Divorce

Durango Lawyers for Spouses Pursuing Divorce

Even when both spouses agree that it makes sense, divorce can be stressful. A number of major decisions are made in connection with divorce proceedings. Who gets the family home? Should one spouse pay the other spouse spousal support? Who will take kids on holidays? Will the grandparents have visitation rights? Who gets to make decisions about the kids' medical conditions and religious upbringing? The answers to these questions could change the course of your life and the lives of your family members. With so much at stake in a divorce proceeding, you should take the time to seek advice from someone who understands the legal nuances. The Durango divorce attorneys at Greenberg, McGuinness & Alt have significant experience serving family law clients in La Plata County, Archuleta County, Montezuma County, and the Southern Ute Tribal Court jurisdiction.

The Basis for Divorce in Colorado

Colorado is a no-fault divorce state, which means that neither spouse needs to show misconduct by the other to end the marriage. You can file for divorce here if your marriage is “irretrievably broken.” The petition may be filed in the county where either of the spouses lives. “Irretrievably broken” means there isn't any chance you and your spouse will patch things up.

There is also a domicile requirement attached to filing for divorce. To file for divorce in Colorado, you or your spouse must have established domicile in Colorado for a minimum of 90 days before filing for divorce. Domicile does not always mean that you are physically living in the state throughout that period. You can show domicile by changing your mailing address to Colorado, maintaining voter registration in Colorado, owning a house in Colorado, and registering your car in the state. If you are a deployed member of the military, for example, you can still establish the intent needed to show domicile.

After filing, you will have to wait 91 days at a minimum before your divorce is granted, even if you and your spouse agree on all the issues. In most cases, it takes a lot longer to reach a settlement. The 91 days are considered a cooling-off period so that the parties truly discuss all issues and have time to think about what they want.

Property division is a significant aspect of divorce. Colorado courts use a doctrine of equitable distribution during divorce. The judge doesn't have to divide the marital property 50-50 but may instead divide it based on fairness. Courts will look at the economic conditions of both spouses. They may consider which parent should have the right to stay in the family home, how much each spouse contributed to the marital estate either through income or homemaking, any increase or decrease in separate property, and the value of the marital property. As in other states, there is marital property and separate property. Marital property is property that the spouses acquired during marriage. It includes gifts and property obtained after a legal separation. Separate property is property acquired by inheritance, gift or before the marriage.

Discuss Your Options With a Durango Divorce Attorney

There are so many facets of life affected by dissolving a marriage that you should not take the risk of representing yourself in divorce proceedings. Instead, you should seek the help of a knowledgeable Durango divorce lawyer at Greenberg, McGuinness & Alt so that you fully understand all of your rights and options. We represent clients in Durango, Pagosa Springs, Cortez, and Ignacio. Contact us at (970) 259-4422 or through our online form to arrange an initial consultation with no obligation for you.