Even in the most ideal circumstances, divorce can be a difficult process. It is time-consuming and stressful, and it brings up a lot of potentially unpleasant emotions. Understanding the divorce process and how assets will be divided is one of the more challenging aspects of finalizing a divorce. An experienced Denver divorce attorney can guide you through each stage of the divorce process. Trust the team at Woody Law Firm, LLC, for all your divorce needs.
The Basics of Divorce in Colorado
When a couple makes the decision to end their marriage, there are many details and choices that must be considered. To be able to file for divorce in Colorado, a couple must meet several basic requirements. These include:
- One or both spouses must have had permanent residency in Colorado for at least 91 days.
- At least 91 days have passed since the summons was filed.
- The respondent spouse is under the personal jurisdiction of Colorado.
- Any children of the couple must have lived permanently in Colorado for at least 181 days.
There are many other steps and details that go into a divorce. If these criteria are met, then a spouse can file the initial divorce petition. Once the petition is accepted, the full divorce proceedings will begin. When a spouse files the necessary paperwork for a divorce, they must also include grounds for the divorce.
Grounds for Divorce
Colorado is a no-fault divorce state. This means that the spouse seeking a divorce is not required to provide specific details for why they are seeking a divorce. They are also not required to provide any evidence of wrongdoing for the divorce to be granted. Despite this, an individual filing for divorce is required to list grounds, or the reason, for their filing.
In Colorado, the most commonly accepted ground for divorce is that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” This means that there has been a significant breakdown in the marriage. The relationship is no longer working, and there is no hope of it being repaired. If a judge agrees that the marriage is irretrievably broken, then they will grant the divorce.
Asset Division and Spousal Support
There are two significant decisions that must be made during a divorce proceeding. One is determining how the marital assets will be divided. The other is deciding whether spousal support, or maintenance, is necessary. There are many factors that a judge will consider when making these determinations.
Asset division is decided based on the rule of equitable distribution. This means that, rather than any assets being split evenly down the middle, a judge will establish the value of any assets and decide what a fair and equitable division would be. If the value of the assets is straightforward, then this process will be simple. If there are multiple larger assets, such as businesses, it may take a stricter evaluation.
Spousal support, also known as maintenance, must also be decided. In these instances, the spouse that has a higher income may be required to pay the lower-earning spouse a regular stipend. This is intended to equalize the incomes for both spouses both during the divorce proceedings and after the divorce is finalized. Spousal support can either be temporary or permanent, depending on the specific details of each case.
Q: Is Colorado a 50/50 State in Marriage?
A: Colorado is not a state that splits all marital assets 50/50 in the event of a divorce. Judges who rule in divorce cases in Colorado use the rule of “equitable distribution.” This rule dictates that the judge will divide assets based on what they consider fair for the specific circumstances of each case. This process can be simple if there is a clear, set value for assets. In some circumstances, however, it can be much more difficult to determine the value of an asset and how it should be distributed.
Q: How Long Do You Have to Be Married in Colorado to Get Maintenance?
A: The state of Colorado does not have a strict rule on how long a marriage must last for a spouse to get maintenance. Judges have a list of guidelines and suggestions to follow when they are ruling on marriages. These apply to marriages that lasted between three years and twenty years, so receiving spousal support within that time frame is much easier. If you have been married for less than three years, you may still request maintenance. However, you will need to provide an adequate reason for it.
Q: Does the Wife Get Half in a Divorce in Colorado?
A: There are certain circumstances where a wife may receive half of all assets in a divorce, but that is not guaranteed in Colorado. In most cases, the marital assets will be divided in a way that is fair for both parties. If a 50/50 split is most equitable, or was decided on prior to the divorce ruling, that will be the judge’s final decision. If, however, that is not a fair and equitable division, then the judge will have all assets evaluated. They will then determine the fairest division.
Q: What Is a Spouse Entitled to in a Divorce in Colorado?
A: Colorado follows a rule of equitable distribution. This means that each spouse in a divorce is entitled to their fair share of the marital assets. This often includes making decisions regarding spousal support and asset division. There are many key factors that determine what an equitable distribution is. These include the income of both spouses and the length of the marriage. Each case must be decided individually.
Contact Woody Law Firm, LLC
Even in the most ideal circumstances, the process of finalizing a divorce is difficult. The time commitment, attention to detail, and emotions involved can make the process harder to manage. Regardless of challenges, it is important to ensure that both parties in a divorce receive the assets that they are entitled to. An experienced Denver divorce attorney can help give you peace of mind and work to ensure an equitable distribution. Contact the team at Woody Law Firm, LLC, today for all your divorce needs.