If you are preparing to file for a legal separation, you will need a detailed agreement to present to the court. A Colorado Springs separation agreement lawyer with extensive legal knowledge of these matters could help you establish a comprehensive plan for issues such as the division of assets and spousal maintenance. Additionally, our skilled family attorneys could help you understand your options when pursuing a legal separation and effectively represent your interests.
When it comes to the terms of a separation agreement, it is often preferable for the two parties to work together to reach a suitable arrangement that they can present to the court for final approval. However, if the two parties cannot agree on the provisions of their separation agreement, they will be at the mercy of the court who have final say on these matters. A Colorado Springs attorney could help someone establish an acceptable separation agreement that covers the various issues that may arise when a couple splits.
In terms of custody, the child’s welfare is the most critical factor in the court’s eyes. Unless there is a compelling reason to reach an arrangement to the contrary, the court often prefers the child to have an ongoing relationship with both parties, whether in the form of a joint custody arrangement or granting one parent primary custody and the other visitation rights.
Both parents also must contribute to the cost of raising and caring for their children. The court bases child support on a legal formula that factors in the parenting time of each party as well as their income. There may be circumstances where it is possible to come to a support arrangement that differs from the precise legal formula, such as when one party earns significantly more than the other.
The state of Colorado follows the equitable distribution theory with regards to the division of assets in a legal separation or divorce. Again, if the two parties cannot agree regarding how to divide their marital assets, the court decides how to apportion the property to each spouse. Assets such as financial accounts, vehicles, real estate, and furniture will need to be identified and evaluated, which often requires help from a valuation expert. The separating couple also may need to decide how to divide their shared debt.
Sometimes, a party who is separating from their spouse may petition the court for maintenance payments. These payments are subject to modification if the parties decide to proceed with a divorce, or get back together. The amount and extent of alimony may depend on numerous factors, including the wages of both parties, the need of the receiving spouse, and the paying party’s ability to meet a particular alimony obligation.
After six months from when the court entered the separation agreement, it can be converted to a divorce decree. A spouse filing a petition to transition the separation agreement to one for divorce must first notify their spouse. Assuming no significant changes need to be made, transitioning the agreement to a divorce decree can be relatively straightforward. A Colorado Springs attorney could help someone complete the forms required to transition a separation agreement into a divorce decree.
A Colorado Springs separation agreement lawyer could help you prepare an arrangement that includes provisions for child custody and support, spousal maintenance, division of assets, and other matters of concern. Additionally, a lawyer could help you understand your rights throughout the process and work diligently on your behalf. Call today to set up a case consultation with one of our attorneys.