Every person is unique and so are the factors that are significant to him/her if the need to dissolve marriage arises. Since dissolving one’s marriage affects almost every aspect of a person’s life, I find that as a divorce attorney I must pay careful attention to the areas of life that my clients value most.
Nevertheless, there are some common threads that come up in almost every divorce, and these are the factors the law is most concerned with: the division of marital property (including real property, money in the bank, credit card and other debts, retirement account, personal property, and other assets), the payment of temporary or “permanent” spousal support, and if there are minor children involved, parenting time (the number of overnights with each parent), the designation of parental decision-making, and child support.
Every case in Colorado begins with the filing of a petition for dissolution of marriage and some other paperwork, which must be personally served on the other spouse, unless the spouse signs a waiver. The parties are placed under an automatic temporary injunction which prevents them from disturbing one the peace for one another, ceasing to pay insurance premiums, leaving the state with the children without the other parties’ permission (or a court order), and requires parties to maintain the financial status quo. Then there is an initial status conference at which point rules of the case are explained and deadlines are assigned. The parties must exchange financial documents. Temporary orders may be issued either by agreement or after a hearing in court. The parties must then attempt to settle their case before proceeding to a final orders hearing. And finally, after at least 90 days have passed, the court enters a final decree of dissolution of marriage.