Divorce law sets much of the calendar and divorce law may change whenever the Legislature convenes, so, as soon as you think you might need one, call in the Centennial, Colorado, family divorce experts for the most up-to-date information.

 

The Basics

Colorado law required a 91-day period from the initial “Petition for Dissolution” to the day a judge can legally sign the final decree. If you file the petition right after Labor Day, don’t expect a decree in time for Thanksgiving. Even the best divorce (if such a thing exists) is complex and emotional and you must get it right the first time or risk dragging the process out for months or years. Both parties must agree on every term. This includes dissolution of assets and financial arrangements, alimony and child support, if appropriate, and more. If the family includes children, both parents must complete a parenting class. There is also the court calendar, which is essentially out of everyone’s control, even the courts’.

 

Paperwork

Some items will be needed by everybody:

  • “Affidavit of Non-Appearance” — signed under oath by each party, it affirms that each spouse has received, understands and is satisfied with the financial disclosure and agreement.
  • “Separation Agreement” is the statement that both parties have agreed to the terms of their legal separation — financial, custodial, visitation, etc. — if drafted without going to court.
  • If the separation agreement is adjudicated by the court after a hearing (or hearings), it’s called “Permanent Orders”.

Specific circumstances may require other forms, such as, if you sell the family home.

 

Going to Court

If spouses can agree privately, fewer court dates and less time are required. If children are involved, the court may require a “Non-Contested Permanent Orders Hearing” to satisfy the judge both parties really have agreed to everything and that terms are fair.

When one spouse contests the divorce, additional problems arise and the celebrity divorces that go on for years in tabloid headlines should make us all nervous. Fight your spouse only when it can’t be avoided; you will spend more time, effort, emotional and financial capital — and you can never predict how much it will cost or how long it will take. So, ask yourself, is this fight absolutely necessary? If so, go for it; if not, compromise.

 

The Final Decree

When everyone is as satisfied as they will get, the judge and the parties will sign the decree and the marriage is legally dissolved. It’s probably been a stressful and challenging year — or more, you can never tell — so take a deep breath and start your new life.

 

For more information on divorce planning tips and posts regarding the overall process or any of the details, look through the free resources here in our blog, or contact us today for more information.

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