Legal Separation Lawyers

HOW TO LIVE SEPARATELY FROM YOUR SPOUSE IN COLORADO

Get a Legal Separation in Colorado

Sometimes married couples find themselves in the unique situation of needing to separate but not wanting an official divorce – for whatever reason. The laws in the State of Colorado offer such couples the option of a legal separation. If you’re in a position in which you need to explore your options as they relate to the dissolution of your marriage, it’s time to consult with an experienced in Colorado, legal separation attorney.

Why Some Couples Seek Legal Separation

Because a couple who is legally separated remains married in the technical sense, there are some distinct advantages to legal separation for some couples. For example, all of the following apply:

  1. Legal separation generally allows one spouse to remain on the other’s healthcare plan.
  2. Legal separation does not affect the military benefits received by the couple.
  3. Legal separation offers a viable alternative for those couples whose religious beliefs denounce divorce.

If, however, either spouse ever decides to move forward and remarry, the couple obviously must first obtain a divorce.

Legal Separation Is Not a Shortcut

Some couples have the mistaken belief that legal separation is a less arduous process or is a shortcut to marital dissolution, but this simply is not the case. You will need to go through all of the steps associated with obtaining a divorce, and the process is typically just as expensive as obtaining a divorce would be. Divorce offers couples a kind of alternate state in which they are treated as if they are married for some purposes and, for others, are treated as if they are not. While legal separation generally isn’t the best path forward, it can be an optimal choice for couples who are committed to specific goals.

The Terms of Your Legal Separation

To obtain a legal separation, you’ll need to tackle all of the major issues involved in a divorce, including:

  • The division of your marital property (that property that you acquired together as a married couple)
  • Your child custody arrangements (typically the children live primarily with one parent and have a visitation schedule with the other)
  • Child support (both parents are responsible for supporting their children financially, and as such, the parent with a visitation schedule usually pays child support to the other parent)

A legal separation is only possible if you both agree to a legal separation (instead of divorce). Finally, after a legal separation has been granted, either spouse can – relatively conveniently and inexpensively – convert it to divorce any time after the first six months of separation.

An Experienced Aurora Colorado Legal Separation Lawyers Can Help

Legal separation can be a good option for some couples with specific concerns. If you are considering the possibility of a legal separation, the Aurora legal separation lawyers at CNL Law Firm, PLLC, are committed to helping you to better understand your options and to find the path forward that best suits your unique needs. Our experienced legal team is here to help, so please don’t hesitate to contact us online or call us at (720) 370-2171 for more information today.

In the state of Colorado, a couple can seek a legal separation on the grounds that their marriage is irretrievably broken, similar to the criteria required for a divorce. This means that no party has to display any form of misconduct or wrongdoing in the relationship. Colorado being a no-fault divorce state makes this legal process less contentious.

Furthermore, a couple may choose legal separation over divorce due to religious or moral objections to divorce, while still needing to live apart. Despite the couple living separately, in a legal sense, they remain legally married. It is strongly recommended that couples seeking a legal separation consult with a family law attorney to understand the implications fully and navigate the legal proceedings efficiently.

 

In Colorado, there’s a required waiting period after a legal separation before a couple can transition to a divorce. Specifically, the couple must wait a minimum of 182 days from the date the court finalizes the legal separation, marked by the entry of the Decree of Legal Separation.

This period acts as a sort of “trial separation,” providing time for the couple to reflect on their decision and consider potential reconciliation before proceeding to a full divorce. However, following this 182-day period, they may file the necessary paperwork to alter their legal status from separation to divorce.

 

During a separation, there are several actions that should be avoided to ensure a smooth process and fair outcome for all involved parties. Here are the key points:

  1. Do not move out of your family home: Leaving your family home can have implications on property division and may affect your rights to the property in your legal separation case.
  2. Don’t rush into a new relationship: This can complicate your legal separation and potentially affect the terms of your separation agreement.
  3. Do not deny your partner the right to co-parenting: Unless there are safety issues involved, both parents should continue fulfilling their parental responsibilities, as it’s in the best interest of the children.
  4. Do not involve your family and friends in the separation process: Taking a neutral stance is essential to avoid creating tension or bias in your legal separation case.
  5. Don’t sign any documents without the consent of your lawyer: Any legal contract, including those related to your employment-related benefits or health insurance coverage, should be thoroughly reviewed by your legal counsel.
  6. Do not dispose of any property or asset: Disposing of marital assets before the finalization of property division can be seen as hiding assets and may negatively impact your case.

Do not ignore your familial responsibilities: Despite the separation, it’s important to maintain your familial responsibilities, especially towards your children, to avoid any legal repercussions.

The cost of filing for a legal separation in Colorado is $230. This fee covers the initial petition for separation. If the separation transitions into a divorce, an additional $230 is required for the dissolution of the marriage petition. Thus, each step incurs a separate fee.

 

Yes, under Colorado law, filing for legal separation is a necessary step. This process begins when one spouse submits a Petition for Legal Separation to the family court facilitator. To be eligible, at least one partner must meet the state’s residency requirement of living in Colorado for a minimum of 91 days preceding the separation filing.

After filing, an initial status conference is scheduled with the court clerk. Given the complexity of these procedures, it’s highly advisable to consult with an experienced family law attorney. This ensures accurate filing and compliance with all relevant Colorado legal requirements.

In Colorado, technically, separated individuals can start dating without violating bigamy laws, as legal separation doesn’t equate to single status. However, entering a new relationship during this time can complicate the legal process and may impact the conditions of the separation agreement.

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