If you or your spouse decide you want to end your marriage, it is important that you both understand how state law governs this particular procedure and what will be required of you in order to get the process started. While laws regarding grounds for and defenses to divorce have been loosened considerably over the years, there are still numerous requirements that must be fulfilled before a marriage can be officially and legally dissolved.
No matter what circumstances led to your decision or what factors may influence how it ultimately plays out, you may be at a significant disadvantage if you go into divorce proceedings without a seasoned family attorney at Nicol Gersch Petterson by your side. The guidance and support of a Greeley divorce lawyer could be critical to ensuring your needs and wishes are respected both in and out of court.
In the past, parties seeking a divorce in Colorado had to name specific grounds, or reasons, why they were seeking to end their marriage, such as adultery, desertion, cruelty, or imprisonment in jail or a mental institution. However, this requirement has since been abolished, as have various defenses spouses could once present against petitions for divorce such as collusion or insanity.
Currently, Colorado Revised Statutes §14-10-106 establishes that a marriage being irretrievably broken as the sole valid grounds for legally ending that marriage. As per C.R.S. §14-10-110, all it takes for a marriage to be considered “irretrievably broken” is one or both parties declaring it to be so, in which case a court will almost always grant their petition for a divorce.
In addition to defining the now-singular grounds on which a marriage can be dissolved, C.R.S. §14-10-106 also establishes a few other requirements that a couple seeking a divorce must meet in order for a Greeley court to have jurisdiction over their case. First and foremost, at least one of the parties seeking divorce must have been a resident of the state for 91 consecutive days prior to their initial filing, and an additional 91 days must have passed since they sent a summons to their spouse informing them of their desire to separate.
In addition, a court in Greeley cannot have personal jurisdiction over the spouse responding to the summons—meaning it cannot make binding decisions about property division, child custody or support, or spousal maintenance—unless a few more conditions apply. Typically, the respondent spouse must be a legal resident of Colorado, have been in the state when they were served divorce papers, or formally consent to their case heard in Colorado in order for a Greeley court to have personal jurisdiction over them.
Once these legal hurdles are cleared, a court has the full authority to address every personal and financial aspect of the marriage being dissolved, and it would have the final say in matters involving the care and support of children. It is especially crucial to have help from a divorce lawyer in Greeley in order to ensure individual needs and desires—as well as preexisting agreements, if any enforceable ones exist—are factored into the court’s rulings.
Getting a divorce is a hectic and emotionally exhausting process no matter how amicable it is, and any disagreements between you and your spouse about any part of your separation could vastly complicate the entire ordeal. Fortunately, guidance from seasoned legal counsel can go a long way towards clearing up disputes and ensuring your divorce proceedings concludes as quickly and efficiently as possible.
A Greeley divorce lawyer could answer any questions you have about your particular circumstances and state divorce law in general during an initial consultation. Call today to schedule a consultation.