Many couples going through a divorce get all sorts of information from their friends and family — advice and tips. Your Jefferson County divorce attorney wants to help you better understand the process and what to expect. Join us in today’s post as we discuss some of Colorado divorce laws that differ from other states and how it will impact your separation.

Colorado law supports healthy dissolution of marriage.

Unlike other, more conservative states, that attempt to keep couples married at all cost — requiring marriage counseling, long separation times, placing blame, and requiring permission for a judge — Colorado law attempts to preserve relationships and reduce the “ugliness” of a divorce. There are a few ways that state law helps to do this.

  1. Equitable distribution of property.
  2. Limited child custody mandates — supports equal co-parenting and very rarely declares sole custody.
  3. 90- day waiting period.
  4. No-fault dissolution.

All of these things help to reduce the amount of blame placing and doesn’t encourage pitting spouses against each other to “win” the divorce. In future posts, we will discuss some of the other ways that Colorado divorce law helps to reduce the legal and emotional impact of divorce on families, but today we will focus on no-fault dissolution, specifically.

What is a no-fault divorce?

In many states, when a spouse files for divorce from the other spouse, they must list a reason. This reason has to be something that violates the sanctity of marriage and justifies the request for a divorce. Many states have specific faults that qualify for the blame of divorce — abuse, adultery, infertility — and require proof that the other spouse has committed (or failed to commit) some act that has resulted in the request for a divorce. Based on where the blame can be placed, the division of assets, alimony (or spousal support), and even child custody can be decided in the favor of the “innocent” party and the spouse who is “at fault” will suffer. As you may well assume, this encourages the “ugly divorces” that many people think of. It pits each spouse against each other and encourages each spouse to bring up everything that the other did that resulted in the breakdown of the relationship.

Colorado understands that it takes two people to create a partnership and foster a healthy relationship. Colorado also understands that sometimes there is no one single fault or event that leads to the breakdown of a relationship. A no-fault divorce means that no one spouse can be held responsible, more so than the other, for the dissolution of marriage. One spouse cannot allege that something that the other one did lead to the divorce or attempt to use it as leverage to gain a better outcome, financial or otherwise. No-Fault divorce allows either, or both, parties to simply state that there are irreconcilable differences and the marriage is over.

How does no-fault affect your divorce?

Regardless of the reason for your divorce, Colorado state divorce courts will not consider either spouse’s relationship misconduct or fault for deciding whether or not the divorce will be granted, the division of assets, child custody declaration, or award of alimony or child support. This means that the court system will evaluate each divorce case as though each spouse is equally responsible for the dissolution of marriage and award assets, custody, and financial gain accordingly.

Character, merit, and ability to provide, however, will be determining factors for child custody and support. A history of abuse, drug use, or the inability to care for children will be considered in child custody cases, even if it was not used to place blame on the dissolution of marriage.

The family law attorneys at Petrelli Previtera, we can help you navigate Colorado divorce. With offices in Denver and Highlands Ranch our divorce attorneys are dedicated to helping families through divorce and custody battles. If you are considering divorce, contact us for your consultation.