Divorce in Colorado requires the division of property and maintenance, more commonly known as alimony must be addressed. The majority of divorces in Colorado settle without having to leave it up to the judge to decide, and when agreements can be reached they will be reduced to writing within a Separation Agreement.
Our Fort Collins divorce attorneys regularly resolve divorce cases with full agreements of the parties by drafting the Separation Agreement for the parties to sign that will become an order of the court once accepted. Learn more about legal separation.
Maintenance, more commonly known as alimony in Colorado, must be addressed in every divorce in Colorado. Maintenance will either be waived or there will be an award of maintenance from one party to the other. An award of maintenance will be defined in the Separation Agreement as either contractual / non-modifiable or modifiable.
Division of Property
The division of property in Colorado is to be equitable. Property division divides assets as well as debts. Some of the most common types of property to divide include:
It is common when one party wishes to keep the marital residence following the dissolution and the mortgage needs to be refinanced to remove the other party’s name. The Courts will allow a reasonable amount of time for someone to refinance the home before it is sold. The Separation Agreement should detail the terms of when the home is to be refinanced or sold in the event the home can not be refinanced.
The Separation Agreement allows for many opportunities to protect your wealth and your future. If maintenance is awarded then the balance due can be secured by life insurance as well as disability insurance. If the home is to be sold after the conclusion of your case then consider requiring insurance on the home to cover anything that could diminish the value while it is being sold. Maintenance provisions can be drafted to ensure a minimum or maximum amount and duration of maintenance.
The agreements reached by the parties and written into the Separation Agreement shall be honored by the Court, unless the Court finds the agreements to be unconscionable as to property division and maintenance. The Separation Agreement should not detail matters associated with child custody as these items should be addressed in the Parenting Plan.
The Separation Agreement become an order of the court once approved and is enforceable just as any other court order. When a party fails to meet their obligations pursuant to the Separation Agreement the options of enforcement should be carefully chosen. While contempt is the most common remedy when someone violates a court order, it may not be the best option for all cases. The courts have the ability to transfer property when a party refuses to do so. Additionally, Colorado law provides ways to reduce nonpayment of maintenance to a judgement to be collected on.
Under limited circumstances the terms of the Separation Agreement may be modified by the Court. The time frame to modify a Separation Agreement is limited and you should contact an attorney immediately if you believe the Separation Agreement may need to be modified.
If you have decided to get a divorce, the next steps can seem daunting. Here we provide a few answers to common questions about filing for divorce.
Depending on your family, financial, and personal circumstances there are many factors you will want to consider when filing for divorce. Find out what type of divorce is right for you.
How long will it take for the Court to issue a Decree of Dissolution of Marriage? The earliest a Colorado court could issues the divorce decree is 91 days after the petition was filed. However it can take longer than 91 days, as expert valuations and reports may be needed.
How can a divorce attorney help with an uncontested divorce? Uncontested divorce generally means the parties have agreed upon all issues, or they believe they will be able to easily agree on all issues. A divorce attorney can help with an uncontested divorce by ensuring everything drafted properly.
What are mandatory financial disclosures? Financial disclosures are required of both parties in every divorce case, within the first 45 days after the petition has been filed. The exchange of mandatory financial disclosures is intended to put each party on a level playing field as it relates to the finances of the divorce.
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