The decision to file for divorce is a monumental one. Your entire life is about to change, and you are probably feeling overwhelmed and confused. A trustworthy and compassionate attorney can help ease the burden of the legal process. At Shufflebarger Law Office, P.C. in Fort Collins, we are dedicated to providing our clients the personalized service and detailed advice needed during this difficult time. We have an extensive understanding of Colorado family law and we will leverage that knowledge to help you. Over our years of family law practice, we have gained a reputation in our community for cost-effective and responsive service.
As long as you are legally married and have lived in Colorado for at least 90 days leading up to the divorce, you can seek a dissolution of marriage in Colorado by filing the correct forms with the county court where you or your spouse lives.
As a no fault divorce state, Colorado does not require either spouse to claim that fault was involved in ending the marriage. The only way to establish grounds for divorce in Colorado is for either spouse to assert that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
You and your partner can go to court together or you can file alone. Whoever files will receive a copy of the filing documents. These documents must be shared with the other spouse, either by handing them over directly or having them served by a qualified third-party.
The length of time it takes for a divorce to be finalized depends on how easily spouses are able to agree on terms for property division, spousal support, child support and child custody. Litigation can be time-consuming and expensive, so it is in a divorcing couple’s interests to try to resolve these issues out of court through settlement efforts.
Child custody and visitation can become major points of contention during a divorce. Attorney guidance or mediator input may lead to satisfactory solutions that serve the best interests of children. A child support agreement may also be worked out in settlement talks, setting rules for the noncustodial parent to provide financially for the child’s upbringing.
Because Colorado is an equitable distribution state, property division negotiations must address the question of what each spouse deserves as his or her fair share of marital property. Marital debts are also divided equitably. Each spouse usually gets to hold onto his or her individual property.
If things go smoothly and spouses are able to come to agreements, a judge can review the settlement terms after 90 days and choose to grant the divorce. If a couple is still dealing with ongoing arguments 90 days after the divorce papers are served, the case will proceed toward a trial.
Alimony, which is also called spousal support or spousal maintenance, exists to help a dependent spouse get back on solid financial footing during and after the divorce. Alimony can allow the spouse who is less well-off to maintain the standard of living to which they became accustomed during the marriage.
The length of the marriage and income of each spouse are two of the most influential factors for calculating an alimony award. The standard of living, divorce property division agreement and each party’s age and health are among the other elements that can be considered. The amount of each alimony payment and the schedule and duration of payments are determined by the court. Colorado judges use a standard formula for calculating suggested amounts and duration but can deviate from these suggestions based on the specifics of the case. We make the strongest arguments possible for an alimony determination that best suits our client’s needs and financial ability.
The focused attorneys at Shufflebarger Law Office, P.C. are devoted to the practice of Colorado family law and divorce law. We help individuals in Larimer County and Weld County to approach divorce with care and confidence. To schedule a consultation with one of our qualified Fort Collins lawyers, call our office at 970-232-9732 or contact us online.