Every case is different, and the amount of time for a divorce to be finalized depend on a case’s unique circumstances.  To start, Colorado has a mandatory 90-day waiting period before a divorce can be granted, so your case cannot be completed before the 90-day waiting period.  After that, factors such as the complexity of the case, whether experts are needed, whether you are able to settle all of the issues or need to schedule a contested hearing can all impact how long your case take to be finalized. 

In Colorado, legal separation and divorce are two different ways a married couple can separate their finances and property and establish a parenting schedule and child support if they have children together.  A legal separation is not required before divorce can be filed, and if a legal separation is granted, it does not have to be converted to a divorce.  The biggest different between the two is that in a legal separation, you are still married.  This means that neither of you can remarry, and that you may still be able to be on the same health insurance policy, and you can file taxes together.

In its most simple form, an uncontested divorce is when you are able to reach an agreement on all the issues in your case. A contested divorce is when an agreement has not been reached on all the issues.  

Maintenance is based on a number of factors including the amount of each person’s income, ability to pay maintenance, the need for maintenance, and the length of the marriage.  You can use the following calculator to estimate the amount of maintenance that may be ordered, but it is important to remember that this is a guideline and not a requirement.  It may be a good idea to speak with a lawyer about your specific circumstances.

No.  The Court is required to divide property in a way that is equitable.  This does not mean equal.  Whether the Court is reviewing a Separation Agreement both parties have agreed to or making a decision in a contested hearing, it must find that the property has been divided in a way that the Court finds is fair to both parties. 

The specifics in a separation agreement will be different in each case depending on what is being divided.  Regardless of the details in your separation agreement, you want to make sure the terms are doable and enforceable.  You don’t want to agree to refinance your home or vehicle without making sure you’re eligible, and you don’t want to agree to receive a lower amount of maintenance (or pay a higher amount) to quickly settle the case if you can’t afford it. 

It shouldn’t.  Hiring an attorney in your divorce isn’t about sticking it to your spouse or getting revenge. It is about making sure that your interests are protected and that you are making informed decisions about your case.  Whether you ultimately settle your case or go to trial, the decisions made in your divorce case will have long-term and lasting consequences that are likely difficult, if not impossible, to correct later.