Denver Legal Separation Attorney
If you and your spouse are currently dealing with marital disagreements that you haven’t been able to resolve through counseling or discussion, you may be looking into divorce. You should, however, know that there are options available for couples other than divorce, such as legal separation. This may avoid the finality of divorce while providing a good alternative for each spouse to live their life independently.
The processes for a legal separation agreement are essentially the same as for divorce, except that you are legally married in some instances and legally divorced in others. By being separated in this way, both parties are no longer legally tied in their finances while still being legally married. This can provide a solid alternative for couples who are not prepared for divorce.
Your Denver Separation Attorneys: Woody Law Firm, LLC
Our firm focuses exclusively on family law cases, making us uniquely qualified in the field of divorce law. We’ve helped many couples resolve legal issues, and we have provided them with solid and comprehensive legal advice about separation, marriage, divorce, alimony, property division, child custody, and child support. We want to provide you with the information you need to make a sound decision and to look after the protection of your rights.
Although the process of legal separation is similar to divorce, there are distinct differences in the legal ties between you and your spouse. This is what makes it the preferable option for many married couples in Denver. Our team, and experienced legal separation lawyers, at Woody Law Firm, LLC can help you determine what the best option is for you and your spouse,as well as the individual circumstances you might face as a couple. We want to help you find clarity about how legal separation might help you reach the emotional and financial stability you look for.
How Legal Separation Differs from Divorce
The function of legal separation is to hold off the process of divorce. While legal separation isn’t required for divorce, it is often the precursor to it, limiting the legal or financial liability of one spouse until the divorce is finalized. However, this is not the only function of legal separation:it can allow couples to retain joint life or health insurance that would be lost in a divorce. It can also allow enough time to pass until each party can fully qualify for retirement benefits that they would lose if they divorced. Sometimes, legal separation can occur because of religious concerns over divorce.
After six months of legal separation, either spouse can turn the agreement of legal separation into a divorce or dissolution decree.
What Is a Separation Agreement?
A separation agreement must cover the negotiations between you and your spouse on how you want the separation to be, including alimony or spousal support, division of property, child custody, child support, child visitation, and other maintenance agreements regarding separation. The agreement will outline the terms for legal separation, which are binding by the court except those of parenting unless the court finds the agreement to be unreasonable or unfair to one or both of the parties.
If a couple can’t effectively negotiate a separation agreement, the court will make the decision for them. It can be useful to have an attorney experienced in Denver family law who can assist with the process of legal separation through mediation and negotiation. Colorado is a no-fault divorce state, which also applies to legal separation in Denver. To file a petition for legal separation, neither party needs to present evidence of wrongdoing. For a petition to be valid, both parties must simply point to an irrevocable disagreement and accept legal separation as their course of action.
Ultimately, filing for legal separation requires the same amount of effort, money, and time as a divorce, but it provides a slightly different legal outcome.
Family Law FAQs
Q: How do you get legally separated?
A: A couple must file the petition for legal separation and then wait at least ninety days until the court can act on the filing. This amount of time is given for the couple to negotiate separation terms. The petition must include grounds for legal separation, such as irrevocable differences. The couple must meet Colorado’s residency requirement, which states that at least one spouse must have lived in the state for ninety-one days before the day of filing.
Q: How long can you stay legally separated?
A: Once agreements have been made about the terms of separation regarding support, child custody, and property division, a judge will sign the separation agreement, and then each spouse can live their life independently. There is no time limit on legal separation, although after six months either party can file for divorce. Additionally, legal separation often ends if one party wishes to remarry.
Q: Do I have to file for legal separation before divorce?
A: Legal separation is not a requirement for divorce filing. Many divorces begin while spouses are living together. However, legal separation can begin the process of divorce while keeping parties from being financially liable for each other. If the relationship between you and your spouse is constantly conflictive, moving out or filing for legal separation before or during the divorce process can be an effective solution.
Q: Is legal separation allowed in Colorado?
A: Legal separation is allowed in Colorado, but only with the consent and agreement of both parties. If one party files for legal separation and their spouse doesn’t agree to it, the other spouse can request a decree of dissolution, or divorce, as an alternative to legal separation.
Your Denver Legal Separation Attorneys
Whatever circumstances have brought you and your spouse to look into divorce or separation, it is important to receive legal counsel from a Denver separation lawyer and a family law firm who can treat you with compassion, while helping you work through this difficult time. Contact Woody Law Firm, LLC today to learn more about how our experience can serve you in your current situation.