Formally ending your marriage is an immensely consequential decision, as well as one that requires jumping through a lot of legal hoops. Even if you and your spouse mutually agree that you should separate, there are numerous elements of the divorce process—ranging from parenting decisions to financial support, to even the division of marital assets—that could be extremely difficult for you to handle effectively on your own. These issues become complicated and litigious easily when other factors become involved, such as substance abuse, domestic violence or other abuse.
If you want to maximize your chances of a mutually beneficial resolution to your divorce, you should make it a priority to seek counsel from a qualified family attorney. The guidance and support of an experienced Greenwood Village divorce lawyer could be crucial not only to ensuring your wishes and best interests are respected, but also to avoiding additional legal action from your former spouse down the road.
Like many other states, Colorado allows for no-fault divorces, meaning that a person seeking a dissolution of their marriage does not have to name any specific grounds for their divorce other than the fact that their marriage is “irretrievably broken.” Unlike many other states, though, these are also the only grounds for divorce recognized by Colorado state courts. This means there is no option to pursue a fault-based divorce in Greenwood Village.
That being said, there are various residency requirements attached to the divorce filing process that impact whether a Colorado state court has jurisdiction to grant a divorce decree. In order for a Colorado court to enter a decree of dissolution, Colorado Revised Statutes §14-10-106 requires the party seeking the divorce to have lived in the state for at least 90 days before their initial filing, and another 90 days to have passed after the filing party served the necessary divorce papers on their spouse.
Additional requirements must be fulfilled for a Colorado court to have jurisdiction over matters like division of assets and determinations regarding child custody and support. For instance, any children who would be affected by the divorce must have lived in the state for at least six months, unless other provisions regarding jurisdiction apply. During an initial consultation, a Greenwood Village divorce attorney could help ensure that these requirements were fulfilled and that the proper paperwork is filed in the right places.
Meeting the basic requirements for a divorce filing is by far the easiest part of the process. What comes next is often much more complicated: making binding resolutions about matters like spousal maintenance, child custody (parenting time and decision-making) and support, and division of both marital assets and marital debts.
Some of these matters can be addressed preemptively by a married couple long before they start pursuing a divorce—for example, a prenuptial (prior to the marriage) or postnuptial (subsequent to the marriage) agreement can lay out plans for how property will be split and how financial instruments like joint bank accounts will be handled. Other matters, however, may fall purely within the purview of the court—specifically, anything to do with the custody, financial support, and future wellbeing of any children produced by a marriage being dissolved.
There are many steps to take if you have made the decision to pursue a divorce from your spouse. The first step you should take is to seek help from a skilled attorney in your community. The most crucial role a divorce lawyer could play for a person in Greenwood Village seeking a divorce is not as their legal point of reference, but instead as an advocate for their rights and best interests.
Once retained, a seasoned Greenwood Village divorce lawyer could help you handle this entire process more effectively and efficiently, advocating tirelessly on your behalf the whole way. Call today to set up a consultation and learn more about what an attorney could do for you.