If you are considering getting a divorce in Colorado, you will need to become familiar with divorce law in Colorado prior to filing for dissolution of marriage. There are certain requirements that must be met or the court may throw out your case or refuse to enter into a final judgment. Here are some of the primary things you should familiarize yourself with prior to taking action:
Residency and Filing Requirements - To be eligible to file for and be granted dissolution of marriage in Colorado one of the parties to the dissolution must be a resident of the state for a minimum of ninety days immediately prior to filing of the petition.
The petition for dissolution of marriage may be filed in the Colorado County of residence of either party to the petition.
There Must be Grounds for Filing: The dissolution document must state the Colorado grounds upon which the divorce is being sought. In addition, the grounds stated must be substantiated with the court. Basically, the grounds must show that the marriage is irretrievably broken. This must be shown either within the petition or through testimony or the court may throw the case out.
Property Distribution: In Colorado, property distribution must be equitable. This is not the same as equal distribution, but based upon the principle of what is fair. The court encourages the parties to enter into an agreement regarding the distribution of marital property.
If an agreement cannot be reached by the parties the court will decide how to distribute the property without regard to alleged "marital misconduct". The court will consider such factors as the contribution of each spouse to the acquisition of marital property including the value of homemaker contributions, the economic circumstances of each spouse after property distribution, and the consideration of the cost and living situation of any minor children.
Spousal Support: There is no set rule regarding spousal support and not all cases will require it. Whether one spouse will be required to support another either on a temporary or permanent basis is decided on the circumstances of each individual case and may be agreed upon by the parties of by the court's discretion.
Child Custody: Colorado courts will attempt to lessen any emotional trauma of the children of divorcing couples. When parents cannot come to an agreement regarding child custody arrangements the court will establish a custody order. In some cases the court may appoint an attorney to represent the best interests of the children when deciding how parental responsibilities are to be divided between parents.
Divorce is forever. Careful thought should be given by anyone who is considering the dissolution of their marriage to all of the consequences of the action. Before beginning the action of filing for dissolution, be sure to become familiar with the divorce law in Colorado either through research on your own or by contacting an attorney with experience in this area of the law.