Divorce is a complicated process, but in some cases, it must happen. If you have to get one in Colorado, start with these facts first:
1. It Is a No-Fault State
All states implement a no-fault divorce. It means either or both spouses can file it without any grounds. In Colorado, one can call for a divorce if they can no longer repair or save the marriage.
This is different from many years ago. Back then, couples needed to determine the cause for the dissolution. These ranged from fraud to adultery.
Depending on the arguments of both parties, the judge could vote against the divorce. In other words, whether they liked it or not, the couple would have to remain married.
2. You Can Convert Your Separation into Divorce
Not all couples who no longer want to stay together will file for divorce. Instead, they legally separate. In this setup, they no longer cohabiting, and they might already separate the assets. However, since only a divorce can terminate a marriage, legally separated individuals cannot remarry.
Some couples choose legal separation for many reasons. If they want to dissolve the marriage altogether, they can apply for conversion. A divorce lawyer in Colorado Springs can make the process more convenient. Note, though; you need to be legally separated for six months before you can convert it into divorce.
3. Colorado Issues New Guidelines on Alimony
The state already changed some of the guidelines on providing alimony or spousal maintenance. Before, courts were freer on how to go about calculating the amount. In turn, the figures could significantly vary.
Under the new rules, the court has to consider the combined income of the couple. If it is $240,000 and below, it needs to follow a formula. The court determines 40% of the higher pay and reduces it by 50% of the lower income. The alimony should also not be over 40% of the combined income.
The duration of the marriage also matters. The length of the alimony for someone who had been married for three years is 31% of 36 months. Spousal maintenance can also be temporary or permanent. The temporary or presumptive alimony takes into effect during the divorce process. The permanent one comes after the final order.
Remember that “permanent” can be a misnomer. Usually, it doesn’t last forever or throughout the lifespan of the ex-spouse. The judge might also decide not to award spousal maintenance, especially if both are earning well.
4. You Can’t Sue Someone for Alienation of Affection
Believe it or not, some states such as Hawaii and South Dakota allow spouses to sue someone for the alienation of affection. But what is it? It accuses someone, which can also include an organization, from breaking up the marriage. This can refer to a spouse’s lover, family, or therapist.
Most states, though, including Colorado, don’t allow such a lawsuit. The divorce process in Colorado is similar to most countries, with a few notable differences. These include the treatment of alimony and the duration of legal separation before divorce conversion.
These variances can affect your divorce proceedings. Before you go through it, get some advice from an experienced state lawyer.