The Colorado Revised Statutes to end a marriage are dense and full of deadlines. Although you aren’t required to hire a Denver divorce lawyer, it’s best to work with one so that no deadlines are missed, you understand what’s expected of you as a party to the divorce, and you can be assured that you’re treated fairly under the law. If you are in Denver and the surrounding areas and you are considering a divorce or you are already involved in a divorce, schedule a consultation with Stahly Mehrtens LLC.
Are You Required to File for a Separation Before Divorce in Colorado?
You may know friends and family in other states where it is mandatory to file for a legal separation before entering into a dissolution of marriage, more commonly known as divorce. In Colorado, it is not legally required to file for a separation or enter into a separation before you determine that a divorce is in your best interest.
With that said, you and your spouse may wish to enter into a trial separation to determine if a divorce is an option that you wish to pursue. However, doing so is not legally necessary. In some familial situations, you may find that entering into a separation before and during the divorce if there’s significant tension, emotional or financial, to keep the peace. Doing so may make the situation more amicable while a settlement agreement is worked out.
What Is a Wife Entitled to in a Divorce in Colorado?
Under Colorado Revised Statutes, both spouses are entitled to an equitable share of the marital assets from the divorce. They are also entitled to take on their equitable share of the marital debts. Depending on the specifics involved in the matter, she may also be entitled to receive spousal support and maintenance, sometimes referred to as alimony.
During the divorce process, the spouses would determine which property is considered separate property and which property is considered marital property. Generally speaking, separate property is property that each spouse brought into the marriage with them that they alone owned. However, there are times when separate property may acquire additional value. The value that was attained during the length of the marriage may be considered marital property.
Complex marital property is distributed under Colorado law by a process referred to as equitable distribution. This does not mean that the property will be split 50/50, however. The Court takes several factors into consideration, but, you and your spouse also have the ability to come to a settlement to decide who will receive what out of the marital property.
Who Has to Leave the House in a Denver Divorce?
The first question to consider is whether the home is a marital asset. You may need legal guidance to determine this. If the house was your separate property but you added your spouse to your home or they’ve otherwise paid on the mortgage or added onto it financially in some way, it may legally become a marital asset. So, you both may be allowed to legally remain in the home at that time.
However, if there is a temporary order issued against you or the other party stating that the named party must not remain in the home, then that person must leave. Aside from that, either party may stay or may choose to leave. Leaving of your own volition may also come with financial consequences before the divorce is final. Seek legal advice before leaving the marital home, especially if you and your spouse share minor children who live in the home.
Is Spousal Support Mandatory in Denver?
Spousal support isn’t legally mandated in Colorado. There are several factors that are weighed to determine whether spousal support and maintenance (alimony) are necessary. For example, to recieve spousal maintenance, also referred to as alimony, you must show that:
- The marriage lasted for a minimum of 10 years
- One spouse is unable to support themselves
- The other spouse is able to support that spouse
However, spousal support is not automatic. There are many other factors considered.
How Is Child Custody Determined During a Denver Divorce?
Child custody, referred to in Denver and the remainder of Colorado as the allocation of parental responsibilities, is one of the most contentious matters. The allocation of parental responsibilities is broken down into two separate areas:
- Parenting time, referred to in other states as physical custody
- Allocation of decision-making responsibilities referred to in other states as legal custody
The State of Colorado prefers that, when possible, parents share the allocation of decision-making responsibilities. However, the Court weighs several factors when determining overall “child custody” matters that we can summarize as the best interests of the child:
- The child’s happiness
- The child’s mental health
- The child’s emotional health and development
- The child’s physical and emotional security
Call Stahly Mehrtens LLC Today
Divorce may be necessary for you, but it’s also imperative that you receive your rightful share of the marital assets and parenting time. Schedule your consultation with the Denver divorce lawyers of Stahly Mehrtens LLC now.