The legal term for divorce is “dissolution of marriage.” In Colorado, the court must find that the marriage is “irretrievably broken” to grant a party’s request for a dissolution of his or her marriage and issue a Decree of Dissolution of Marriage. Colorado is a “no fault” state, which means that the court only needs to find that the marriage is irretrievably broken to dissolve a marriage, and does not need to make any additional findings that are common in “fault” states, such as adultery or cruelty.
Also, because Colorado is a no fault state, the court will not consider infidelity, cruelty, or other similar factors when it determines the division of the parties’ property, the child custody issues, alimony, or any other issue that the court needs to decide during the divorce process.
The divorce process begins when a party files a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. The petition is then personally served on the other party. Soon after the filing of the petition, the court will issue a Case Management Order. The case management order will describe the basic procedures and next steps in your divorce case in that court. These case management orders vary from court to court, depending on the county your case is in, but there are general similarities. All of the case management orders require some form of “parenting after divorce” class for couples with children. The case management orders also describe the requirements of Colorado Rule of Civil Procedure 16.2, one of the primary rules that governs the divorce process.
Rule 16.2 standardizes case management for divorce cases but, nonetheless, the process can vary significantly depending on the county where your case has been filed. Generally, the major events in an average divorce case are listed below, and each link provides you with some additional information concerning each step:
- Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
- Case Management Order
- Exchange of Financial Disclosures
- Initial Status Conference
- Temporary Orders Hearing
- Permanent Orders Hearing
While it is simple enough to break down the process into a few common steps, the “ins and outs” of the divorce process can be much more complex and difficult. Combine that complexity with the intense emotions that will occur in your case, and the entire process becomes overwhelming. The divorce process is intended to disentangle the parties as much as possible. Children, of course, are the one area where disentanglement is not appropriate or desirable. Parents are expected to move on and take a collaborative co-parenting approach concerning their children after their divorce. Our Denver divorce attorneys will help you develop a parenting plan that is in the children’s best interest. The parties will need to divide the marital property as part of the process. Colorado is not a community property state and the statue governing property division uses the standard “equitable division,” and case law interpreting the statute emphasizes that “equitable” does not necessarily mean “equal.” The division of marital property will vary based on various circumstances. Sauer & Petterson Family Law has a dedicated team of professionals who are going to guide you through this process. We take pride in our attention to detail and planning in our cases. Our Denver Divorce Attorney Team will work hard to help you achieve your objectives in your divorce case.