Uncontested Divorce Attorneys Serving Colorado
Is an uncontested divorce an option for you?
(The following is not legal advice for your case, but a general overview of court process and procedure. Call us to discuss how uncontested divorce might work in your specific situation.)
If you and your spouse agree on all aspects of your separation, including division of property and debts, maintenance, and allocation of parental responsibilities (if you have minor children), uncontested divorce filings may be an option for you. Colorado law does not describe an uncontested, no contest, or non-contested divorce differently from a contested divorce. You won't find these terms in the dissolution statutes. However, when parties agree on all terms there are differences in the process.
What's the difference from a regular divorce?
The main difference is that the two of you are in agreement. The legal process is typically designed to expect conflict. Many divorce attorneys only work in high-conflict situations and approach each case expecting conflict. A difference in perspective is important when working with already agreeable parties to not create conflict where none exists. We provide open avenues of communication with your spouse to avoid misunderstandings and mistrust of the process.
Additionally, there are differences in the court filings. When there is no conflict, you and your spouse can file all required paperwork at the initiation of the case and potentially avoid appearing in court at all, in some circumstances.
What's the process like?
In a contested divorce, one spouse files a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage to initiate the case. The Court requires the parties to attend an initial status conference to set deadlines or further hearing dates in the case. The parties also must exchange detailed financial disclosures describing all assets and debts owned jointly and individually. Either party may request temporary orders describing temporary maintenance (formerly called alimony) or child support (if children). The parties are required to attend mediation at some point with a third-party neutral to explore any option of agreeing on settlement of the case. If no settlement is reached the parties attend a contested hearing to argue their case.
If the parties have agreement from the outset, the parties may file all required documents and potentially avoid appearing in court at all. Some jurisdictions may still require appearance at a non-contested hearing and exchange of financial disclosures.
Do I need an attorney?
This depends on the complexity of the assets and debt involved, the length of the marriage, and income disparity between the spouses. The simplest dissolution of marriage involves parties in a short-term marriage (3 years or less) who have no shared assets, no debts to divide, and no children. In this situation, the parties can file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, a Case Information Sheet, a Proposed Decree, and an Affidavit for Decree Without Appearance. Parties in short-term marriages with no assets, debts, or children likely do not need attorneys.
Attorneys provide the most benefit where parties want to separate but are unsure how to divide assets and debts. Attorneys draft the Separation Agreement ensuring all issues are resolved between the parties and describing how all assets and debts are divided. The purpose of the divorce process when there are no minor children is to divide marital assets and marital debt. In general, property and debt acquired during the marriage are marital assets and marital debt, regardless of whose name the asset is titled in or debt obligated on. This involves many types of assets, such as real estate, investment accounts, and retirement plans, which are subject to particularly confusing law and policies that make them difficult to divide.
If you have minor children, a Parenting Plan is required to describe how parental decision-making and parenting time are allocated.
How can your attorneys help?
In a no-contest divorce, we provide full representation of one spouse. We represent and prepare all filings on behalf of one spouse. We collaborate with the other spouse to make the process as easy as possible, but we can only represent one spouse. This means that we advise the represented spouse on all issues in their best interest.
Our typical retainer is $3,500.00. The retainer is not a flat fee and is not necessarily the full cost of your case. The retainer is held in our trust account and billed from each month for the hourly work performed on your case. The retainer is set on a case-by-case basis dependent upon the expected work involved. The retainer must be replenished each month upon request. We do not provide unbundled legal representation or advice in divorce cases, except review of Separation Agreements.
WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
He took as much time as I needed to feel comfortable making decisions, listened carefully, advised me professionally and with compassion, and helped me reach a settlement by communicating effectively with the opposing lawyer. I would highly recommend him for family law matters.
- Family Law Client 11/13/18
We worked with both William and Emily Ellison for a custody case. They are extremely professional, but also get to know your situation personally. They listened to everything we had to say and gave us wonderful advice. They are both very knowledgeable. They had us more prepared for our hearing then we ever thought imaginable and we won our case. I highly recommend them for family matters. I would also use them again if ever needed. Wonderful people!!
- Family Law Client 1/2/19
Emily did a wonderful job with my divorce. She was very compassionate and understanding during a time that is otherwise very stressful.