Beginning the process of divorcing your spouse in Colorado requires some basic knowledge and considerations. Littleton Divorce Attorney Bonnie Shields understands this process well. This article will help guide you through three of the basics of starting your divorce.
Contested versus Uncontested Divorce
One common concern everyone has at the outset of a divorce is whether to pursue an uncontested or contested divorce. A contested divorce is a divorce in which the parties are unable to come to agreement over the terms of the divorce and must therefore litigate their disputes before a judge. An uncontested divorce is a divorce in which the parties have come to agreement over the terms of the divorce and simply submit their agreement to the court for approval. The more contested a dissolution proceeding is the more time it will take to finalize the dissolution and the more expensive the process will be. For this reason it is important to try to work out disputes amicably and to approach divorce with a willingness to make reasonable compromises. The fewer issues there are to litigate, the faster you will be able to finish the process and the cheaper your legal fees will be.
Length of Divorce Process
Even if you and your spouse have easily come to agreement on the terms of your dissolution, the process may last longer than you expect. Colorado, like all states, requires couples to wait for a period of time before entering a decree of dissolution of marriage. The reasoning behind such laws is to ensure that couples have time to fully consider the ramifications of their separation. It’s not unheard of for couples to reconcile in the middle of a divorce, so a waiting period helps people to fully consider their actions before committing entirely the dissolution. Here in Colorado a judgment for dissolution of marriage cannot be entered until 91 days have passed since the filing of the petition for dissolution. Therefore, even if you’ve come to agreement on all of the divorce issues on the date of filing your petition for dissolution, you cannot have your divorce finalized for at least 91 days.
When to Speak with a Divorce Attorney
Deciding when to call a divorce attorney is a frequent point of confusion for spouses. Sometimes people call long before they decide to file their case simply to learn about the process and their rights. Other times people wait until they’re already deep in the process and realize they’re in over their heads. As a rule of thumb, it’s probably never too early to speak with a divorce lawyer. Even if you haven’t committed to filing for divorce, an attorney can help you understand what to expect and make a more informed decision.
Too frequently couples decide to start a divorce without hiring attorneys, only to find that as their disputes become more complicated they’ve bitten off more than they can chew. By the time these clients make contact with my office their case could already be disadvantaged by unnecessary admissions, mismanagement and missed opportunities for favorable settlements.
Schedule a Free Consultation to Learn More
You definitely should not begin the divorce process without speaking to a local divorce attorney like Bonnie Shields who can help you understand your rights. Contact Littleton Divorce Attorney Bonnie Shields today for a free consultation.