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Many are faced with difficult circumstances and need immediate answers. Our hope is that you will be able to find guidance without any involvement in the court system or litigation, but sometimes seeking a knowledgeable opinion is necessary. Speaking with our firm will insure that you will protect yourself legally, while knowing that we promote reconciliation above all other option.
Practicing family law exclusively has exposed our firm to many different questions. If you are seeking general knowledge that may be related to your specific situation, there are many answers to frequently asked questions that may be of use.

What are the grounds for divorce?

For better or for worse, Colorado is a no fault state. This grants the ability for one person to seek a divorce regardless of a reason or justification. The only requirement is that the marriage is deemed “irretrievably broken” by one of the parties. The sad truth to this is that the other person, who did not necessarily want a divorce, must defend himself or herself throughout the whole process.

Does my spouse (or the parent of my child) need to serve me papers?

In order to initiate a divorce or legal separation, the party who filed the Petition must follow a “service of process”. In order to fulfill this process, a copy can be delivered and the recipient can sign a Waiver of Service, acknowledging that the documents were received. If this is unable to be done, a process server may be used to deliver the papers.

Can my spouse divorce me if I object?

If one of the parties deems the marriage irretrievably broken, there is no objection that can be made to stop the proceeding.

I just moved to Colorado, can I file here?

Generally, in order to file a Petition for Dissolution or Legal Separation, you or your spouse must have resided in Colorado for more than ninety-one (91) days before a Petition is filed. If you have a more complicated question about whether Colorado is the right state, please contact our office.

How much will a divorce cost?

The cost of a divorce cannot be predetermined or estimated. Cost is dependent on the amount of involvement of attorneys and the ability of both parties to reach a resolution; if there are many issues consistently arising and calling for immediate attention, the cost will be greater. This is one aspect in the divorce procedure that confirms why we must courteous, decent, and respectful towards one another and attempt to resolve all issues outside of the courtroom. However, whether the other party chooses to do the same is not within our control.

What is the difference Legal Separation and Dissolution?

In a legal sense, a legal separation does not dissolve or annul a marriage; the parties are still married once a legal separation is complete, but all major aspects of the relationship are divided. However, the legal process to obtain a legal separation is identical to a divorce, and if one of the parties chooses to change the legal separation to a divorce, they may do so without the consent of the other party. After a legal separation is entered, you are not technically divorced and thus cannot marry another.

Do I need to have an attorney?

Needing an attorney is a personal choice that each individual needs to make. Many individuals go through the process without an attorney. Often times, this works, and other times it leaves room for more fighting in the future. The process has many land-mines, and often times hiring an attorney pays off many times over in the long run. We recognize that legal services are expenses and often not feasible while going through divorce, but we have also seen that attorneys can save thousands of dollars by getting it right the first time around.

Does a judge have to resolve everything in my case?

No. By behaving amicably towards the other party and using alternative dispute resolution techniques, our firm pushes to resolve issues outside of the courtroom. Resolving issues outside of court is our goal because a judge is endowed with enormous power, and many issues are dictated only by his or her discretion.

Isn't the judge just going to split everything we own half and half?

Not necessarily. Colorado requires the division of marital property to be “equitable” (meaning fair), not equal. For example, if one person is in a more vulnerable financial position than the other, the Court may award more property to the financially vulnerable person to equalize the financial situations of both. One of the technical aspects of this area of law is separate property versus marital property. If, say, a husband had assets when he married, and he kept those assets in his own name, those assets would not be subject to division at a divorce. If, say, a wife had assets when she married, and those assets were used to help buy a home for the couple, then those assets would then be marital assets and would be subject to division at divorce.

Isn't the judge going to give us equal parenting time?

Not necessarily. It is true that unless one of the parents could actually be a danger to the children, fathers and mothers generally each get regular, unsupervised, overnight parenting time. However, there is no set schedule that the Court follows when determining this time. Instead, the Court uses a number of statutory factors to determine what schedule would be in the best interests of the children.

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