A divorce requires physical, emotional and psychological energy from both spouses. It can easily be an overwhelming process, whether you were the person who filed for divorce or the recipient. If you are considering divorce, hire a lawyer from the beginning to help you overcome potential challenges. An experienced Fort Collins family attorney can move your case forward while looking out for what is best for you and your loved ones.
At The Law Office of Stephen Vertucci, LLC, our Fort Collins divorce lawyers have represented clients during difficult and complex divorce cases for years. We can empower you to look toward the future with hope. Our family law attorneys are committed to providing high-quality, comprehensive legal representation while effectively addressing each client’s needs. Discuss our unique legal strategy for your divorce case today. Call (970) 900-1800 to arrange a consultation with our law firm in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Filing for Divorce in Fort Collins, Colorado
Divorce is the legal dissolution of your marriage. You will return to your status as single after the finalization of a divorce in Colorado. Colorado has laws you must comply with for a successful divorce. It is a no-fault state, meaning the only grounds on which you can dissolve your marriage is that it is irretrievably broken. If one spouse files using this grounds, the courts will accept it, even if the other spouse does not believe the marriage is irretrievably broken.
Counsel from an a Fort Collins divorce lawyer at The Law Office of Stephen Vertucci, LLC can help you understand and navigate Colorado’s divorce laws with as little stress as possible on you and your family. The legal process can be complex depending on the details specific to your marriage and dissolution. You can only achieve a final judgment of divorce in Fort Collins after you fulfill all the requirements.
Residency Requirements for Divorce
First, you must be a resident of Colorado to file for divorce in this state. You cannot file for divorce in Fort Collins or any other city in Northern Colorado unless you or your spouse has been a resident of the state for at least the past 91 days. The state must have jurisdiction over the respondent spouse as well. If you and your spouse have children, they must have resided in Colorado for at least 181 days. Exceptions may apply for active military members stationed in Colorado.
Divorce Waiting Period
Although most couples want their divorces to end as quickly as possible, Colorado and many other states enforce waiting periods. A waiting period can ensure divorce is what the couple wants. It can also give the couple time to resolve important issues, such as property division and child custody. In Colorado, 91 days must have passed since you or your spouse received the divorce summons before the courts will dissolve the marriage. If you both filed for divorce jointly, the clock will start ticking on the day you filed. The 91-day rule also applies to legal separations. A Fort Collins divorce attorney can guide you through the state legal process and answer any questions you may have.
What Divorce Means for You
Fulfilling Colorado’s minimum requirements to get a divorce is only the beginning. Divorce is an emotionally exhausting and often financially draining process that will take a lot out of you. While you may not be able to avoid the emotional side of divorce, you can prevent legal issues by hiring a Colorado divorce attorney to represent your rights and best interests. A lawyer from The Law Office of Stephen Vertucci, LLC can protect you, your children and your finances during a divorce. We can make your divorce much easier to get through.
Your divorce case will look different from anyone else’s. You may have children that require you and your spouse to work out a parenting plan or custody agreement. You may have high-value assets or shared endeavors such as a jointly owned business you need to divide. You may have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement enforcing certain rules for your divorce. What divorce means for you will depend on your specific financial and familial situation. Hiring an attorney allows you to delve into the details of your divorce while fully protecting your legal rights.
Each divorce case is 100% unique. Regardless of the details, however, it is a universal fact that divorces are difficult. Both parties may go through struggles relating to personal finances, estates, child custody and emotional trauma. While some couples can put their differences aside long enough to work out a divorce settlement in good faith, others have to go to trial in Fort Collins. Our family lawyers can work with you either way, guiding you through all the steps of your specific divorce. We can answer your questions, provide legal advice, and make your divorce as simple and painless as possible for you and your family.
The Scope of Divorce Proceedings
Deciding to end your marriage is the first step of getting divorced. From there, you and your spouse will have to work out the details on many important legal matters. The average divorce takes months to complete, but yours could take longer if you and your spouse do not agree on the divorce terms. Engaging in alternative dispute resolution such as mediation in Fort Collins could encourage you and your spouse to work together and achieve an uncontested divorce – a faster and less expensive process than going to trial. Otherwise, you and your spouse may need to go to court to work out the details of your dissolution.
Property division. Colorado is a marital property state, meaning the courts will generally divide marital assets equitably in a divorce. Marital assets are all assets, including money, investments and properties, acquired during the marriage. The courts will divide assets according to what is fair (usually equally) unless the couple agrees to a different arrangement.
Child custody. Colorado’s parental responsibility laws will assign joint or primary custody to either parent in a divorce case. Joint parental responsibility means both parents share custody. Primary means one parent will have main custody (the noncustodial parent will have less than 90 overnight visits). The courts will also assign decision-making responsibilities to one or both parents.
Child support. The Colorado courts will calculate a child support award based on factors such as both parents’ earnings and parental responsibilities. In general, child support will be a percentage (about 20% for one child and 10% for additional children) of both parents’ combined incomes. Then, the courts will split this between both parents. The parent with the greater portion of financial responsibility will pay the other child support, typically until the child is 19.
Spousal maintenance. Colorado permits spouses to request spousal maintenance, or alimony, during divorce cases. Statutory maintenance is alimony a judge can award at a hearing. Contractual maintenance is an agreement the spouses can come to on their own. The amount of alimony a judge may award, if any, will depend on factors such as the length of the marriage and the incomes of both spouses. The Colorado courts do not award alimony based on marital misconduct or fault for the divorce.
The courts in Colorado allow couples to create their own property division and parenting plans before a judge will intervene. Working with a divorce attorney from The Law Office of Stephen Vertucci, LLC can increase your odds of successfully mapping out the terms of your divorce with your spouse. In general, if two spouses can compromise and agree on the terms of the split, a judge in Fort Collins will sign off on the arrangement. If you cannot agree to the terms of your divorce, however, the matter will go to trial, leaving all final decisions up to a judge. Either way, your lawyer can protect your interests with tailored legal advice.
Types of Divorce Matters We Handle
At The Law Office of Stephen Vertucci, LLC, we have years of experience with providing the best possible legal services during divorce cases in Northern Colorado. Our divorce lawyers truly care about the clients and families they represent. We have the tools and abilities to assist our clients with all key matters related to marriage dissolution, from asset division to parenting plans. We customize our legal services according to each client’s unique needs.
Our Fort Collins divorce attorneys can handle even the most complex divorces. We exclusively accept family law cases, giving us in-depth knowledge and legal familiarity within this practice area. We are dedicated to resolving family issues in Colorado, no matter what that may mean to you. Our lawyers provide respectful, organized and professional divorce services in Fort Collins that aim to address not only your legal needs but your emotional and financial needs as well. Find out if we can accept you as a client during a legal consultation with our family law attorneys.
How to File for Divorce in Fort Collins, Colorado
If you wish to file for divorce, start by protecting yourself and your children. If you are in a domestic violence situation, call an attorney for advice before filing. A lawyer can help you file for a protective or emergency order in Fort Collins at the same time as your divorce petition. A protective order could legally require your spouse or partner to leave the home and cut off all contact with you and your children. Once you and your family are safe, you can continue with the divorce process.
File the divorce forms at the right courthouse. If you are a resident of Fort Collins, download the correct Family Law Form, accurately fill it out and submit it to the Larimer County family courts. The form you use will depend on the type of divorce or separation you are seeking, as well as whether you have children with your spouse.
Serve the form on your spouse. You can bring the divorce papers to your spouse on your own or hire a professional to do so for you. The 91-day waiting period for divorce will commence as soon as your spouse receives the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. Your spouse may or may not respond to the petition during the waiting period.
Work out the details of your divorce. If possible, work with your spouse to organize the details of your divorce. Use tools such as mediation or arbitration to try to agree with your spouse on elements such as parental responsibilities and property division. The waiting period gives you time to try to compromise and avoid a trial.
Attend all required meetings and hearings. You may have to attend an initial status conference, a temporary orders hearing, a permanent orders hearing and/or a settlement hearing to resolve your divorce case. Your attorney can represent you during these meetings to help you successfully get through them.
Negotiate a settlement or go to divorce court. With help from a lawyer, you and your spouse may be able to reach a settlement and have a judge sign off on the plans you came up with together. Otherwise, your lawyer can represent you in divorce court. An attorney can be critical to achieving satisfactory results during a divorce trial in Fort Collins.
The average divorce case in Colorado will take about six to nine months to complete. Whether you have a contested or uncontested divorce is the main factor in how long your divorce will take. The necessary steps to achieve dissolution of marriage can also vary according to your unique case. A lawyer in Fort Collins will understand Colorado’s divorce laws and the processes it entails. From fulfilling courthouse requirements to explaining your rights and options to you in detail, your lawyer can help you with all the steps of filing for divorce in Colorado.
Get Represented by a Fort Collins Divorce Attorney
If you are considering divorce, you are at a critical juncture. You can continue on your own and handle the legal process by yourself or you can hire a divorce attorney in Fort Collins. If you have a simple and straightforward divorce case with little to no assets, no children and a spouse who is willing to compromise, you may be able to handle your divorce without a lawyer. If, however, you have any complicated factors or your spouse has hired an attorney, it is generally in your best interest to hire an attorney as well.
The Law Offices of Stephen Vertucci, LLC has caring and sympathetic divorce lawyers who can aggressively advocate for your rights during a divorce or legal separation. We can handle high-net-worth divorce cases, military divorces, relocations, domestic violence divorces and more. Our lawyers will ask about your goals and do what it takes to meet them. We can guide your family through Colorado’s divorce process with as little stress as possible. A divorce does not have to be a headache for your family. Work with our Fort Collins divorce lawyers for an efficient and effective divorce. Call (970) 900-1800 or contact us online today to start with a consultation.