Divorce can be difficult, especially if you're dealing with children involved. You will need to know how to prepare for divorce in Colorado when the time comes to actually be separated from your spouse. An experienced Colorado Springs divorce attorney can help you navigate through the grounds for divorce and ensure that everything goes smoothly.
Research Different Divorce Strategies
If you're filing for divorce in Colorado, you don't need to prove fault. You just need to say that your marriage has broken down irretrievably. After that, you may choose from several different methods for settling the case.
An uncontested divorce is when both parties agree to the divorce and settle their differences amicably. If you are in need of an uncontested divorce attorney then call Jeanne M. Wilson today. Usually, they work out an agreement for things like child custody, child maintenance, and spousal support.
A legal separation agreement is usually drafted by a lawyer and signed by both parties before appearing in court for a final hearing. If child custody arrangements are acceptable to both parents, the court may issue a judgment of dissolution of marriage or a divorce decree and enter a final order.
You and your spouse may choose to go through a court-ordered mediation instead of going to trial. If you don't want to go through court-ordered mediation, you can always ask for one. Mediation provides an unbiased third person to help both marital parties reach an agreement. This is usually a calmer and less expensive approach to divorce compared to taking your divorce to trial.
What is an Uncontested Divorce?
Contested vs. Uncontested is an important distinction that could affect what the rest of your divorce looks like. An uncontested divorce is typically the easiest kind, while a contested one can be complicated and lead to a lengthy legal battle in court. An uncontested divorce implies you and your ex-partner either agree to the terms right away or can cooperate to eventually agree. A contested divorce means that you and your partner disagree about the terms of the separation and need the courts to help come to an agreement.
An uncontested (or no contest) divorce is most likely to occur when both parties are willing to compromise and there isn't any hostility between them. Couples who are unable to come to terms with their differences should definitely seek legal help with such a complicated divorce from an experienced attorney.
Keep All Important Financial Documents and Records in One Place
The divorce process can be an emotional experience over marital property and financial assets. You may find yourself feeling confused about how to divide your belongings. In addition, you might feel anxious about who will keep the home and the car. Or maybe you're worried about how much money you are entitled to keep. Whatever the case may be, you should know that these issues are not unique to you. They are common concerns among people facing separation and divorce.
You should take an inventory of your property before filing for divorce papers. Note any items that were acquired during the course of the relationship and any properties owned by either party prior to the start of the relationship. Other items that should be included in the divorce checklist are:
- Bank accounts
- Stocks, shares, and other investments
- Any financial disclosures from both parties
- Retirement accounts
- Life insurance policies
- Vehicles of all kinds
- Business assets, if applicable
- Inheritance and gifts
- Any other items of value
Things to Do Before Filing a Divorce Petition
Other than the divorce checklist above, there are other items of importance that you should have on hand before filing a divorce petition. You should try to find out the current value of the house by getting an appraisal if you can't get ahold of it yourself. Marital property includes everything you bring into the relationship and increases in its worth during the course of the relationship.
It doesn't include things that were already there before you got married. You must disclose any asset that has increased in worth since you've been together. If you're hiding something, it might cause trouble later. If you're not sure whether something belongs to you or someone else, list it and your divorce attorney can help determine if it has to be included in the settlement.
When deciding how to divide your assets, it is important to consider what you really want out of the divorce settlement. You should also think about whether you would rather keep any money you receive from the sale of one asset, or whether you would prefer to split them between yourself and your spouse.
Finally, even if you and/or your spouse agree on most or all terms verbally, those verbal understandings must be put into written form and it is extremely important for them to have an attorney draft these documents. Even though it may seem tempting to attempt to negotiate a settlement without legal assistance, there are good reasons why you should seek out professional advice.
Divorce Preparation: Child Support and Child Custody
Colorado family court judges use a mathematical calculation to determine an appropriate amount of monthly support for each parenting time for minor children. This calculation usually takes into account the combined gross annual earnings of both parties and the cost of child care, then uses a percentage to divide the resulting figure by the number of children involved. A qualified Colorado Springs child support lawyer and child custody lawyer can help answer any other questions you may have.
Colorado family court judges consider several factors in determining child support, including:
- Parenting time the kids have with each parent
- Whether a party is currently paying child support for another kid, and whether he or she is paying spousal maintenance to the other parent or a previous spouse
- Whether parents have other kids in their home
- How much a parent is paying for work-related and/or education-related childcare, and how much a parent is paying for health insurance for the kids.
- Amount of time a parent has available at home with his or her kids
Find Appropriate Legal Representation.
You may want to hire a lawyer who specializes in divorces involving children, but if you're looking for someone who can negotiate with your ex, you might be better off hiring a general divorce lawyer. Look for lawyers who have extensive knowledge of family law and are responsive and trustworthy. They should prioritize clients who have similar situations to your own.
Once you've signed up with the lawyer, you'll need to provide him/her with your statement of net wealth, a preferred child support arrangement, and any other documents that you intend to use in your case before he/she begins working for you. Make sure that you have everything prepared ahead of time.
Prepare Divorce Paperwork
Divorce is a legal proceeding that must be approved by a judge. Respectively, be mentally ready for a lot of divorce paperwork.
Here are the forms to prepare for divorce in Colorado:
- State-required divorce forms
- Case Information Sheet
- Petition for Divorce or Legal Separation
- Summons for Dissolution of Marriage or Legal Separation
- Custody preferences if the children are involved
- Suggested visitation schedule
- Sample parenting plan
- Legal marriage documents
- Marriage decree
- Prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement (if any)
- Separation agreement
- Copy of personal ID (for you, your children, and the spouse)
Contact a Family Attorney Today!
Call the Law Office of Jeanne M. Wilson and Associates today to speak with an experienced family law attorney in Colorado Springs today! Jeanne and her team are dedicated to making sure that all her client's needs are met and will fight for their rights throughout the entirety of the case.