The Rocky Mountain Family Lawyers are Denver’s award-winning family law trial advocates. We’re expert DIVORCE LAWYERS in Denver and other cities throughout Colorado. Call us today to talk personally with a lawyer about with your DENVER DIVORCE issues. (303) 502-9600.
For a quick summary of Colorado divorce case procedures and timelines, please see our webpage, “Roadmap for Colorado Divorce and Child Custody Cases” or just call us at 303-502-9600.
What do I Need to do to get a Divorce?
To obtain a divorce (decree of dissolution) in Colorado numerous issues must be resolved. They include determination of any requests for a protection order or paternity determination, orders as to decision-making responsibilities, (child custody), parenting time (visitation rights), child support, enforcement of a premarital (prenuptial) or marital (postnuptial) agreement, maintenance (alimony), division of property and debts, allocation of attorney fees and costs, restoration of the wife’s former name, and many other issues.
How do I get Started?
A divorce or legal separation case is commenced by filing a petition for dissolution in the district court of the county in which the parties live. If the parties were previously separated, the petition may be filed where either party has lived for the past 91 days.
Unless the petition is filed jointly, the respondent (non-filing party) must be personally served with a copy of the Petition or must sign a waiver of service. The respondent then has 21 days (35 if he or she lives out of state) to file a response. The main purpose of the response is merely to correct any misstatements in the Petition and to request additional relief, if desired, from the court.
How Long Does it Take?
The Court is prohibited from issuing a final decree of divorce or separation until 91 days after the Respondent is either personally served or signs a waiver of service. Contested divorces or legal separations often take much longer because the Court usually orders the parties to mediate. It is also common for one or both parties in a contested divorce case to request a temporary orders hearing to resolve important issues prior to the final hearing such as temporary child support or maintenance and temporary visitation schedule.
Call us if you have questions about the process or
A substantial percentage of divorces are contested, which simply means that the parties cannot agree upon all of the issues. These disputed issues must be decided by a judge after a permanent orders hearing. The permanent orders hearing involves all the elements of a formal trial except a jury. The hearing usually includes opening and/or closing statements by attorneys, sworn testimony from witnesses, often including expert witnesses, cross examinations of witnesses, introduction of exhibits and legal objections to proposed testimony, exhibits or other evidence.
Most permanent orders hearings are scheduled for one-half a day unless there are expert witnesses involved. If one party seeks to relocate a child to another state, the court may schedule a full day for the hearing. In cases where the parties have extensive assets and don’t agree on values, or if one party challenges the other’s request for attorney’s fees, a second hearing day may be scheduled, which may or may not be immediately after the first day of hearings.
If your case is contested, you are well advised to hire an experienced trial attorney who specializes in family law.
The court’s decisions will affect you and your children’s lives for years to come—it’s unavoidable. You only get one real opportunity to present your case properly to the judge. It’s critical that you are hire an experienced trial lawyer who specializes in Colorado divorce and child custody law to represent you because divorce courts’ decisions are rarely overturned on appeal.
We’ve successfully tried many hundreds of Colorado divorce and child custody case throughout the State. William Thode personally handles all permanent orders hearings in our clients’ cases. Click the About Us tab for more information about Mr. Thode.
A divorce case is uncontested if the parties can agree on all major issues. Settling all or some of the common divorce issues will result in a quicker and less expensive divorce and will reduce the stress on the parties and on the children. The court is likely to enforce the parties’ agreements as long as the terms are not unconscionable and appear to be in the best interests of the child(ren), if any. Settlement can be accomplished informally or through mediation, which can be entered into voluntarily or which may be court ordered. Your first objective in any divorce or separation should be to identify the issues that can be settled, negotiate those terms and put any agreements in writing.
We’ve settled or mediated many hundreds of difficult Colorado divorces. Even if you agree on all terms of your divorce, we can advise you as to your rights Bring our experience to the table with you.
Do I Need a Lawyer if my case is Uncontested?
The value of hiring quality legal counsel when you’re going through a divorce of child custody case far exceeds the cost. An experienced family lawyer will help you identify the issues, describe your legal rights and options, negotiate or mediate a settlement and, if necessary, present your strongest case to the court.
Beyond great legal advice, the psychological and emotional benefit of having a true advocate to help you through a difficult time is hard to put a price on. Please review our Testimonials page with comments from some of our former clients.
The Rocky Mountain Family Lawyers are DENVER DIVORCE experts. Call us now to discuss your legal options and rights concerning DIVORCE in Denver, Colorado and surrounding cities (303) 502-9600.