Having an experienced Colorado Springs divorce attorney on your side can significantly reduce the stress during this painful time. The issues about marital property division, children’s guardianship, and everything else that will arise during the process can be complex to deal with and harsh on your psychological health. It is not common for divorce practices to go smoothly, not to mention when the divorce is international, meaning that the complexity and the conflicts that might arise are potentially even greater.
Among all this bad news, something that might help you shed some light on this situation is that if you are facing unique legal challenges in Colorado, we can help you solve even the most complex of problems and legal matters that might concern you. Our Colorado Springs family law firm has the negotiation and trial skills necessary to protect your rights and to help you get a good deal, without having to pass such a terrible time.
To help you have a smoother process, we put together this guide about divorce including everything you might want to know about it to make the process as easy as possible.
Divorce Statistics in Colorado
According to the American Psychological Association, up to 50% of marriages in the US end in divorce. These divorce statistics are alarming and even further complicated by the fact that sequential marriages report an even higher divorce rate.
A report released in December 2019 showing a state by state analysis as of 2018 lists Nevada as having the highest divorce rate. The statistics for Nevada reveal a rate of 4.4 divorces for every 1000 of the population. Illinois, on the other end, came in lowest with 1.5 for every 1000 of the people.
Colorado has a population of close to 5.8 million people. This state is ranked number four for the best wedding destinations, records 34.8% of the population as married. The data collected between 1990 and 2018 show the divorce rate has gone down significantly in Colorado. In 1990 divorce statistics show a rate of 5.5 per 1000 homes. However, in 2018 that rate has gone down to 3.3 per 1000 of the population for a marriage rate of 7.6 for 1000 of the population.
The town to town statistics in Colorado shows Pueblo has the highest divorce rate while Aspen has the lowest at 1%. Pueblo stands at 10%, with a population of people older than 15 years having divorced. This number represents 8798 people out of the whole community of 109985. Sterling ties with 10%, but with 1102 people divorced out of its population of 13775. In third place is Delta, with 631 divorcees out of 8768 people who live in the town.
How To Start The Dissolution Process?
If you are in El Paso County or any other part of Colorado, you can obtain a divorce only if one of the spouses has lived in the state for at least 91 days before the start of the proceeding. If the case involves a minor child, the child must have resided in the state for at least 182 days to start the dissolution process.
In case you are eligible to file for divorce, you must file a petition for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, or declaration of invalidity of marriage. The process involves a “Petitioner” which is the party filing for divorce and a “Respondent”, who has 21 days to file a Response to the Petition after receiving one. In case the respondent is out of the state, he or she will have 35 days to respond.
Related: How to Prepare for Divorce?
Colorado applies the Rules of Civil Procedure in the process of marriage dissolution, legal separation, or declaration of invalidity of marriage. In general, a Decree for Dissolution of Marriage will not be granted before 91 days have passed since the court acquired jurisdiction over the Respondent. That may happen either by service of the Summons and petition on the respondent, with the respondent joining as a co-petitioner, or in entering an appearance in other ways.
Here at Brighter Day℠ Law, our experienced and highly professional family law attorneys are familiar with legal disputes with families and know that they can be one of the most difficult challenges that family members will have to face. With emotions running high, you must make a rational and informed decision without being carried out by some volatile emotional state that might affect your future in the long run.
Also, if children are involved in the decisions, they might be impacted as well, which makes the whole procedure even more stressful. Making the right decision might be extremely tough, but with the right lawyer, you’ll be able to navigate through these difficult times with the security of getting the best outcome for your and your loved ones. You can get the support you deserve by hiring a divorce lawyer in Colorado Springs from our firm.
What are the Differences Between Legal Separation and A Divorce?
Let’s get this straight. A legal separation is different from a divorce as you won’t be legally able to marry another person. In simple words, a legal separation is a situation in which you are still married but separated. A divorce will result in your marriage being legally dissolved by the court.
How Much Does It Cost To File For Divorce?
Here are other painful characteristics of divorces. Getting through the process of ending your marriage will cost you money.
Courts will charge fees for filing legal paperwork. As of April 2020, you can expect to pay a fee of $230 for a divorce petition. When filing other motions or petitions in your divorce processing, you’ll be charged additional fees. You can visit Colorado’s Judicial website to learn more about all of the additional filing fees you might be charged and get an updated figure.
Related: How Much Does a Divorce Lawyer Cost?
Additionally, with a family law attorney, you’ll have to pay his or her hourly fees. The costs can be kept down if you and your spouse agree on all the issues. In the case you find yourselves fighting over several issues, the cost of getting a divorce will most probably rise. The total expenditure on a divorce proceeding depends on many factors and estimating or predicting how much a divorce will cost you can be rather hard.
How Long Does A Divorce Take In Colorado?
When it comes to these types of proceedings, it is common to want everything to be done as quickly as possible. The duration of a divorce process can vary a lot depending on different factors. Some common key elements are typically present in a divorce proceeding and which will affect the duration of the process.
First of all, you should keep in mind that the initial phase of starting a divorce in Colorado takes up a minimum of 90 days. Summons and petitions need to be filed by the court and a response from the spouse is necessary to proceed. The court guarantees you a minimum waiting period of 90 days before granting the divorce. Most of the time, the divorce can get finalized in 91 days or a little bit more.
After the initial filing, you and your spouse are provided with 20 days to submit financial disclosures to the court. If there is no response within the first 20 days, the period can be extended up to 40 days. At this time you might also be given temporary orders, which will increase the duration of your divorce process in El Paso County. The state also requires you to take a parenting course after divorce.
All in all, we can estimate the whole divorce to be over in about three months. However, when it comes to child custody agreements, parenting time, and contested divorce, the time frame might get more complicated and can extend over months, usually between 6 to 12 months, or even more.
How To Respond To Divorce Papers?
It is common not to know what to do once you receive divorce papers. Essentially, you have to choices: either ignore the filing which will result in your divorce being proceeded by default or you can file an answer with the court.
If you ignore the filing, the court will most likely grant your spouse’s requests regarding the division of property and debt, child custody, and child support.
On the other hand, when responding to the petition, you might propose different assets and debt allocation and address a wide range of family law issues such as alimony and child custody. Some states allow for grounds for divorce like adultery, abandonment, and emotional and physical cruelty. You are allowed to respond to or allege grounds of your own in your answer.
Other states allow people to file for divorce based on irreconcilable differences or irretrievable breakdowns of the marriage. If one party believes the marriage cannot be repaired under any ground, the other party’s opinion won’t make any difference in the petition.
What To Do Before Filing For Divorce?
It is advisable to gather all the documentation and relevant information that concerns financial records, inventories, and community property as well as estimations on the amount of child support and alimony required. It is advisable to work with an attorney from the start of the legal process as an experienced lawyer will be able to guide you through the necessary documents needed.
What Is An Uncontested Divorce?
When both spouses agree on all of their issues, the divorce is referred to as uncontested. Different states have different legal requirements to be met before a couple can proceed with such as divorce. You can check with a local attorney or the local courthouse website to get details on the requirements.
Uncontested divorces are much easier than contested ones as there won’t be negotiations, court hearings, or legal posturing involved. That results in lower costs and less stress.
Divorcing spouses must be able to work together and agree on regulations. That usually involves compromises to be made to resolve all of the divorce issues. Even if working with your soon-to-be-ex might not be attractive, it is one of the best ways to end your marriage without a harsh court battle.
How Does Alimony Work?
A spouse is considered to be dependent on the other one when he or she makes less money than the other party. A dependent spouse is a spouse that depends on the other spouse for maintenance and support.
Alimony refers to the payments for support and maintenance of the spouse, either by lump sum or on a continuing basis. The amount of alimony varies widely. The circumstances and certain factors will affect the total alimony. Be mindful that in case the dependent spouse has committed acts of illicit sexual behavior, the supporting spouse is not required to pay any alimony.
Why Choose Our Colorado Springs Divorce Attorneys
Divorce is a decision that can change your family dynamics. With a family attorney by your side to provide you with the necessary support to navigate through these difficult times, you might have an easier time. Brighter Day℠ Law lawyers are not only familiar with family law and procedures but also have skills that will help you both inside and outside family court. Our family law team has the legal knowledge and experience to handle your cases including child custody, child support, divorce, and military divorce.
Our Colorado Springs divorce attorneys are tough negotiators and fierce litigators that will give you the legal counsel and representation you need. At Brighter Day℠ Law you’ll have the opportunity to get attorneys that have a long history of success and that have demonstrated incredible skills when dealing with divorces and other family law matters in El Paso County or nearby areas. Call our legal team today or use the contact form to schedule a consultation to learn how we can help.