Posted by: Vernon Ready
There is a common misconception of divorce regarding its timeline: most people think of divorce as a long, dramatic, back-and-forth process.
While these types of divorces do exist, the truth is that Colorado allows couples to file for divorce in a timely matter, but it will need the cooperation and agreement of each spouse to do so.
The following are a few ways to make your divorce proceedings go faster.
Close Any Joint Accounts and Divide Your Assets. If you see divorce on the horizon, it is best to begin to separate your finances. Colorado is considered an “equitable distribution” state, which means that marital property (any assets or property acquired during the course of the marriage) is divided based on equity. Spouses that earn more money typically get more property when the divorce is finalized.
Every divorce is different. Each spouse may have a different financial situation and outlying factors that will sway a judge’s decision on dividing the property. If you and your spouse were married for a long time and acquired a lot of property, dividing assets may take a long time in court.
You and your spouse know your finances better than a judge. If there is a way you can amicably decide who is left with different assets or property after your divorce, it will make proceedings go a lot smoother and you will not face any surprises on the date of your hearing.
Decide on Alimony Payments. Divorce often leaves one spouse struggling to get on their feet financially, so many courts will order the spouse who earns more money to pay alimony to the spouse who earns less money. While Colorado has started to implement a more consistent way of calculating alimony payments, a judge’s ruling in court may still surprise you.
Alimony can be a temporary arrangement, and can be modified or terminated after a few months. But determining alimony payments ahead of time can save you and your spouse the stress of trying to calculate the payment during and after your divorce proceedings.
Create a Child Custody Agreement. One of the most emotional and tricky parts of a divorce is deciding on visitation rights and child support payments. Similar to marital property and alimony agreements, visitation rights and child support payments can be determined ahead of time and mutual decisions will save you stress. Coming to these decisions together may also make things easier for your children during this transition in their life.
Apply for an Uncontested Divorce. If you and your spouse have come to mutual agreements regarding property, alimony, visitation, and child support, you can fill out an affidavit and file for an uncontested divorce.
You and your spouse can file for an uncontested divorce as co-petitioners. The requirements for an uncontested divorce do not vary much from a contested divorce if you do not have marital property or children. You will need to include a separation agreement to list your terms regarding property and your children.
An uncontested divorce goes smoothly. A judge may require a court date to simply confirm that you and your spouse agree on the terms of your divorce, but often, you will not even have to step inside a courtroom.
Attend a Mediation Session. If you and your spouse amicably agreed on everything, you might not have to get a divorce in the first place. If you have lingering conflicts or disagreements, especially those regarding your finances or legal situation, consider talking them over with a third-party mediator.
Some attorneys have the experience and qualifications to act as a mediator and guide you through different types of divorce. Call today for a free consultation with an attorney who can represent you during each step of your divorce.
About the Author:
Vernon Ready is an award-winning Colorado lawyer with an in-depth understanding of all areas of family law, estate planning, and personal injury. His energetic and aggressive advocacy approach allow him to successfully navigate complex cases, including high asset divorce and complicated custody issues. During his time at the University of Colorado Law School, Ready won numerous awards for his trial advocacy skills. Since being admitted to practice in 2009, Ready has become well-known throughout Denver and the state for the passionate defense of his clients and his unparalleled understanding of the law.