Deciding to end a marriage prompts a series of life-changing events. There are numerous legal issues involved in obtaining a divorce in a Colorado court. The more a spouse learns ahead of time about the legal process, the better prepared he or she will be to protect interests, including parental rights and property division entitlement.
First things first — file a petition
Marriage forms a legal contract that confers certain rights and responsibilities upon both spouses. Therefore, it is necessary to navigate the legal process to officially end the union, which includes filing an initial petition to divorce in court. In the past, a spouse wanting a divorce would have to prove that the other spouse did something wrong. Colorado law now allows a spouse to obtain a “no fault” divorce, meaning that he or she would simply cite “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for filing a petition.
A spouse will be served papers
After filing an initial petition, a representative of a local sheriff’s office serves the other spouse with papers to inform him or her that a formal request for divorce has been filed. The spouse has a certain amount of time in which to respond to the petition.
Facing divorce alone is not necessary
The best way to avoid falling victim to a hidden asset scheme or facing a ruling that a spouse believes is not in children’s best interests, for instance, is to do a lot of research ahead of time to learn about child custody and property division guidelines that govern divorce in Colorado. No one should hesitate to reach out for support because every spouse is entitled to a fair settlement, and children’s best interests should always be a central focus of proceedings. An experienced family law attorney can act on a client’s behalf, especially if a spouse feels that his or her ex is being unreasonable or is trying to “beat the system” in some way.