The state of Colorado has adopted a “no fault” divorce definition for marital dissolution. This means the spouse seeking divorce does not need to prove adultery, cruelty or other grounds for dissolution. Therefore, the single ground for divorce is that the marriage is irreconcilably broken. No one needs to establish moral fault, nor is it to be used as an element for determining financial support or dividing property. However, economic fault may be considered if one spouse is wasting or dissipating marital funds, such as gambling, although this factor is not considered grounds for divorce.
Colorado Divorce and Separation Lawyer
A legal separation means that each spouse may live apart while not being legally obligated by the contracts and actions of the other spouse. Legal separation does not end the marriage, and the spouses are still considered married if either wishes to remarry, which would create a state of bigamy. During separation, obligations for alimony may be determined, property can be allocated, debts may be apportioned and child custody may be awarded between the parties. Either party may petition the court for a Decree of Dissolution prior to the final hearing for legal separation, or six months following the final Decree of Legal Separation. The law considers separation to be “no fault” as well. Each spouse should understand that a legal separation may be converted into a divorce quite easily. Either spouse may request that the court grant a divorce, and that request will be honored six months or longer after legal separation as long as the other spouse is notified.
Attorney Kirk Garner: Over 19 Years Experience in Family Law
In Colorado, a Legal Separation or Decree of Dissolution will be final after 91 days. This period begins when the petition is served on the other spouse.
If the other party disputes any matter, the divorce will not be “uncontested,” and a trial will be required. Family court will conduct a trial on disputed matters concerning visitation, parental responsibility, division of property, allocation of debts, payment of attorney and court fees, and support. This is known as the Permanent Orders hearing.
The divorce will be final on the day the court grants it or the day the judge signs the decree and grants it by affidavit. If either party files an appeal, the court will review the orders but not the actual divorce decree.
Attorney Kirk Garner has over 19 years of experience handling family law cases with attention to detail and compassion during difficult times. Contact the Law Offices of Kirk Garner for a confidential consultation regarding your unique circumstances.