Colorado Springs Divorce Lawyer

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Colorado Springs Divorce Lawyer

Colorado Springs Divorce Attorney

The overall divorce rate continues to trend down, but divorce remains prevalent in this country. Divorces reached a 40-year low in 2020 and 2021 before slightly increasing in 2022 to 14.56 divorces per 1,000 married women. While no one plans to get divorced when they marry, it is a reality for millions of Americans. For those who go through Colorado’s family court system, having a Colorado Springs divorce lawyer could prove crucial to protecting assets and rights.

How Does a Divorce Work in Colorado Springs?

Anyone who wants to file for divorce in Colorado must first meet eligibility requirements. The marriage must be lawful. Polygamous marriages, for example, are not legal in the United States, so no court could oversee a polygamous marriage. However, Colorado recognizes common-law marriage, so any common-law marriage from Colorado or another state can be handled through the court system.

Eligibility and Jurisdiction

One of the spouses must have been a Colorado resident for 91 days or longer before filing a petition for divorce. If the case involves children, the children must have resided in Colorado since birth or for at least six months. The court where you file must have jurisdiction. This is usually met if you file in the same county where you and your spouse reside.

One way you can make sure that you are eligible for divorce and that your county has jurisdiction over the marriage is by working with an experienced Colorado Springs family law attorney who has helped clients in your area successfully finalize divorces with favorable outcomes.

Filing for Divorce

Lawyers use the term “filing” for divorce because there is a petition that you literally file with the court. This can be done jointly or separately. Petitions are usually accepted both online and in person. As of 2024, the fee for filing for divorce is $230. This is likely not to be your only fee. If you are filing separately, you will need to pay for someone to “serve” your spouse. This provides them with proper notice of the proceedings.

Although it is technically possible to file for divorce without legal representation, having an experienced family law attorney by your side has many benefits. An attorney who practices family law in Colorado Springs will understand Colorado’s complex family code laws that govern how domestic relations and divorces are handled. The laws are continually changing, and failure to understand how these laws work could prove detrimental to your case.

Mandatory Waiting Period

Once your petition for divorce is accepted by the court, you will have to wait 91 days before your divorce can be finalized. Even if you and your spouse resolve every related issue, the courts will not finalize the divorce until this waiting time has passed. Waiting times are intended to provide both parties time to reflect on their decision and to provide adequate time for both parties to complete the often complicated work of settling financial and domestic issues.

If you want to finalize your divorce as soon as possible, you can work with a family law attorney during the waiting period to resolve and settle matters of asset division, child custody, and other family law matters.

Tips for how to appropriately use the mandatory waiting period include:

  • Accounting for all assets and debts
  • Preparing living situations for after divorce
  • Meet regularly with your family law attorney
  • Finalizing an agreement offer that meets your goals

Your spouse will have to agree to the terms of the divorce before a judge will sign the divorce decree. Any disagreements that are not resolved by the 91-day mark will likely delay your divorce.

Does Separation and Annulment Work?

There are three ways to effectively end a marriage: divorce, separation, and annulment. A legal separation does not provide the level of finality that a divorce does, but some people have personal reasons why a legal separation works for them. There are many reasons why someone may opt for a legal separation.

  • Financial Reasons: Legal separation allows couples to maintain certain financial benefits, such as health insurance coverage or tax benefits, which might be lost in a divorce.
  • Religious or Cultural Beliefs: In some religious or cultural contexts, divorce is strongly frowned upon or even prohibited. Legal separation offers a way to live separately while still adhering to these beliefs.
  • Emotional Uncertainty: Legal separation can be a less abrupt step than divorce, providing time for both parties to evaluate their feelings and decisions without finalizing the end of the marriage.
  • Children: Couples may choose legal separation to maintain stability for their children. This option provides a structured arrangement for co-parenting without the finality of divorce.
  • Healthcare Benefits: Legal separation can allow one spouse to remain eligible for the other spouse’s healthcare benefits, which might be crucial if there are health issues or significant medical expenses.
  • Property Ownership: Couples might opt for legal separation to maintain joint ownership of property or assets while living separately, avoiding the need for immediate property division.

Individuals may opt for legal separation for personal or professional reasons. If you opt for legal separation, you will still have to comply with the 91-day waiting period rule. Another way to end a marriage is through annulment. This effectively means that the marriage never happened because it was fraudulent or unlawful.

The courts may declare a marriage invalid if:

  • Both sides did not consent to the marriage
  • Either party was not of sound mind when entering into marriage
  • One party lacks the ability to consummate the marriage
  • One or both parties were underage at the time they were married
  • The marriage resulted from misrepresentation (a lie or trick) by one party
  • One or both parties entered the marriage under duress (force or threat)

What Issues Could Be Addressed During Divorce?

Every divorce case is unique and requires dutiful attention from a family law attorney. In general, child custody, child support, spousal support, and asset divisions must be addressed before the divorce can be finalized.

  • Child custody: Any couple that has children will have to resolve disagreements on co-parenting before a divorce can be finalized. This is often one of the more complex and emotional tasks for a family law attorney in Colorado Springs. Parents may have difficulty accepting the new reality of parenting after divorce. A family law attorney can offer practical solutions for parenting schedules.
  • Child support: Child support ensures that children are able to maintain living standards. When one parent makes significantly more money, the courts may order that parent to contribute to the other parent. Another factor the courts may consider is the division of parenting time. More parenting time often means greater costs that may require financial contributions from the other parent.
  • Spousal support: Spousal support, also known as alimony, is awarded on a case-by-case basis when a judge deems it reasonable and necessary. One of the main considerations is the disparity between the earning power of both spouses. Spousal support usually is not awarded for a lifetime. It can be ordered as part of a temporary or final order on a temporary or long-term basis.
    The judge may order spousal maintenance for the duration of the divorce proceedings, especially if one spouse does not currently work and was a stay-at-home parent.
  • Post-decree modification: The signing of a final divorce decree may mean the end of litigation for some former couples, but that is not always the case, especially when child support, spousal maintenance, and parenting time are involved. Life situations change, and court orders may need to be modified accordingly in order to reflect those changes.
    For example, one parent may move farther away. Parents who fail to exercise their parenting time may have their visitation rights reduced if it is deemed in the best interest of the child. Modifications require the petitioner to demonstrate that a substantial change in the lives of the parents and children has occurred since the decree was signed.
  • Business division: A divorce could mean disaster for a business, but it doesn’t always have to. With the right family law lawyer in Colorado Springs, you may be able to save your business by searching for alternatives to dissolving the company. Saving a business often has long-term benefits for the parent’s long-term finances.
  • Division of property: Along with child custody orders, the division of assets during a divorce in Colorado Springs can lead to disagreements. Colorado views marital property as belonging to both spouses. Properties and assets acquired during a marriage are to be divided in a fair and equitable manner. A judge will decide how assets are divided if both parties cannot come to an agreement.

Altering a divorce decree may not be feasible or even possible later on. During a divorce, both parties should take the decisions they make very seriously. Few agreements have as long-lasting effects as a divorce decree.

How Long Will My Divorce Take?

By the time someone has decided to divorce or has accepted that the other spouse no longer wishes to be married, the appropriate course of action is to finalize the divorce as soon as reasonably possible. The main obstacle to resolving marriage disputes comes when one spouse is not cooperative or is making unreasonable demands. These are known as contested divorces. When there is strong animosity from one or both parties, the divorce can become contentious.

A family law attorney in Colorado Springs will work to resolve disputes and impediments so the divorce can be finalized. Ideally, both parties will come to a common agreement by the time the 91-day waiting period ends. When one side is uncooperative and unreasonable, those actions are ultimately looked down upon by the courts.

High Net Worth Divorces

Divorces that involve high-net worth families can have added complications. Before any divorce can be finalized, the estate must be divided equitably between the two parties. This can become more complicated with high-net worth families that have assets spread across multiple investments.

High-earning couples have a greater interest in hiding assets and properties. This can require that one or both parties hire outside accounting forensics firms to ensure that the other side is being open and transparent about financial disclosures. If you come from a high net-worth family, work with an attorney who has experience dividing large estates that may include multiple properties, trusts, and other complicated documents and forms of assets.

Mediation To Settle Disputes

When both parties cannot agree on the terms of a divorce, mediation can offer a way forward. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution where a neutral party (the mediator) who is trained in conflict resolution oversees the process of coming to an agreement on how to resolve disputes.

During the mediation, both parties meet with the mediator. One issue is resolved at a time until, hopefully, both parties come to an agreement on outstanding issues. By working with a third party, the spouses are often more likely to compromise and come to a consensus.

Even when all issues are not fully resolved, mediation can be very helpful because anything that is agreed upon becomes binding, meaning there will be fewer issues to deal with in the event that the case goes to trial. An experienced mediator understands how to listen to both sides so both parties feel that their sides are heard and understood.

Final Trial

Most divorces are finalized without the need to go to a final trial. Mediation is often considered an effective resource for avoiding trial. A family court trial can easily add several months or even years to the timeline of a divorce. The amount of prep work that has to happen at trial is considerable. During the trial, both sides present evidence. Parents and witnesses can testify before a judge renders a final decision.


Q: How Much Does a Divorce Lawyer Cost in Colorado?

A: Most divorce attorneys work on a billable-hour basis. Under this system, the lead attorney charges a set hourly rate while any legal aides also charge by the hour. Retainers are usually paid at the onset of representation.

The up-front sums of money are then debited as legal services are rendered until the retainer runs out. The hourly rate of an attorney is largely dependent on how much experience the lawyer has and how successful they are at delivering positive outcomes to clients.

Q: How Much Does It Cost to Get a Divorce in Colorado Springs?

A: Factors that determine how much it costs to get a divorce in Colorado Springs include filing costs, court fees, attorney fees, and any fees paid to outside professionals like forensic accountants. The cost of a divorce will tend to be higher for complex and high-conflict cases that require litigation.

Every case is unique, so there is no reliable means of predicting the cost of a divorce, but working with an experienced family law attorney can ensure that everything on your end is handled correctly and efficiently.

Q: How Long Do You Need to Be Separated Before Divorce in Colorado?

A: You do not need to be separated before getting a divorce in Colorado. Some states require the spouses to live separately for a set period of time before a divorce can be finalized. Colorado is not one of those states. Some couples are cohabiting when they file for divorce. The only requirement is that couples wait 91 days after filing before the divorce is finalized.

Although there is no separation requirement in Colorado, the divorce process is often easier for both parties when they elect to live separately during the waiting period.

Q: What Is the Fastest Way to Get a Divorce in Colorado?

A:  The fastest way to get a divorce is to have a plan and hire an experienced family law attorney. Many people face unexpected delays by trying to represent themselves in court or by filing to research a quality attorney. Having the right attorney can help you plan ahead and anticipate potential delays in your divorce. When serious disagreements erupt, your family law attorney will work with the other side to find common ground to agree on.

Q: What Could Delay My Divorce Finalizing?

A: Every divorce is unique, but there are commonalities that often delay family court cases. One factor is the level to which you and your spouse are ready and willing to work pragmatically toward a common goal. When disagreements can be resolved quickly, there is a greater chance that the case can be settled in just over three months. Another factor is the level of experience of both spouse’s legal counsel. Inexperienced attorneys can delay cases considerably.

Schedule Your Colorado Divorce Consultation Today

The decision to end a marriage is always difficult. The attorneys at The Law Center P.C. are here to help you through the entire process, from the initial filing to negotiations and final divorce finalization. We provide personalized legal services and take pride in the fact that our lawyers form lifelong relationships with clients, both as counselors and advisers. To schedule your consultation, contact our office today.

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