserve. When a judge decides on the amount of spousal maintenance, he or she will consider the length of the marriage, the financial needs of each spouse, and which spouse has the greater ability to pay.
Division of Assets — This refers to how the marital assets are divided between each spouse in a divorce. In contested divorces, this is one of the biggest sources of conflict. Colorado law operates under the principle of ‘equitable distribution of property,’ which means a fair division that does not have to be equal for both parties. In general, any property you acquired during the marriage is subject to an equitable division, and marital debts acquired during the marriage are usually assigned to the spouse who has the greater ability to pay.
Before diving into a divorce case, be sure to have the right representation on your side. Even with Colorado being a no-fault state, there are ways to receive the best possible outcome of your case. The attorneys at Kinnaird Law will respect the sensitivity of your case, as well as stand up for and protect your rights. Call us today or contact us online if you are ready to file for a dissolution of marriage in Colorado Springs.