Since our firm’s founding, the Colorado attorneys at Stevens, Littman, Biddison, Tharp & Weinberg, LLC have provided representation that balances concern for your emotional well-being with determination to see your rights protected. Made up of lawyers who are focused on the next stage of your life, we learn your situation, listen to your desires, and identify your goals for the current situation and the future. Our lawyers know that every divorce case is different, with no one-size-fits-all strategy — we adapt our approach to your individual needs, seeking the most positive outcome possible from negotiation, mediation or litigation.
Understanding no-fault requirements in Colorado
Under Colorado law, divorce — called dissolution of marriage by the courts — does not require grounds. Instead, Colorado has adopted no-fault divorce, based on the concept that the marriage is irretrievably broken, meaning the parties can no longer continue together and do not see any chance of reconciliation.
To bring a claim for divorce in Colorado, you must also be a legal resident of the state. This can be especially tricky for those who are seasonal residents living in ski areas such as Vail or in the Western Slope region. Colorado law requires that at least one of the spouses has been a resident of the state for at least 90 days before filing for a divorce. Residency is important, particularly in this part of the country, where many states are community property states. Colorado is a marital property state, meaning that marital assets are distributed equitably and fairly by the court. The divorce and family law attorneys at Stevens, Littman, Biddison, Tharp & Weinberg can counsel you on residency requirements or whether the Colorado court already has jurisdiction.
How will a divorce proceed in Colorado?
Depending on how complex your marriage — and divorce — is, the judicial proceeding may be extensive or extremely simple. If you and your spouse are able to agree on most terms of the divorce, Colorado allows you to use its Simplified/Special Divorce Procedures, through which a marriage may be dissolved quickly when there are no minor children and the wife is not expecting, or parents have already settled terms for custody and child support. Parties must also settle
the division of marital property. Of course, not every divorce is this simple, and our divorce law attorneys are prepared to represent you and your needs in mediation, negotiation, and litigation of issues raised in divorce.
However you dissolve your marriage, the court has discretion to appoint a Child Investigator (CFI) and may order you and your spouse to attend a program on the effect of divorce on young children. These steps can delay your proceedings for one or two months. Additionally, if you fail to settle issues such as child custody and support, the court may appoint an arbitrator to try to break the deadlock prior to trial. Our divorce lawyers understand the emotional and financial toll such lengthy proceedings take on our clients, so we resist delays whenever possible. Arbitration is speedier and less expensive than a trial, but it is every bit as much of an adversarial process and requires aggressive advocacy. On the other hand, mediation allows parties to work cooperatively to overcome impediments to a settlement. As skilled negotiators, we’ve helped our clients make the transition to a positive working relationship that establishes the framework for successful co-parenting.