What Can Be Used Against You in a Divorce in Colorado? 2023

June 23, 2023

 Divorce in Colorado

Whether one spouse requests a divorce or both spouses agree that it is the correct choice, it will still be an emotionally charged time as you work to separate your lives from each other and learn how to live as a single person. A divorce becomes even more complicated in situations with complex factors like the couple sharing children, high-value assets, or filing a contested divorce. Regardless of the circumstances, you should be setting yourself up for the greatest chance of success after the process is complete.

Colorado is a no-fault divorce state, which means that neither party must prove any misdeeds on the part of their spouse to file for a divorce. The court will not even consider spousal wrongdoing in the initial complaint unless extraordinary circumstances apply.  There are, however, ways for fault or poor behavior to affect the divorce as it processes during the court.

  1. Hidden AssetsColorado law requires that both spouses affirmatively report their income, expenses, assets, and debts to completely account for all marital and separate property. When this information is filed with the court, the spouse is attesting to the truth of the submission. If your spouse finds the hidden assets, and submits the documentation to the court, the court has the right to award greater benefits to your spouse and may find you in contempt. Potential consequences of being found in contempt of court include fines and a jail sentence.
  2. Exorbitant SpendingWhen your divorce is filed, Colorado law makes it clear that wasting or unnecessarily spending marital assets is illegal. Marital waste is the intentional depletion or destruction of marital assets by a single spouse of property that would have otherwise been divided between the couple during the divorce. Proving marital waste only requires that a spouse show that the misuse occurred during the breakdown of the marriage and that it was for a non-marital purpose. Examples of marital waste include spending money on bad business transactions, gambling, or a drug or alcohol addiction. The court can award your spouse reimbursement for the value of misused assets with an unequal division of property.
  3. Extramarital AffairYou are considered married until your divorce is final with the courts, so entering another relationship before that date can negatively impact your portion of the divorce settlement. Spending money on your partner can constitute marital waste, resulting in your spouse getting a larger divorce settlement. Dating during your divorce can also create more emotional turmoil for everyone involved, especially if you have children. It can also impact your child custody case, as any person who will be spending time around your child can become a part of the investigation. If your new partner has a questionable history, the time that you can spend with your child is likely to be reduced.
  4. Electronic CommunicationAny electronic communication, like texts and emails, can harm your standing in your divorce case. Anything that you choose to put in writing can be used against you in a divorce, especially if those messages were sent to your spouse. During the discovery process, your spouse and their attorney can submit a subpoena for your phone logs, texts, and emails. Even social media posts can be used by the opposing team. Social media is an effective way of tracking adulterous behavior or other negative actions. Even a post that you believe to be innocent can potentially be twisted in a negative light. It is recommended that you limit your social media usage until your divorce is finalized.

Speaking with a divorce attorney is the most effective way to get insight into how to approach your divorce case. They can help you avoid any actions that may negatively affect your standing in your divorce or even result in legal consequences, like fines or jail.

FAQs

Q: How Much Does a Divorce Cost in Colorado?

A: The existing divorce petition fee in Colorado is $195. However, the overall cost of your divorce depends on many factors. Other fees that will increase the total cost of your divorce include attorney fees, court fees, and professional appraiser costs. A contested divorce that requires a judge’s input to finalize will also cost more than an amicable divorce resolved between the spouses.

Q: When Can I Remarry Following a Divorce?

A: You can only be married to one person at a time. This means that you cannot remarry until your divorce decree has been entered, which can be no sooner than the 91st day following the divorce being filed. It is also generally recommended that you not date or enter into another relationship until your divorce has been finalized. Once that date has passed, it is a personal choice as to when you feel ready to reenter the dating pool and explore new relationships.

Q: What If My Spouse Does Not Want to Get Divorced?

A: Colorado is a no-fault divorce state. To file for a divorce in Colorado, you are not required to obtain permission from your spouse or show spousal misconduct on their part. The only requirement is that you show the court that your marriage is irretrievably broken. Although the court may order mediation, or even counseling, if one spouse denies a broken marriage, it will not prevent the divorce from proceeding after those requirements have been met.

Q: Do I Need to Consult With a Colorado Divorce Attorney?

A: There is no legal requirement to retain an attorney to file for divorce or navigate the divorce process. However, it is still recommended that you consult with a divorce attorney to ensure that your rights are upheld and that the other party does not take advantage of the legal system. An experienced attorney can make sure that your interests are protected, provide valuable advice throughout the process, and handle the difficult steps of filing court paperwork.

Avoiding Divorce Mistakes

Although this list provides valuable information, it is far from comprehensive. A family law attorney can examine your specific situation and offer advice that can set you up for success in your divorce. Johnson Law Group, LLC, can take the time to learn your case inside and out so we can fully advocate for your rights and help you make well-informed decisions. For more information on what can be used against you in a divorce, reach out to Johnson Law Group, LLC, today.

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OVERBOARD: HOW TO AVOID SINKING
IN YOUR COLORADO FAMILY LAW CASE
Written by Family Law Attorney Myles S. Johnson
Divorce doesn’t have to be dramatic. For the litigants, losing your spouse is significant enough. But you can choose the way it affects your daily life. The only guarantee I can give is that the feeling that you have right now will not be the feeling you end with. This is a season in your life, and it must be approached that way.
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