What Are Your Rights During Divorce in Colorado?

April 6, 2024

Divorce is an intricate legal process; navigating it alone can be overwhelming. If you're facing divorce in Colorado, understanding your divorce rights is crucial. This blog post, brought to you by Johnson Law Group, Colorado's trusted family law attorneys, will equip you with knowledge about four key rights of divorce in our state.

1. Spousal Support (Maintenance): Ensuring Financial Security Two hands sitting on divorce papers with wedding rings and a key to the house

Spousal maintenance is defined as a court-ordered payment from one spouse to the other spouse after a divorce. It's intended to provide financial support to the spouse with the lower earning capacity, allowing them to maintain a standard of living somewhat similar to what they enjoyed during the marriage.

Colorado is a no-fault divorce state. This means the court doesn't consider who caused the divorce when awarding spousal support, also known as spousal maintenance. You may be entitled to receive financial assistance from your spouse after the divorce if:

  • The length of your marriage significantly impacted your earning capacity.
  • You have substantial childcare responsibilities that limit your ability to work full-time.
  • There's a significant disparity in your incomes, making it challenging to maintain your pre-divorce standard of living.

Johnson Law Group's experienced attorneys will meticulously analyze your situation and fight to secure a fair spousal support arrangement that meets your specific financial needs during this transition.

2. Child Custody and Parenting Time: Prioritizing Your Children's Well-Being

Determining child custody and parenting time (visitation) is paramount if you have children. Colorado courts always prioritize the best interests of the child. You have the right to seek a child custody arrangement that fosters a healthy relationship with your children and ensures their well-being. There are several factors that can affect the arrangement.

  • Parental Fitness: This includes each parent's ability to provide a safe, stable, and nurturing environment with adequate financial resources.
  • Child's Needs: The court considers the child's age, emotional development, and special needs. A strong emotional bond with each parent is also crucial.
  • Parental History: The court assesses each parent's past involvement with the child and willingness to foster a healthy relationship with the other parent.
  • Proximity: The geographic proximity of each parent's residence minimizes disruption to the child's life, especially school and extracurricular activities.

By understanding these factors, you can prepare to demonstrate your ability to provide a loving and supportive environment for your child during divorce proceedings.

3. Division of Assets and Debts: Equitable Distribution

During your divorce, marital assets and debts will be divided equitably, meaning fairly, not necessarily 50/50. This right ensures a just distribution of property accumulated during your marriage. Factors considered include:

  • The length of your marriage.
    • Shorter Marriages: Assets acquired during a brief marriage are likely considered mostly marital property. The shorter the marriage, the closer the division might be to 50/50.
    • Longer Marriages: As the marriage extends, so does the commingling of finances. Separate property can become blurred, potentially impacting the division. Assets accumulated during an extended period are likely more marital, potentially influencing the final distribution.
  • The value of each asset and debt.
  • Each spouse's contribution to acquiring assets and debts.
  • Each spouse's current and future earning capacity.

What is Marital Property vs. Separate Property?

Marital Property: This includes the assets and debts obtained during the marriage, no matter who holds the title. It encompasses everything from real estate and vehicles to bank accounts and retirement savings accumulated jointly.

Separate Property: This refers to assets and debts you own before marriage or anything you receive as a gift or inherit during the marriage (unless the gift is intended for both spouses). Your separate property generally remains yours after the divorce.

How do you Determine the Value of Assets and Debts?

Equitable distribution in a Colorado divorce requires determining the fair market value of your marital assets. Here's a breakdown of the process:

  • Gather Documentation: For each asset, collect documents like titles, deeds, appraisals, recent bank statements, and investment records. This creates a clear picture of your financial situation.
  • Consider Asset Type: Valuation methods differ based on the asset. Real estate typically requires a professional appraisal, while stocks may use the most recent closing price.
  • Hire a Professional Appraiser (if needed): For complex assets like businesses or valuable collectibles, consider hiring a qualified appraiser specializing in that specific category. Their expertise ensures an accurate valuation.
  • Debt Valuation: Similar to assets, all marital debts need valuation. Gather statements and account information to determine the outstanding balance of each debt.
  • Disclosure and Transparency: Both spouses are legally obligated to disclose all assets and debts honestly. Transparency facilitates a fair and accurate valuation process.

4. Legal Representation: Protecting Your Rights Through the Process

Divorce is a legally intricate process with significant long-term consequences. You have the right to be represented by a qualified attorney who will protect your rights throughout the process.

Johnson Law Group's dedicated team of Colorado family law attorneys possesses extensive experience navigating divorce cases. We offer comprehensive legal guidance, including:

  • Negotiation of settlements that address your financial security and child custody concerns.
  • Representation in court hearings to ensure your voice is heard.
  • Assistance with complex legal matters such as property valuation and debt division.
  • Emotional support and clear communication throughout the divorce process.

Contact Johnson Law Group Today

Divorce is a challenging time, but you don't have to face it alone. Contact Johnson Law Group today to schedule a FREE consultation with our compassionate and results-oriented attorneys. If you'd like to speak with a team member, please call 720-445-4444. We'll guide you through every step of the divorce process, protecting your rights and advocating for your best interests.

Remember, knowledge is power. By understanding your key rights in a Colorado divorce, you can confidently make informed decisions and navigate this challenging chapter.


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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.
Our experience, dedication to Colorado families, and our success in each case we represent sets us apart from the competition. We are passionate about family and estate law. Our highly-qualified team will work tirelessly to achieve the best possible results in your case.


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