Colorado Springs Divorce Lawyers
Put 100+ Years of Combined Experience in Your Corner
Considering dissolving a marriage is difficult. We understand that this may be a stressful and emotionally charged situation and we want to provide you with the steady guidance and compassionate assistance you deserve during this process. Our Colorado Springs divorce attorneys have more than 100 years of combined experience and we are ready to listen and defend your best interests.
5 Reasons to Choose Our Divorce lawyers in Colorado Springs:
- Free Initial Consultation
- 100+ Years of Collective Experience
- Compassionate & Dedicated Attorneys
- Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum®
- The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100
Call (719) 602-5888 to schedule a free consultation with a Colorado Springs divorce lawyer at Clawson & Clawson LLP.
What is the First Step in Getting a Divorce in Colorado?
For some people, the first step in ending their marriage is to file for legal separation. Many couples choose to legally separate because their relationship is on the rocks but they still want to try to salvage the marriage without the pressure of living in close quarters.
For others, the purpose of legal separation is to test out terms for child custody, alimony, and property division without the finality of a divorce. If, however, you are ready to take the plunge and move ahead with your divorce, then the first step for you to take is to hire a Colorado Springs divorce lawyer who can help you file a petition for dissolution of marriage.
Our Lawyers Handle All Aspects of Divorce
At Clawson & Clawson, LLP our attorneys have more than 100 years of experience combined and are able to help you in all aspects of divorce. This includes, but is not limited to the items below:
- Legal Separation
- Military Divorce
- Child Custody
- Child Support
- Domestic Abuse
- Grandparent Visitation
What is a No-Fault Divorce?
Before you can file your petition, either you or your spouse must have been established as a Colorado resident for at least 90 days. Colorado is a "no-fault" divorce state, meaning that you do not have to prove that either party is to blame for the failure of the marriage.
This is now true of nearly all states, whereas in earlier years it was necessary to demonstrate that one of the spouses had caused the divorce to be necessary through actions such as adultery, domestic abuse, or desertion. In today's legal system, all that is required now is to state that the marriage is "irretrievably broken."
What Happens if One Person is Opposed to the Divorce?
In most cases, both spouses agree to get the divorce and they each sign the petition as co-petitioners. If, on the other hand, your spouse is not in contact with you or is opposed to the divorce, then you will have to have the petition delivered through a process server or law enforcement official.
The petition will state your terms for the divorce, and your spouse will have 20 days in which to file a response that either accepts your terms or asserts a counter-claim. In the event that your spouse fails to file a response before the deadline, the court may rule in your favor by default.
Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce
You have the option of either reaching an out-of-court settlement for your divorce or of bringing it before a judge. The former, which is referred to as an "uncontested divorce," can be achieved through mediation or negotiation with your spouse, while the latter, a "contested divorce," is essentially a courtroom trial.
An uncontested divorce has the advantages of being more private, faster, and less stressful, in addition to the fact that it allows you to maintain a greater degree of control rather than having the judge issue arbitrary rulings for you. Uncontested divorce is, however, not always possible, and if this is true in your case, then it is important to have an attorney who is prepared to fight aggressively to defend your personal interests.
Whether your divorce is contested or uncontested, there are certain guiding principles that are used to decide the outcome of a divorce in Colorado:
Child Custody and Visitation
When the judge is ruling on a contested divorce or reviewing an uncontested divorce settlement, he or she examines the arrangement for parental responsibilities to ensure that it serves the children's best interests. This includes questions such as whether each parent is willing to foster the children's relationship with the other parent, the degree to which each parent can provide for the children's needs, and whether either parent has a history of domestic violence or child abuse.
The family law courts in Colorado apply the principle of "equitable distribution," which means that the division of assets and debts in a divorce is intended to be fair, rather than strictly equal. The property division may not, in other words, be an even 50-50 split between you and your spouse. Factors that influence the division of property include each spouse's contribution to the marital estate, services rendered as a homemaker, which parent will receive child custody, and whether certain assets are separate or shared property.
There is no guarantee that alimony will be awarded in any divorce, but it is not uncommon. Spousal support is typically awarded in cases in which one of the spouses has been financially dependent on the other and will require a period of time to acquire the necessary training or education to become economically self-sufficient. The purpose of spousal support is to help the recipient maintain an acceptable standard of living while easing back into single life.
Stay in Control of Your Divorce
It is impossible to keep a divorce entirely out of the courtroom, but you have options for protecting your privacy and maintaining control of the proceeding. If you and your spouse are able to work together constructively, a divorce attorney from our firm can assist you with negotiating the terms for an out-of-court settlement. This is referred to as an "uncontested divorce." If, on the other hand, you and your spouse cannot maintain amicable relations, then the divorce will most likely be contested in court.
When this happens, your attorney has the task of persuading the judge to rule in your favor on matters including child custody and visitation, property division, and spousal support. In either scenario, it is in your best interest to retain legal representation from the outset of the case.
Choose Top-Rated Divorce Attorneys in Colorado Springs
We are proud to deliver award-winning advocacy to each client. Our divorce lawyers in Colorado Springs are nationally recognized in the legal community due to our extensive accomplishments and skills.
Here are just a few of the recent awards earned by our attorneys:
- Over 100 Years of Collective Experience
- “10 Best - Client Satisfaction Award for 2 Years” From American Institute of Family Law Attorneys (2015/2016) – Matthew Clawson
- Million and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum® (Only 1 % of attorneys are members)
- "Superb" ratings on Avvo (highest ranking possible)
- "Best Lawyer" by the CS Independent (2010, 2012) awarded to Attorney Matthew Clawson
- “Best Lawyers in America” from Best Lawyers (2017 lucite/plaque) – Michael Clawson
- Best Attorney in Colorado Springs (2012) in the Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph's awarded to Attorney Michael Clawson
- Colorado Springs Style " 2014 Top Attorneys in Colorado Springs" in the Criminal Law, DUI Law and Family Law categories featured Matthew and Michael Clawson
- “Colorado Springs CO Top 3 Divorce Lawyers” from 3 Best Rated (2016) - Matthew Clawson
- “National Ranking - Top 10 Attorney Award” from National Academy of Family Law Attorneys (2016) – Matthew Clawson
- “National Top 100 Trial Lawyers” (2016) – Matthew Clawson
- “National Top 100 Trial Lawyers” (2016) – Michael Clawson
- “Top 100 Litigation Lawyer of CO” from American Society of Legal Advocates (2016) – Matthew Clawson
- “Top 100 Litigation Lawyer of CO” from American Society of Legal Advocates (2016) – Michael Clawson
Colorado Divorce Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the Grounds for Divorce in Colorado?
Colorado law provides the option of "no-fault" divorce, meaning that you do not need to prove that either party is responsible for the failure of the marriage. All that is necessary is to state that the relationship is "irretrievably broken." The only other major requirement is that either you or your spouse has been a resident of this state for at least 90 days prior to filing your petition.
What is a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage?
If you and your spouse have agreed to divorce, then you can both sign the petition for dissolution of marriage. If, on the other hand, your spouse is opposed to the divorce or is not in contact with you, then it will be necessary to serve him or her with a copy of the petition, after which your spouse will have 20 days to file a response and counter-claim. If he or she fails to file a response before the deadline, then the court may rule in your favor in a default judgment.
How is Property Divided in a Divorce Under Colorado Law?
The division of property and assets may be different depending on what state you are in. In the video below, we provide detail about how the laws can affect your divorce.
- Related: During the Divorce-Don't Forget to Change Those Beneficiary Designations
- Don't Forget the Retirement Accounts/Benefits in a Divorce!
- 5 Mistakes to Avoid in a High-Asset Divorce
- High Asset Divorce Anxiety
Contact us at (719) 602-5888 to see how a divorce lawyer help. We represent people in Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Parker, and Denver.