Divorce is a legal proceeding that formally separates two lives into two singular units. It relies on Colorado Revised Statutes to address multiple matters that must first be resolved. If you are involved in a divorce matter in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas, the experienced and knowledgeable Steamboat Springs family law lawyers of Stahly Mehrtens LLC are ready to guide you through the legal process. We’ll ensure that you’re treated fairly. Schedule your consultation after you finish reading this page.
Is It Necessary to Get a Legal Separation Before Filing for Divorce?
Although some states do require that a couple goes through a legal separation process before they file for divorce, Colorado does not. In fact, you may find that there are advantages and disadvantages to physically separating from your spouse before filing for divorce.
One advantage of separation is that both you and your spouse may decide that you want to work things out because you do love each other. You both have the opportunity to discover what it’s like to live on your own before getting a divorce while also keeping the marital benefits of staying on a spouse’s insurance. You could still file your taxes jointly as well.
However, there are also disadvantages as well. It costs more to live separately. If you have children together, they may be negatively impacted. Another disadvantage is that if divorce does occur and you left the marital home and the children, your spouse may be the one who receives the home and primary allotment of parenting time and responsibilities.
You may wish to obtain legal advice before you decide to leave the marital home in a separation.
Common Issues in Steamboat Springs Divorces
There are several matters in a divorce that must be resolved before the divorce can be finalized. These matters can be agreed to by the spouses during mediation or through a settlement agreement. If necessary, the assigned judge can make the decisions. The common issues that must be resolved in a divorce include:
- Assigning marital property and debts, which may include business interests, trusts, retirement accounts, and stock options among other assets
- Determining who will retain the marital home
- If the couple shares minor children, determining the allotment of parenting time and responsibilities along with child support
- Considering and establishing spousal maintenance, if appropriate and applicable
Types of Divorces in Steamboat Springs
The most common types of divorce in Steamboat Springs include:
- Contested divorce: A contested divorce occurs when at least one spouse disagrees with how to settle at least one issue within the proceeding. When a divorce matter is contested, they are generally more expensive and take longer to complete.
- Uncontested divorce: An uncontested divorce occurs when both spouses agree with the divorce proceeding and how all of the associated issues will be settled.
- Collaborative divorce: A collaborative divorce is for couples who get along very well. It is similar to an uncontested divorce. Both spouses have their own attorneys and negotiate via their lawyers to settle their issues. Simply put, they collaborate to get through the process faster.
How Is Marital Property Addressed in Divorce Matters?
In Colorado, marital property is addressed by statute not as community property but in a manner referred to as “fair and equitable.” This does not mean that the assets that are determined to be marital will be split 50/50. It means that the assets must be split between the spouses in a way that the Court will agree is both fair and equitable to the parties.
As such, the spouses have the option to attend mediation or to work with their attorneys to come to a settlement agreement. If they are able to do so, the Court must review the settlement agreement to ensure that it is fair to the parties. If the Court agrees, the agreement will be signed as an order.
Child Custody and Support
The State of Colorado refers to child custody as the allotment of parental time and responsibilities. In many divorces, this is a very contentious matter along with child support. With an experienced attorney, you can work with the other parent to ensure that there is adequate and appropriate parenting time and responsibilities split based on the circumstances within your family unit. The State of Colorado also allows the parents to agree upon a fair child support payment amount.
Stahly Mehrtens LLC: Steamboat Springs Divorce Lawyers
Divorce, with or without children, can be a complex legal process. It is crucial that you obtain legal representation so that you are treated fairly throughout the entire process. To get started, schedule your consultation with the Steamboat Springs divorce lawyers of Stahly Mehrtens LLC now.