Divorce can be relatively simple or extremely complicated depending on each individual set of circumstances. The complexity of the case depends on several questions, including but not limited to, the following:
Is there marital property or debts that need dividing? Is there a premarital agreement in place that will influence how the property will be divided? Are there estate planning instruments that need to be amended? How will the household items be distributed?
Does one spouse require spousal support from the other? Is there a premarital agreement in place that would impact spousal support?
CONTESTED VS. NONCONTESTED DIVORCE
In general, the fewer of the above questions that are in dispute, the less complicated—and less costly—the divorce process can be for you. If you are in agreement regarding the need for a divorce and do not have children or property, or you do have children and property but are in agreement on how everything is going to be divided, then you may be able to go through a process called a “Noncontested Divorce.” Unfortunately, not all cases can be settled collaboratively and must be handled through the more involved process of a “Contested Divorce.” Each of the above issues has particular rules and rights associated with them. We recommend each party to seek the advice of qualified legal counsel to help them understand and guide them through this complicated process.
In Colorado, once one party files for divorce, there is nothing the other party can do legally to prevent the divorce from proceeding. Hence, the term “Contested Divorce” does not refer to whether or not the divorce should take place, but rather to the terms on which the divorce is concluded.
For example, a divorce may become contested because one or the other party is seeking maintenance (alimony), or there may be a dispute as to the parenting time each party should receive. There may be concerns regarding child abuse or whether one party or the other is fit to parent the children. The distribution of assets are commonly disputed, such as what property should be considered marital assets and how much income each party really makes for purposes of determining child support or spousal maintenance.
CONTESTED DIVORCE PROCESS
Such disputes are handled through discovery, investigative inquiries, asset searches, trial preparation, and legal argument. Our law offices employ competent attorneys who can advise you not only on the law and the judicial process, but also on the investigative methods, their limits, and the likely outcome.
Where both parties agree to all terms of the divorce and merely need someone to prepare the pleadings and forms necessary in order to conclude the divorce, we may charge a flat fee depending upon your circumstances for legal advisement regarding the separation agreement, parenting plan, disposition of assets, preparation of all necessary pleadings, and electronic filing of documents. Our flat fee does not include Colorado’s mandatory filing fee of $230.00. Depending on the circumstances in your case, there may be additional charges for services such as process service or other necessary requirements of your case. Please see Unbundled Legal Services under Legal Fees.
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER
The documents and their preparation are standardized by the Colorado courts; however, each case has a different set of particulars, and the process must be done completely and correctly to prevent future litigation and added disturbance to the lives of the parties seeking the divorce. We have experience in handling details that are commonly overlooked that will help to prevent future, ongoing disputes. These details can include, but are not limited, to the following questions:
Who has responsibility for which debts?
What happens in the event of bankruptcy by either party?
What if one spouse moves out of the state?
Are you entitled to maintenance (alimony)?
Is your parenting plan drafted in a manner to avoid future disputes?
How will taxes be filed after the divorce?
Our experience in these matters and others can help prevent future re-litigation and protect both parties from unnecessary emotional anguish as well as costly attorney’s fees.
CONTACT US TODAY
THE LAW OFFICES OF LISA E. FRAZER, LLC.
936 East 18th Avenue Denver, CO 80218 303-861-7717