You are tired of being married. You want to end things, but what are your options? Do you have to get a divorce?
Not necessarily. You can opt for a legal separation as well, but keep in mind that it is a legal process that is very similar to divorce. It is not as simple as moving out of the marital home.
In fact, divorce and legal separation in Colorado have a lot of similarities. For example, in both cases, you must have lived in the state for at least 91 days before filing. If you have children, they must have lived in Colorado for at least 182 days. You will then need to decide where to file your case and whether or not you and your spouse will file together.
In both cases, you will go through a formal process that addresses property division, child custody, alimony, and other legal issues. In fact, the process is pretty much the same except for one key difference: in a legal separation, you are still legally married. So even though you have split up property and decided on issues such as child custody and alimony, you are not legally divorced. This means you cannot remarry.
Benefits of a Legal Separation
So why would a couple choose a legal separation over a divorce? A legal separation can be beneficial in some ways. It allows a couple to work on their marital problems separately. It also allows a couple to avoid divorce, which may be frowned upon in some religions and cultures.
A legal separation also allows you to maintain your benefits. If your spouse has health insurance that you want to keep or you want to continue to receive tax benefits, a legal separation may allow you to do so.
From a Legal Separation to Divorce
Once you have gone through the process of a legal separation, getting a divorce is much easier. You can convert a legal separation to a divorce after you’ve had a final decree for at least six months. You can then file to convert the Decree of Legal Separation to a Decree of Dissolution of Marriage. You will need to complete the following forms and submit them to the court:
- The Motion to Convert Decree of Legal Separation to Decree of Dissolution of Marriage (JDF 1321)
- The Order to Convert Decree of Legal Separation to Decree of Dissolution of Marriage (JDF 1322)
- The Decree of Dissolution of Marriage or Legal Separation (JDF 1116)
You will also need to pay a filing fee.
Contact Us Today
There are pros and cons to a divorce or legal separation. Find out which option will work better for you.Having marital troubles? Tanis McGonegal Family Law, P.C. can assist you. We can help determine if a separation or divorce is right for you. Our Colorado divorce lawyers will address your concerns. Contact us today to learn more. Fill out the online form or call (303) 465-4605.