Divorce is never easy, but it can become even more complicated when spouses are unable to reach an agreement on issues such as child custody, child support, property division, and other important matters. At Plog & Stein, P.C., our Denver contested divorce lawyers have the skill and experience necessary to pursue your objectives. We are ready to protect your financial future and the wellbeing of your children.Pursuing a Contested Divorce in Colorado
Colorado is a “no fault” state, which means that you do not need to cite a specific reason for a divorce, such as infidelity or abuse. Instead, it is enough that a marriage has irreparably broken down. In Colorado, there are two types of divorce: uncontested and contested.
An uncontested divorce refers to a divorce in which a couple agrees on the terms and can proceed amicably. Once the parties resolve their issues, they can file a Separation Agreement with the Court. This document lists all of the issues that have been settled, and a judge will ultimately approve it. A judge will rarely challenge terms to which both spouses agree. Once approved, the agreement is treated like a binding contract and is enforceable by either party. If the parties agree on all issues, they can be divorced as soon as 91 days from the date of service or the filing of a co-petition.
A contested divorce, on the other hand, is one in which the parties may dispute many issues. In contested divorce situations, the court will typically intervene to make final decisions on issues regarding which the parties were unable to agree.
Both uncontested and contested divorces begin with filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and Summons. After the other spouse is served with the petition, he or she has 21 days to file a response with the court. Once that party responds, both spouses attend an Initial Status Conference at which they can attempt to resolve the pertinent matters to their divorce. If the parties cannot ultimately come to a resolution, the divorce becomes contested, and the issues are addressed in court. As the contested divorce attorneys at our Denver firm can explain, you may be required to participate in mediation prior to a contested hearing and show proof of mediation to the court.
A hearing on a contested divorce is known as a Final or Permanent Orders Hearing. At this hearing, each party can present evidence and testimony to support their position. The court also requires a sworn financial statement that details all relevant financial information, including marital assets, expenses, and debts. Judges assess the information presented by the spouses and decide on divorce matters in Colorado. The court does not use juries in these situations.
As a result, the judge will make a final determination on issues such as child custody, child visitation, property division, and the use of or access to various property and spousal support.
It is important to note that a judge’s final rulings in a contested divorce will stand unless they are challenged and overturned by an appellate court.Contact a Contested Divorce Lawyer in the Denver Area
If you are involved in a contested divorce, it is vital to consult an experienced Denver contested divorce attorney who understands the nuances of this area of the law. At Plog & Stein, we proudly represent people in Aurora, Centennial, Highlands Ranch, Castle Rock, and other cities in Denver, Douglas, and Arapahoe Counties. Call us at 303-781-0322 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with a family law attorney.