The stress, emotional strain, hardships that come with a divorce are well-documented. It is possible to reduce this stress with the guidance of a seasoned family law attorney. Even if you and your spouse mutually agree that you should separate, there are numerous elements of the divorce process—ranging from parenting decisions to financial support, to even the division of marital assets—that could be extremely difficult for you to handle effectively on your own.  These issues become complicated and litigious easily when other factors become involved, such as substance abuse, domestic violence or other abuse.

You do not have to face the challenges of a divorce alone. From complex property division to child custody, a Littleton divorce lawyer can advise you on every aspect of your divorce case.

The Divorce Process

Like many other states, Colorado allows for no-fault divorces, meaning that a person seeking a dissolution of their marriage does not have to name any specific grounds for their divorce other than the fact that their marriage is “irretrievably broken.” Unlike many other states, though, these are also the only grounds for divorce recognized by Colorado state courts. This means there is no option to pursue a fault-based divorce in Colorado.

Before a divorce can begin, certain qualifications must be met. Not every couple will qualify to file for divorce in Littleton, as the County in which you, or the other person, reside, will be central to the issue of where to commence the case.  Further, there is residency requirement to file within the State of Colorado.

Although with enough time, these jurisdictional requirements can generally be met.

In order for a Colorado court to enter a decree of dissolution, Colorado Revised Statutes §14-10-106 requires the party seeking the divorce to have lived in the state for at least 90 days before their initial filing, and another 90 days to have passed after the filing party served the necessary divorce papers on their spouse.

This window of time expands to a minimum of 182 days in order to achieve “home state” jurisdiction of the minor child pursuant to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, referenced in C.R.S. §14-13-201. A lawyer could help ensure a Littleton resident meets these necessary divorce requirements.

Once one spouse meets all necessary qualifications, the process of filing for divorce in Littleton starts with a Petition for the Dissolution of Marriage. The Petition is a legal document that must be filed with the court and served upon the other party. The person filing for divorce is known as the Petitioner, while the other spouse is the Respondent. The amount of time the Respondent has to answer the Petition depends if they live in-state or not. In-state spouses have 21 days to respond, while out-of-state respondents get 35 days.

The court will not enter a final order in a divorce case right away. This is true even in cases where the Respondent does not answer the Petition, or refuses to participate in the case. According to the law, the court must wait at least 91 days following service to conclude a divorce case.  Colorado refers to this as the “cooling off” period.

What is an Uncontested Divorce?

Not all divorces are long, drawn-out court battles. In some situations, a Littleton lawyer could help resolve a divorce amicably and without extensive delays or conflict. This is primarily possible through something known as an uncontested divorce.

A divorce is uncontested when both spouses agree on all of the issues at the outset of the process and quickly after the exchange of financial disclosures. Even when a divorce is not particularly amicable, it is not uncommon for both sides to see eye-to-eye on some or all of the major issues.

There are certainly benefits to uncontested divorces. When there are no issues to litigate, the process typically moves much faster compared to cases that are hotly contested. For that reason, uncontested divorces are typically much less expensive than divorces that require litigation.

While uncontested divorces are fairly common, some marriages cannot be dissolved entirely free of conflict.  Colorado Divorce Law Group is here and ready to litigate whenever uncontested resolution is not the answer.

Speak to a Littleton Divorce Attorney As Soon As Possible

The dissolution of a marriage is never easy, but in many cases, it is the best option for everyone involved. With the right legal team by your side, it could be possible to reduce or eliminate the stress that is common with divorce.

Let a Littleton divorce lawyer protect your rights from the beginning of the process to the end. To learn more about your options, call Colorado Divorce Law Group for a free consultation today.