Your biggest nightmare is becoming a reality; your spouse is adamant it is time for separation and divorce. In many states, legal separation is only in effect after an official petition for divorce has been filed. In Colorado, this is not the case. A legal separation is part of the formal process of obtaining a divorce. Obtaining a legal separation will be the more efficient way to start the process of divorce.
A Colorado family lawyer can be extremely helpful in filing the proper paper work for the separation, although you can do this step yourself. After you have obtained the separation, if you decide to go forward with a divorce, you will need to fill out three forms that must be presented to the Colorado court system. It will be important that the forms are filled out correctly. It is recommended that you review your copy of the decree of legal separation and use the same terminology such as who the petitioner, co-petitioner, and respondent are, when filing out the divorce forms.
The three forms include a Motion to Convert Decree of Legal Separation to Decree of Dissolution, an Order to Convert Decree of Legal Separation to Decree of Dissolutions, and a Decree of Dissolution of Marriage. While these forms may seem repetitive, they each provide a separate and important function.
The first-degree functions as a declaration to the court system that a separation of at least six months has been completed. Additionally, this form confirms that the other spouse has been notified and fully aware of your wish to take the separation to the status of an official divorce.
The second decree form seeks to describe the divorce conditions such as custody agreements, child and spousal support, asset, debt, and property division whether determined amicably or by the courts. This should be a mere formality as these terms should have been previously decided in your formal separation agreement.
The third decree form will assist you in obtaining an official divorce degree. Completing this form is similar to the process of obtaining a legal separation and must be filled out the same way. Once this is completed, it will be passed on to the judge. Once the document receives the judge’s signature, the divorce will be finalized. Thus, this document functions as your formal divorce decree.
Be sure to seek the counsel of an experienced Colorado family law attorney. He or she will be able to assist you in quickly moving the divorce process along. Once you have filed the paper work for legal separation, an adept lawyer can ensure your divorce is quickly finalized.