Colorado Divorce Laws - What You Need to Know!
Ending a marriage is a huge decision, but for some people that move is necessary so they can live the life they want to live. For residents of Colorado, ending a marriage requires going to court to have the marriage dissolved, which is also known as getting a divorce. There are specific points a person wishing to divorce should know before starting the process.
Grounds for Divorce
People who are filing for divorce in Colorado only have one option for the legal ground for the divorce. The only option in the state is to file for divorce on the basis that the marriage is irretrievably broken. This means that neither person has to prove fault for the divorce. Instead, they only have to state there is no hope for reconciliation.
In order to file for divorce in Colorado, at least one party must be a resident of the state for at least 90 days prior to the filing date. The petition must be filed in the county of residence of either spouse. From then, there is a minimum of 90 days to wait before the divorce can be finalized.
Equitable Property Distribution
Property is divided using the equitable property theory in Colorado. This means that everything won't necessarily be divided evenly. Instead, the court will decide what is fair based on several factors. This doesn't mean that homemakers won't get a settlement. The court must take all contributions to the marital estate into account when determining the property division settlement.
The formula for determining alimony payments, or spousal support payments, is a little different in Colorado than what it is in some other states. The total combined income for the couple is considered. Generally, couples with a combined income of more than $75,000 won't have any financial maintenance order unless there are specific circumstances. Couples with a combined income of less than $75,000 will usually have a financial maintenance order that requires the higher earning spouse to pay the lower earning spouse, at least while the divorce process is ongoing.
Child Support and Custody
For couples with children, the support of those children and the custody issues are a big part of the divorce process. For custody, the court looks at a variety of factors, including the wishes of the parents and the relationship the child has with each parent. In addition to that, the court considers how the parents will encourage the child's relationship with the other parent. The child's schooling, community involvement, and other similar factors are also considered.
The parent who doesn't have custody of the child might have to pay child support. A variety of factors goes into the child support formula. The income of both parents is considered, as are other factors like the work-related child care costs and the time each parent spends parenting the child. Support usually continues until the child is 19 or graduates from high school
Going through a divorce isn't easy. Providing financial documents and other necessary paperwork might prove to be somewhat of a challenge. For anyone who is considering a divorce, seeking the help from an experienced divorce attorney can get you started in the right direction.
The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.
Additional Divorce Articles
- When is Spousal Support or Alimony Awarded in Colorado?
- What are Grounds for Divorce in Colorado?
- What are the Laws in Colorado about How Marital Property Will be Distributed After Divorce?
- What are the Residency and Filing Requirements for Divorce in Colorado?