Denver Legal Separation & Marital Agreement Lawyers
Is Legal Separation Ever a Good Idea in Colorado?
Legal separation is basically handled the same as divorce, but it will not formally end your marriage. If you ever want to marry again, you would have to go back and seek a divorce. As with a divorce, a legal separation includes division of assets and debt, consideration of spousal maintenance, and all aspect of parental responsibilities if minor children are involved. Additionally, legally separating from your spouse may open the door for grandparents to seek visitation rights of your child.
Rarely is there a reason to file for legal separation, though each relationship has unique dynamics. When the separation is relatively amicable, you and your spouse may be able to work out an arrangement to keep a spouse on health insurance. Religious concerns may be another reason you would seek a legal separation.
How to File for Legal Separation in Colorado
Filing for legal separation in Colorado is essentially the same as divorce. You must file a petition for legal separation with the court and have at least one spouse meet the state residency requirement, which is 91 days of residency before filing. In addition to that, you may need to wait 90 days before the court acts on your case. Even though Colorado is a "no-fault" state, they do require that you provide a legal reason as to why you are petitioning for a legal separation. To do this, the couple must show the court that the marriage is "irretrievably broken" and there is no opportunity for mending.
As each couple waits for the 90 day waiting period to end, there is a chance that they can negotiate the terms of the separation. If they cannot, the judge will sign a court order that details how each party member is allowed to live a life independent of one another.
Legal Separation vs Divorce in Colorado
For those who want to still be legally married, but want their assets and lives to be separate, then they usually file for a legal separation. A divorce terminates the marriage completely, which means that you are allowed to marry once again. A legal separation does not give you this freedom. So why do some people choose one over the other? It can be for many reasons, including religious beliefs, personal values, and the ability to still have healthcare coverage under their names. Whatever the cause, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney that can guide you through the complex procedures.
Will a Marital Agreement Limit Your Options?
All too often, mistakes are made in the drafting and finalizing of prenuptial or postnuptial agreements. At Kaplan Law L.L.C., we can review any marital agreement and advise how it could impact your divorce. These contracts are rarely airtight, dovetailing with another aspect of our practice—legal malpractice. If another attorney made a serious error that leaves you financially exposed there could be remedies.
It is always best to get legal advice as soon as possible when you are considering whether to end a marriage. Our lawyers can answer any timing questions related to filing and explain the process.
Consult a Denver Family Law Attorney
If your marriage is over, or you are not sure if it is over, contact one of our attorneys to discuss what legal strategy might best accomplish your goals. Our attorneys can explain the differences between divorce and separation in more detail. We can also explain how a marital agreement might affect your options, and if there already is such an agreement, we can advise you on the expected enforceability of that agreement and its impact on your future.
Call (303) 747-4748 now to get started.
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