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Contested Vs. Uncontested Divorces in Colorado

May 21, 2024 | Divorce

Colorado has two types of divorce cases: contested and uncontested. This distinction can impact how long your divorce case will take and how you ultimately resolve it. The experienced Boulder divorce lawyers from Stahly Mehrtens Miner LLC help with contested and uncontested divorces. Here is what you need to know about these cases and how a lawyer can help.

Key Difference Between Contested and Uncontested Divorce Cases in Colorado

The major difference between contested and uncontested divorce cases in Colorado is whether the spouses agree on the material issues involved in their divorce. If they do agree, the case is considered uncontested and proceeds more quickly. The parties, usually through their lawyers, prepare a Marital Settlement Agreement and Parenting Plan (if there are children), which they ask the court to approve and make a binding order.

If they don’t agree, there are other ways to get the spouses to agree, such as negotiation and mediation. If the spouses ultimately cannot agree on these material matters, the court intervenes and renders decisions.

Material Issues in Colorado Divorce Cases

Whether the case is contested or uncontested, spouses going through divorce should each have their own legal representation. Divorce involves important matters that can affect a person’s finances, legal interests, and relationships with their children, so the stakes are high. Whether the spouses agree on these matters and put their agreement in writing or the spouse determines the issues, these decisions can impact their lives for many years.

The material issues in Colorado divorce cases can include:

  • Property division – The spouses may disagree about which property is marital and subject to division and which is separate. They could also disagree on the value of the property or how to divide it. If the court has to handle property division, it determines how to divide the property equitably.
  • Debt division – The court can also divide marital debts equitably between the parties, or the spouses could determine what is a fair division of the debt.
  • Child custody – To have an uncontested divorce, the spouses must agree on decision-making, parenting time, and child support, if they have children.
  • Child support – Child support is often ordered in Colorado divorce cases, but the parents may disagree about the amount of support that is appropriate for their particular case.
  • Spousal support – Spousal support is not based on a formula like child support is. Courts consider various factors to determine whether an award of spousal support is appropriate and how much that support should be.

Benefits of Uncontested Divorce

There are several benefits of uncontested divorce, including:

  • It is more affordable.
  • It is faster.
  • It is less adversarial.
  • It can be resolved more efficiently.
  • It is less stressful.
  • It is more private because you do not have to have public hearings in the case.

Uncontested cases can become contested if the spouses do not agree on one or more issues. Contested cases can sometimes become uncontested if the spouses reach an agreement through negotiation or mediation. Even when a case is uncontested, it is important to have legal representation so your interests are protected and you avoid mistakes.

Contact Our Colorado Divorce Lawyers for Help with Your Contested or Uncontested Divorce Case

At Stahly Mehrtens Miner LLC, we regularly represent clients in contested and uncontested divorce cases. Contact us today for a confidential consultation.

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