Denver Divorce FAQ: 10 Common Divorce Questions and Useful Answers
Uncontested Divorce Mediation
Posted October 19, 2022
Most people are not divorce experts when they decide to end their marriage. You probably haven’t read up on your state’s divorce laws or asset separation policies. You likely aren’t an expert on drafting legal documents and submitting them to the court. Most people come into divorce knowing what they’ve seen on television legal dramas. Divorce seems to be a dramatic battle between lawyers over every end-table and child custody weekend. But it doesn’t have to be. With a more subtle understanding of Denver family law, you can easily forge a path to a more peaceful, functional, and even mutually beneficial separation from your current spouse. You don’t have to be an expert on divorce when you can work with one.
Split Simple is a Denver divorce mediation service. We make it easy to work out all the details and reach a benficial divorce agreement. But first, we usually field a lot of questions. Our divorce mediators often start the pre-session consultation or the first session by dispelling a few frequently asked questions and common misconceptions.
Here are just a few of the common questions we hear and answers we often give to spouses seeking a Denver divorce.
1. Can We Get an Uncontested Divorce If We Have Disagreements?
In Colorado, you can file a contested or uncontested divorce. A contested divorce is overseen by a judge who will make rulings on all your disagreements, and is argued by the two traditional divorce lawyers for each party. An uncontested divorce in Denver is one where the spouses submit a mutually written divorce agreement to the court for approval.
Can you submit an uncontested divorce if you have disagreements? Yes, absolutely. There’s no need to give up your power over final divorce terms if you don’t have to. Simply resolve your disagreements before drafting the final document. A Denver divorce mediator can help you resolve disputes and draft a mutual -uncontested- divorce agreement after resolutions have been found.
A contested divorce is only necessary if spouses are unable to discuss or compromise.
2. Who Decides How Assets are Divided in a Colorado Divorce?
First, the state laws decide. There are many rules about asset separation in a divorce because there is such a long history of how this can be done disastrously – to the ruin of one or both parties. Therefore, first your personal assets will be designated – those you owned separately before the marriage and any exclusive gifts or inheritance since then.
Next, individual accounts will mostly be separated, but certain things like a marital business (even if primarily operated by one spouse) and retirement funds may need to be separated according to fair division laws.
Once the law has had its say over portions and division, the two spouses and their advisor can decide exactly what is divided. For example, it’s better to keep your retirement accounts separate and balance the books with furniture or investment shares instead of opening an IRA early to split the funds. With an uncontested divorce in Denver, you have the option to finesse the division for the best personal outcomes and financial strategy.
3. Who Decides on Child Custody Terms in a Colorado Divorce?
Again, first the state, and then the parents. However, parents have much more latitude for building a personalized custody agreement than you will when dividing assets. Modern custody agreements tend to favor joint custody instead of a primary and a weekend parent. This means both parents should prepare to play an equal role – and to build a system designed for smooth co-parenting.
To account for growing up, changing schedules, and life developments, leave your terms flexible and able to adapt to future situations without official revisions.
4. Separation, Annulment, and Divorce; What’s the Difference?
There are three ways to “end” a marital union in Colorado; legal separation, annulment, and divorce. But what is the difference?
Annulment is when a marriage is zilched – it never existed. To do this, you must prove the marriage was not legal, consensual, or completed at the time. The traditional definition is non-consummated (no sex). However, today, annulments are granted for several reasons including registered joke marriages, marriages under duress (force), spousal fraud (catfishing), or if one or both spouses coud not legally grant consent (age, mental incapacity, or drugs).
A legal separation keeps the marriage intact, but separates your assets and creates custody agreements to function as two separate households. This is common for couples that live separately and co-parent without divorce.
Divorce is the official end of a marriage, complete with a separation of assets and custody agreements.
5. Do You Have to Divorce in the City Where You Married?
No, you do not have to get divorced in the same place you were married. While a pilgrimage to your marriage town would be symbolic, it is too inconvenient for modern life. The only thing required about where you get your divorce is that at least one spouse reside in the juristiction of the court where your divorce papers are submitted – and that your divorce conforms to the local laws.
6. Do You Both Have to Live in Colorado to Get Divorced?
No. Separated spouses (legal or functional) do not have to live in the same city, county, state, or even country to get divorced. The divorce is handled by the home region of one spouse, who registers for both parties. To get a divorce in Denver, only one spouse needs to live in Denver region to submit the paperwork to Denver courts. As long as the divorce conforms to Colorado law, then it will be accepted and the marriage will be legally ended.
7. Can I Change My Name After Divorce?
Yes. Both parties can change their name after a divorce, and women do not have to revert to their original maiden name. A divorce is usually considered an acceptable reason to change your name, so if you submit a name change request to the courts with a recent (or even not-so-recent) divorce, your request may be granted. Men can also change their name, and you can – within reason – change your name to anything you want.
8. Can Grandparents Get Involved in a Denver Divorce?
The parents of a divorcing couple often choose to get involved. But do they have a say? No. Grandparents are not guaranteed child custody rights and they do not have a say in the terms of your divorce. You can conduct your divorce and finalize entirely in private if you so choose. If you ask, your Denver divorce mediator will reject contact from a meddling parent or grandparent in order to keep your mediation process private and uninfluenced.
If you do want a trusted parent to partake in your divorce negotiations, you can choose to introduce any special advisor to your mediator and they will hold a separate meeting to listen to your advisor’s concerns – whether this is a doctor, private lawyer, fincncial advisor, or a parent.
9. Does a Divorce Have to Be a Legal Battle?
No, you do not have to each get a lawyer and fight it out. Neither spouse has to “lose” anything in the divorce, and you are allowed – by law – to simply work out issues with your spouse instead of coming at them with legal terms and propositions. A Denver divorce mediator does without the separate lawyers and provides an even, unbiased resolution path for both spouses.
In this way, you can create an uncontested divorce document in which you have the most control over your own divorce terms – and those terms are designed to ensure both parties leave the marriage on their feet in the best possible standing. If you have children to raise together, this is also the best possible way to transition to a mutual co-parenting style with two separate, stable households.
10. How Long Does Divorce Take? Can You Get Divorced Really Fast?
Divorces also don’t have to take forever. They don’t have to take months. In fact, if you have your documents in order and no major disagreements, it might only take a few cumulative hours. Split Simple can handle most divorces with one, two, or possibly three two-hour mediation sessions during which time we will help you fairly and practically split your assets, find agreeable terms, build a flexible child custody plan, and resolve any final disagreements or misunderstandings.
1624 Market Street #202
Denver, CO 80202