Legal Separation in Colorado
If you’re not prepared for the complexities of a divorce, a legal separation can be a convenient option for separating from your partner without dissolving the marriage.
You may be looking at a legal separation for several reasons, including buying time before the divorce, keeping a mutually-beneficial tax status, and continuing to benefit from health insurance.
Regardless, this doesn’t make the legal separation process any less demanding, as it comes with its fair share of stress, conflicting emotions, and decisive decisions.
That said, navigating the murky waters of legal separation in Colorado is no exception, and neither is its role in assuring your future and protecting your legal and financial rights.
Why Petrelli Previtera LLC
Choosing a legal firm to see you through one of the most challenging periods of your life can be a daunting process–adding to the unwavering headache of a divorce or legal separation.
In between the information overload, heaps of information, and misleading advertising, decisiveness can be elusive.
Here’s why your search for a divorce lawyer should end with us:
- Our attorneys value building trust and accountability with our clients through convenience, emotional support, and excellent customer service.
- We are one of the largest family law firms with offices spread out throughout the nation.
- Options of several well-versed lawyers with years of experience in legal separation and marriage disputes
To start right away, feel free to get in touch with us at (303) 416-7086, and our teams will immediately begin working on securing your future.
Putting Your Needs First
The first step we take with your legal separation is making it less of a “you” problem and more of an “us ” problem.
Once you schedule a consultation, the legal and emotional heavy lifting is something you no longer have to worry about.
We will help you handle the challenging communication with your spouse, filing documentation, and other intricacies of legal separation in Colorado. These include:
1. Setting Up a Framework for Child Custody
The state of Colorado recognizes two types of custody; physical custody and legal custody.
Physical custody primarily deals with parenting time. Legal custody, however, deals with decision-making, such as where your child attends school and the religious upbringing post-separation.
Our lawyers will help you understand the ins and outs of child custody, discover what works for you(and the child), and help create mutually beneficial agreements with the other side.
2. Coming Up with a Plan for Alimony
In Colorado, you and your spouse can agree on a convenient alimony payment between the two of you.
However, if spouse diplomacy fails(often the case), the courts will step in to decide on your behalf.
In both cases, it’s advisable to have the advice and counsel of an experienced family law lawyer by your side to bring context and help protect your financial interests.
3. Helping with Division of Marital Estate
Colorado is a marital property state—this means that the assets gained during the marriage have to be divided equitably during its dissolution.
For this, the court has to determine any prior agreements between the couple, premarital estate, separate properties, and marital properties.
Note that the word equitable doesn’t mean fair, and the court may decide to use a 55-45% split on the marital property. Our attorneys will help you demystify this and many other complicacies of the division of assets under Colorado law.
4. Advising on tax and Financial Planning
Divorce or legal separation may mean a complete overhaul of your taxation status. It also comes with significant changes in your finances, such as the need to rent(or buy ) a new home.
Given the stress of the separation process, it’s easy to make financially unsound decisions or be unaware of any tax changes.
Our lawyers and financial advisors will help you find the best way forward for your finances after your divorce, help you make good decisions, and help you understand your options.
5. HandlingPost-Separation Disputes
Unfortunately, a legal separation doesn’t always mean the end of spousal issues between the two of you. Going forward, spouses always struggle with issues such as the emancipation of children, insurance-related expenses, and alimony.
Besides that, a change in the marital situation of either spouse( such as disability or a change in financial status) may warrant a modification of the divorce agreement.
The Legal Separation Process in Colorado
The legal separation process in Colorado can be long and winding. However, our attorneys know their way around this process and will be there to help you expedite it where possible.
The typical legal separation process in Colorado will start with you filling out the necessary divorce papers, serving them to your spouse, and a judge filing a decree of separation at the tail end of the process.
Here is a step-by-step break-down of the separation process:
- You fill out the appropriate separation forms with the help of a lawyer.
- You file your separation forms at your local county court.
- In the case of a mutual-agreement separation, you can serve the divorce papers to your spouse.
- If that’s not the case, hire a process server to file the papers on your behalf.
Another option involves filing a joint petition which happens when both parties agree on all issues, including child custody, alimony, and property division.
The other spouse has to respond to the served papers within 21 days of them being issued. Once signed, the judge will have to wait for three months(90 days) before dissolving your marriage.
Within these 90 days, the court hopes you can come to an amicable agreement about the terms of the divorce, including alimony, or change your mind altogether.
Frequently Asked Questions About Legal Separation in Colorado
Here are some of the questions that you may have about the legal separation process in Colorado:
1. What are the grounds for divorce in Colorado?
Colorado is a no-fault state. This means that neither of the spouses in the arrangement has to prove that the other spouse did anything wrong.
2. What is the difference between divorce and legal separation in Colorado?
In Colorado, a divorce dissolves a marriage in the eyes of the law. On the other hand, a legal separation is a legal status where the couple remains legally married only in the eyes of the law but lives as divorced.
3. How long should I have lived in Colorado to file a divorce?
The state of Colorado has a residency requirement. This means that either spouse in the legal separation must live in the state for three months (90 days) before filing a petition.
4. Can I date or get married under a legal separation agreement?
Under Colorado law, one can date while under legal separation. However, any marriage or agreement that breaks bigamy law will require a total dissolution of the previous marriage.
We Can Help Secure Your Future
Petrelli Previtera is an Inc 5000-rated law firm named in the 2019, 2020 and 2021 Inc magazine list as and one of the fastest-growing law firms in the country.
We’ve spent the past few decades helping couples secure the future, interests, and finances in family disputes and built an incredible reputation in the process.
For more information, schedule a consultation with us today, and our teams will be more than willing to help.