If you’re thinking of ending your marriage, the details of divorce law might be the last thing on your mind. Yet apart from its emotional and financial turmoil, divorce is primarily a legal process that involves gathering information, completing and filing Colorado divorce forms and signing final agreements.
Divorces and legal separation in Colorado
In Colorado, most divorces are based on the grounds of irreconcilable differences and property is divided equally. You will need to complete and file a series of forms including financial disclosures, petitions, and a separation agreement.
When children are involved, Colorado law requires that you file a formal parenting plan, a document that spells out where your children will live (Child Custody), visitation arrangements, how they will spend holidays, calculating child support, and more. Bradford’s booklet Creating Parenting Plans That Work can help guide you through making decisions that are best for you and your children.
Legal Separation vs. Divorce
Some couples aren’t sure they want to divorce. A legal separation in Colorado is a way to separate, to divide property, to end mutual responsibility for each other’s support and debts except as agreed, and to take a good look at the relationship—while making divorce one easy step away.
Many kinds of health insurance, and some survivor benefits or life insurance connected with retirement plans, will still cover or benefit legally-separated persons while they cut off people who are divorced.
If you are unsure of whether to do a legal separation or a divorce, one place to start to ask questions is the benefits and/or personnel office where each of you works. Find out which benefits, if any, apply to the non-employee spouse after either a legal separation or a divorce. Find out what your respective Social Security benefits are now, and are projected to be. Some careful research now may save you thousands of dollars in benefits later.
To learn more about this topic and get Colorado divorce forms and legal separation forms, see the “Friendly Divorce Guidebook for Colorado”.