You Filed For Divorce. What Now?
Filing for divorce is only the first step. It is not realistic to expect the process to happen overnight. Several events need to occur before you can officially dissolve the marriage. At Stahly LLC, we can help you through these steps to relieve part of the stress you may feel. With our team on your side, you should not feel lost at any stage of your case. We make it a priority to keep you in the loop along the way.
The First Three Months
In most cases, your spouse has 20 days to file a response after being served the petition for dissolution of marriage. An initial status conference will be scheduled within 42 days after filing the summons and petition. Initial status conferences will set specific dates and discuss the specific issues of your divorce.
You may have a temporary orders hearing after the initial settlement conference. Temporary orders can address matters such as use of marital property (i.e. who might live in the marital residence while the case is pending), child support, parenting time/decision-making (meaning custody), temporary payment of attorney’s fees, allocation and payment of bills during the pendency of the case and spousal maintenance until the divorce has been finalized.
Within 42 days of serving the petition, both spouses must submit financial disclosures. You must detail your bank accounts, debts, assets, income and other financial obligations. You will also be involved in the discovery process. Discovery allows both spouses to request additional information, gather documents and submit interrogatories. Interrogatories are documents that include a list of questions you can ask your spouse. Document requests can be made in order to gain additional information about the issues in your case.
Finalizing The Divorce
Litigating a divorce is not cheap and can extend the divorce process. Under Colorado law, you must attempt to settle out of court before going to court. Settlement attempts include mediation and even parenting classes, if applicable. Having the assistance of an experienced attorney and a seasoned mediator is essential to reaching a favorable resolution in your case.
If you and your spouse decide to settle outside of court, you will submit a final Separation Agreement which details a division of property and debts, child support (if applicable) and maintenance. If you and your spouse cannot agree, you will need to go to trial. If you go to trial, a judge will make decisions related to all of the issues in your case that are not settled or agreed upon.