Frequently Asked Colorado Divorce Questions Part 3
- Can I take my kids to Disneyland while the divorce case is going on?
Pursuant to C.R.S. 14-10-107, there is an automatic injunction in place with each divorce case that precludes either party from taking the children out of state while the case is pending without permission from the other party or the court. In most instances, the parties will agree to allow the other to take the kids on an out-of-state trip while the case is pending. However, there have been times over the years that our attorneys have had to file motions in divorce cases seeking permission for our clients to travel out of state with the kids. Presuming a party is not spending money on the trip that should be spent on support, or taking the kids on vacation when they should be in school, out-of-state travel should not be an issue. In the experience of our custody lawyers, Denver courts will generally grant permission to travel while the divorce is going on.
- I have a decree of legal separation, what do I need to do to make it a divorce?
Once a decree of legal separation enters, the parties must wait a period of 6 months prior to converting it into a decree of dissolution of marriage. If a party to a divorce case decides to convert the matter to a divorce, he or she only needs to file a brief request or motion with the court. There is no legal basis for the other party to object to the separation decree being converted to a divorce decree, other than relates to the 6 month period. Our firm can advise you regarding whether to file for legal separation or divorce in your Denver case.
- How long do I have to reside in Colorado to file for divorce?
For a divorce to be filed in Colorado you must be a resident or “domiciled” in the state for at least 90 days. Technically, so long as either party has been a resident for 90 days, the case can be filed. The purpose behind the 90-day rule is to prevent what we attorneys call “forum shopping.” Most states have a minimum time period in which someone must reside in the state before seeking a divorce. Without such, people would simply look at the laws of various states to determine which state would be suit their needs in a divorce situation regarding the important issues, whether property division, alimony, custody, child support, or other divorce issues.
- How long do we have to wait for the court to make the divorce final?
In a Colorado divorce, there is a statutory 90-day waiting period from the filing of the case or service upon the other party, whichever comes later. In reality, most cases take much longer. Our legal team only sees cases completed in that 90-day time frame when the parties agree upon each and every issue and put together a full agreement reflecting such. Beyond the final agreement, the court will also be checking to make sure all financial disclosures pursuant to C.R.C.P. Rule 16.2(e)(2) have been exchanged and/or filed with the court. Additionally, the court will make sure that the mandatory parenting class has been completed in cases involving minor children. Assuming all these things are done, the decree finalizing the divorce can be entered after that 90th day.
- We lived in Colorado for 5 years. A year ago my husband left the state to Virginia, while the children and I stayed here. Can I file for divorce here?
Technically, a divorce can be filed wherever a person resides, assuming he or she meets the residency requirements in terms of time in the state. The real question is what jurisdiction does the Colorado court have over the other person who is not in the state? In this instance, Colorado would very clearly have jurisdiction over all divorce issues. Initially, the child issues would be dealt with in Colorado, as the children have been here for 6 months or more. All financial issues, including alimony, property division, and child support would also be Colorado issues. Fortunately, Colorado has what is called a “long arm statute.” Specifically, C.R.S. 13-1-124(e) indicates that the “maintenance of a matrimonial domicile with this state...” give rise to jurisdiction over out of state parties.
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