What Is Legal Separation In Colorado?

If you are married and you and your spouse want to split, you have two main options in the state of Colorado — dissolution of marriage and legal separation. When most people think about legal separation, they consider it a stepping stone to divorce, but, in fact, it is its own entity. Legal separation is a type of a hybrid relationship where couples can be treated like a married couple in certain circumstances and as a divorced couple in others. Join us in today’s post as we discuss some of the aspects of legal separation versus divorce in Colorado.

The Process of Legal Separation in Colorado

The process to become legally separated is very similar to that of obtaining a divorce. First, the married couple must file a petition of legal separation and wait out the mandatory 91-day waiting period before the case is evaluated. During the waiting period, all matters of child custody, child and spousal support, and the division of assets are negotiated. Once the legal separation has been granted, the couple can decide to convert it into divorce, resume your marriage, or remain separated. To convert the legal separation into a completed divorce, the couple has to wait the mandatory six months and then file a motion to convert it into a divorce.

Why Consider a Legal Separation

Many couples who consider a legal separation may be seeking a divorce and either don’t follow through with dissolution because there is a possibility of future reunification, or they realize the benefits of legal separation and simply remain as such. Legal separation allows the couple to continue reaping the benefits of being married — health insurance, tax benefits, and other government benefits — while also enjoying the benefits of being divorced — living separately and seeking new relationships, division of assets, and child and spousal support. These are all important considerations when moving beyond marriage.

Enjoying the legal advantages of applying as a married couple while separated allows each partner to continue receiving mutual benefits while the advantages of claiming divorce during legal separation allow each partner to move on with life, dating new people and acquiring assets on their own without risking it becoming part of marital assets.

Is Legal Separation a Viable Option For You?

When you and your spouse are looking at options for each seeking a brighter future, but you are not ending the relationship on hostile terms or you have mutual children, a legal separation may be a solution that works for you. If you end up wanting to move forward with the divorce, you can when it is right, or, if you decide that the separation allowed you and your partner to gain space and work on yourselves and your relationship and you’d like to reconcile, the separation can be thrown out.

To help you and your spouse navigate the complexities of marriage, divorce, and everything in between in Colorado, enlist the services of an experienced family law lawyer that has your best interest at heart. Visit me online to learn more about your options, and connect with me to schedule your consultation today.