Frequently Asked Questions About Colorado Divorce
At Fletcher Family Law, LLC, we believe in empowering people. Knowledge is power, and the better you understand the law and the legal process, the better equipped you will be to make good decisions and participate in solutions.
After you read our FAQ, we invite you to schedule a consultation at Fletcher Family Law, LLC, to discuss your unique situation and specific questions about Colorado divorce and family law.
Where do I file for divorce in Colorado?
Generally, you can file for divorce with your local court where you live. To get a divorce in Colorado, however, you must have lived in the state for at least 91 days prior to filing. If you have unique circumstances with your residency, your attorney can help you determine where and how to file.
Is there a way to convert my legal separation to a divorce?
If your legal separation has lasted at least 182 days, which is about six months, you may be eligible to file for divorce. However, you must also notify the other spouse when filing for divorce.
Do I need to appear in court to file my final divorce decree?
Each court can make its own decision on whether you need to appear before a judge to finalize your divorce. Some courts may allow you to finalize it without showing up in person if you and your lawyer request it.
What are the criteria for seeking post-divorce alimony?
Not all divorces will result in an alimony award. Generally, Colorado courts will consider three factors when deciding to award alimony, including:
- Whether the receiving party has or could get a job that provides sufficient income
- Whether the paying party has the financial ability to provide support payments
- The ability or inability of the receiving party to support themselves independently
The award could either be a temporary or long-term arrangement, and it may be a lump-sum or recurring payment.
How is property divided in divorce?
The first issue is identifying marital property versus separate property. Marital property refers to all wealth acquired during the marriage, including retirement savings, regardless of who earned more money or whose name is on the accounts. Separate property, such as a house or business that one spouse owned before the marriage, is generally not subject to divorce. Colorado is an equitable distribution state. This means the marital assets must be divided in a fair fashion, but not necessarily 50-50. The parties commonly trade assets, debts and/or lump-sum payments to balance out the math.
How will a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement affect divorce proceedings?
A prenuptial agreement spells out in advance which assets go to each spouse in the event of a divorce. A postnuptial agreement is a similar contract signed at any point after the couple marries. A valid “prenup” or “postnup” supersedes the equitable distribution statute, meaning the divorce settlement could be very lopsided. The prenuptial agreement can also stipulate that the spouse is not entitled to alimony. For these reasons, the court must approve a prenup or postnup to assure full disclosure of assets and informed consent of both parties.
Will my divorce become public record?
Divorce court proceedings are public record. The details are not published in the local paper, but any citizen could request that information. If you are concerned about privacy, divorce mediation sessions and out-of-court divorce settlements can be opted for as they are not public records.
What is the process for restoring my maiden name following divorce?
During the divorce, your lawyer can help you file a motion and affidavit with the court. You can only change your name back to your prior legal name through this method. Other types of name changes will require a separate process.
Do You Have More Questions?
We sincerely hope our FAQ answered at least some of your question but if you have additional questions or would like answers to your unique situation, we encourage you to reach out to our law firm to schedule an initial consultation. Our lead attorney, Cynthia Fletcher, is a good listener and an even better lawyer. Call Fletcher Family Law, LLC, at 303-741-8971 to schedule your initial consultation, or reach out to us via email.