Divorce can be a complicated process because two people who once loved each other are now choosing to permanently separate both physically and financially. Emotions can run high in marriage dissolution cases, which can make the process of separating complicated. As such, it can be difficult for you to know what to expect in a Colorado Springs divorce without an experienced attorney by your side.
Before the divorce process can begin, an individual in Colorado Springs should expect these requirements. Per state law, the courts may only enter a decree of dissolution of marriage when three things are found to happen. First, the court must find that one of the parties has lived in the state of Colorado for 91 days prior to the beginning of the case. Then, the court must determine that the marriage is irretrievably broken, and that more than 91 days have passed since the court established jurisdiction over the respondent.
The place where a person is going to file for divorce is called “venue,” and then the proper venue is generally in the county where the petitioner resides. There are some exceptions, but this is the general rule. In Colorado Springs, a couple would go to the El Paso County Courthouse to file for a divorce.
A person in a divorce case in Colorado Springs should expect a streamlined case process with few court dates if there are little to no issues between the parties. However, if there are contested issues between the parties, this could lengthen the process. Additionally, many of the courts are double and triple-booked for their court hearings, which can make contentious divorce cases last potentially a year to a year and a half. Other factors that can add to how long a case will take include the complexity of the case issues, and whether experts, like a therapist or financial professional, need to be appointed to the case.
Primarily, someone could expect the main piece of evidence that is used in divorce cases to be the sworn financial statement of each of the parties. This is going to be the detailed documents that layout what the assets and debts are of both parties. Additionally, the parties then must provide disclosures to the other side. These disclosures involve documents such as bank statements, tax returns, expenditures that they have made in addition to their debts, including credit card debts and student loans.
The cost of getting divorced in Colorado Springs varies per case based upon the complexity of the issues between the parties. The more complex the issues, the more expensive a divorce may be. When paying for legal counsel, a party typically puts a retainer fee down and pays an hourly rate for the attorney and paralegal for time worked on a case. Additionally, if experts are needed on the case, involving these professionals may create additional costs outside of payments for their attorney.
Generally, the party who retains the attorney and signs a fee agreement is contractually responsible for paying for the fees and costs associated with their divorce case. In some instances, the party may request that the other side pay for some or all of their respective attorney’s fees. However, this is not a guarantee.
One of the main reasons to contact an attorney is to gather information and educate oneself. It is important to understand the process because going through a divorce may be a completely foreign subject to the person seeking advice. For more information about what to expect in a Colorado Springs divorce, speak with a member of our team today.