Colorado Divorce Law Basics
Going through a divorce can be emotionally challenging and legally complex. Knowing where to start can alleviate some of the process's stress and uncertainty. In Colorado, divorces can be broadly classified into two types: contested and uncontested.
Uncontested Divorce: This refers to a divorce where both parties are in agreement on all terms of the separation, including distribution of assets, child custody, and spousal support. An uncontested divorce tends to be faster and less costly, as it can bypass the lengthy court process and avoid the need for expensive legal representation.
Contested Divorce: This type of divorce arises when the parties involved cannot mutually agree on one or more critical aspects of the divorce. Whether it's a disagreement over asset division, child custody, or spousal support, these disputes often require court intervention for resolution. While a contested divorce can provide a more equitable distribution of assets and rights, it is usually more time-consuming and costlier.
It's worth noting that, in either situation, Colorado operates under an equitable distribution doctrine, meaning the court will divide marital property in a manner deemed fair but not necessarily equal.
Step 1: Consult with an Experienced Family Law Attorney
If you're considering divorce, your first step should be to consult a qualified family law attorney. Why? Navigating the complexities of divorce law can be overwhelming, particularly during an already emotionally charged time. An experienced divorce attorney can provide valuable guidance and insight into the legal implications of your decisions, helping you avoid potentially costly mistakes.
Furthermore, a skilled attorney can offer strategic advice tailored to your unique circumstances, working to help you ensure that your rights and interests are protected throughout the divorce process
Additionally, your attorney can help with:
- Clarifying Colorado’s specific divorce laws
- Assisting with negotiations
- Representing you in mediation or arbitration
- Representing you in divorce litigation proceedings if necessary
Remember, information is power. The more informed you are about the divorce process and its potential impacts on your life, the better equipped you'll be to make decisions that serve your best interests. Thus, consulting with a qualified divorce attorney, like ours at the Law Office of Greg Quimby, P.C., should be your first step when considering divorce.
Step 2. Gather and Organize Important Documents
Before your initial meeting with your divorce attorney, gathering and organizing all critical documents associated with your marriage is crucial. You are also encouraged to maintain your records and continue documenting things pertaining to your marriage throughout your divorce process. Below, we provide a quick list of some of the significant documents most couples will need to collect in preparation for their divorce proceedings.
Start by collecting and organizing documents such as:
- Marriage certificate
- Pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreements
- Bank statements
- Tax returns
- Property deeds
- Insurance policies
- Investment and retirement account statements
- Any other relevant financial records
If applicable, you should also compile documentation related to your children, such as birth certificates and school records. Having these documents readily available will help your attorney assess your financial situation, enable them to provide you with more personalized guidance, and assist them in negotiating your divorce settlement.
Step 3. Explore Alternative Dispute Resolution Options
Depending on your circumstances, you may have a few options when it comes to how you approach your divorce. We encourage people to consider alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation or collaborative divorce, to resolve conflicts more amicably and cost-effectively. These processes encourage open communication and cooperation between you and your spouse, helping you reach mutually beneficial agreements.
Many couples prefer to avoid divorce litigation when possible due to a variety of reasons. Litigation can often be a drawn-out, expensive, and stressful process, with proceedings taking months or even years to resolve, leading to substantial legal fees. Furthermore, litigation tends to amplify conflict, which can exacerbate emotional distress and negatively impact any children involved.
Remember, every divorce is unique, and the steps may vary depending on your circumstances. Seeking professional guidance from a capable, qualified attorney like ours at the Law Office of Greg Quimby, P.C. can help you attain the tailored advice and representation you deserve.
Contact the Law Office of Greg Quimby, P.C., today to schedule a consultation.