THE REPRESENTATION YOU NEED IN ORDER TO PROTECT YOUR FAMILY
Fort Collins Divorce Lawyer
In Need of a Divorce Lawyer in Northern Colorado? Call the Divorce Attorneys at The Law Office of Stephen Vertucci!
The Fort Collins divorce lawyers at the Law Office of Stephen Vertucci have years of experience handling separation, custody and support issues throughout Colorado. If you have no children and minimal assets, you might not need to hire a divorce attorney for an uncontested divorce. However, in a marriage of some duration, with children and various types of assets, fair and reasonable division of marital property and determination of child custody, child support, and spousal support can become extremely complex. In these cases, you should seriously consider having an experienced Fort Collins divorce attorney to guide you through this process. Your attorney will have detailed knowledge of Colorado’s divorce law and also have access to various experts, such as CPAs, forensic accountants, financial professionals, psychologists and social workers who can be called upon to perform audits and business valuations and to render opinions as to the best interests of the children and other complexities that may arise which require expert testimony.
In the more complex, high asset divorces, your Fort Collins divorce lawyer will:
- Determine the total value of assets of the marriage
- Negotiate a fair division of marital assets
- Review any prenuptial agreements for validity and enforceability
- Work to protect your parental rights
- Negotiate child custody and visitation agreements
- Negotiate child and spousal support
- Bring on board expert witnesses when appropriate
In this difficult time, having the best possible legal representation can make a great difference in the quality of your life moving forward. While no one can guarantee a totally stress-free divorce, having a supportive, compassionate, and diligent Colorado divorce lawyer working for you can make the process significantly less stressful and rancorous. Call the Law Office of Stephen Vertucci, LLC at 970.900.1800 for the advice and support you need as you work your way through the divorce process.
Colorado Divorce Laws and Statistics
In Colorado law, divorce is referred to as “dissolution of marriage.” One of the parties must have lived in Colorado for at least 90 days before filing for divorce. Colorado is a no-fault state, meaning, that for purposes of the divorce, no fault is assigned to either party—only that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” While issues such as adultery and abuse are generally not considered in the dissolution of the marriage, they may be taken into account when determining custody of the children. If you are in need of legal advice for your Colorado divorce, a Fort Collins family law attorney can help you get the results that are right for you and your family.
Divorce statistics can be a tricky thing to figure out. While it’s common to say the divorce rate throughout the United States is 50% – there are many reasons this number isn’t always true. Over time, society and laws have changed and divorce numbers have adjusted accordingly. Societal changes include cohabitation before marriage, religious views, gender roles, work schedules, etc. Instead of looking at divorce rates as a whole for 40 years, you can better understand by looking at marriage and divorce rates year by year. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released the marriage and divorce rates from 2000 until 2015, graphed below:
Divorce is nearly always difficult for a family. It may be met with feelings of regret, relief, or ambivalence. But even if you are relieved to be ending an unhappy marriage, a divorce can be incredibly stressful. According to a well-respected research study by psychiatrists Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe, of all life’s events, only one –the death of a spouse—is more likely than divorce to cause stress at such a high level that it can actually precipitate illness. Not only is it stressful to the parties who are ending their marriage, it can be stressful to the children and other family members who may be caught in the middle of a contentious situation.
Rational Colorado Divorce
With the right divorce lawyer, your divorce can be less stressful without sacrificing any of your rights or giving away more than is fair. It is important to select an attorney who will advocate powerfully for fair terms for your marriage dissolution without unnecessarily fanning the flames of volatile emotions and escalating the contentiousness that is not helpful to either party or to any children of the marriage. A good divorce lawyer is compassionate, level-headed, knowledgeable, fair-minded, and a skilled negotiator who can bring parties to a reasonable agreement in which there are no winners and losers. Your lawyer can help you achieve a “good divorce,” in which both partners are left with the resources to pick up the pieces and move on when a marriage has ended, with the least possible amount of rancor.
Divorce Process in Colorado
Every divorce in Colorado starts with the filing of the claim. Before you can file, you must first establish residency. At least one spouse must have established residence in the state for at least 90 days. “Domicile” can mean a physical presence in the state, but it can also include having a mailing address in the state, a voter registration card, or owning a house or car in the state. Only with domicile in the state for at least 90 days can you file for divorce in Colorado.
If you meet the residency requirements, obtain divorce forms from the correct county court. This can be the county in which either you or your spouse resides. Fill out the form, or petition for divorce, completely and accurately. You can either file for divorce jointly with your spouse, or separately with a court summons. You will have to sign some forms in front of a notary before filing. Bring your completed forms to court and pay the filing fee. Once your spouse receives the papers (“is served”), the divorce process can begin.
Fort Collins Divorce Mediation and Trial
The next few steps will vary according to whether you have a contested or uncontested divorce in Colorado. An uncontested divorce means that you and your spouse have come up with terms to which you both agree. This includes:
- property division,
- child custody,
- alimony, and
- other aspects of the divorce.
A contested divorce is one in which one spouse does not agree with the terms. Mediation, or a meeting between both parties in front of an impartial judge, may ensue to work through disputes. You can opt to have an attorney present during mediation if you wish.
If you and your spouse can work out disputes through mediation, you can save the time, money, and hassle of going to court. You also get the advantage of determining your own elements of divorce without judge intervention. For some couples, however, mediation doesn’t work. Each contested divorce case is different. You will have to attend one or more hearings to work through the contested details of the dissolution. Eventually, if your divorce goes to court, a judge will make the final decisions.
Divorce Laws in Colorado
In Colorado, if your divorce goes to court, the judge will rule for equitable property division. This means the judge will split your marital assets fairly (not necessarily equally) between each party. The judge will look at each spouse’s economic situation, the right to live in the home, and the value of the property each spouse will receive in making a decision. If you can settle during mediation, you and your spouse can make these decisions instead.
It’s one thing to read about the process of divorce in Colorado; it’s another thing to live through it. Luckily, there is a team of Fort Collins divorce lawyers ready to stand by your side every step of the way. You don’t have to navigate claim filing, paperwork, property division, child custody, mediation, or other divorce processes alone. The Law Office of Stephen Vertucci, LLC is here to provide the legal help you need. Reach out to us today and we’ll schedule a consultation.
Fort Collins Legal Buildings
Filing for divorce can be confusing – especially when you begin turning in forms and appearing before a judge or mediator. Below is a list of necessary addresses and phone numbers for Larimer County government buildings:
|Fort Collins Municipal Court||215 N. Mason, First Floor, Fort Collins, CO 80524||(970) 221-6800|
|Fort Collins City Clerk||300 LaPorte Ave., Fort Collins, CO 80521||(970) 221-6515|
|Larimer County Clerk & Recorder||200 W. Oak St #1000, Fort Collins, CO 80521||(970) 498-7860|
|Larimer County Clerks of Courts||201 LaPorte Ave, Fort Collins, CO 80521||(970) 494-3500|
|Larimer County Courthouse||200 W Oak St, Fort Collins, CO 80524||(970) 498-7000|
|Larimer County Recorder||1601 Brodie Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517||(970) 577-2025|
Get the Legal Help You Need When Your Marriage is Failing
The Law Office of Stephen Vertucci, LLC also serves clients looking for divorce mediation and those going through high net worth divorces. To find out more about our services, visit our divorce mediation page and high net worth divorce page.