Colorado Divorce, Legal Separation, and Mediation

Since family law varies widely from state to state, many people hear various myths about divorce laws and how the legal process works in Colorado. Because divorce is a common issue throughout the nation, many people claim to be familiar with family law, while in fact they may only be aware of the laws pertaining to a another state, or of Colorado laws that are no longer in effect. It is relatively common to receive misinformation about family law from non-attorneys and from attorneys who do not specialize in divorce law . It is for these reasons that if you are experiencing a family law matter in the State of Colorado, you will want to ensure that you hire an attorney who thoroughly understands and practices all aspects of domestic law. Additionally, having an attorney who focuses on family law will give you the benefit of knowing that your lawyer is familiar with the most recent laws and trends in Colorado.

The dissolution of marriage is an extremely stressful process, especially when you are unable to reach an agreement and have to appear in court. When you are going through a divorce, we understand the difficulties you are experiencing, and will consider alternatives to settle the case that will reduce costs and result in a fair settlement to you. Coming to an agreement with your spouse will not only reduce legal expenditures, but will also allow you to take an active role in finalizing your case, and eliminates the risk of going to trial and the uncertainty of a judge's orders.

If you are unable to reach an agreement with your spouse and litigation is the only option, having an experienced attorney who will prepare you for your hearing and help you focus on the most important points is vital to the success of your case.

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Legal Separation

Couples sometimes choose to file for a Decree of Legal Separation for issues that include health insurance coverage or for religious reasons. The Legal Separation process is virtually identical to that for divorce and the time involved depends on the case and the dynamics of the parties involved. The primary difference between a legal separation and a divorce is that after a decree of Legal Separation has entered, neither party is free to remarry until the case is converted to a divorce action.


"Maintanance" is the term used by Colorado courts to describe what other states call alimony or spousal support. There are two types of maintenance – temporary and permanent. Temporary maintenance is support paid to a party while your divorce is pending. Permanent maintenance is support paid after your divorce is final. Whether you are seeking financial support from your spouse, or need assistance in determining a fair amount to pay to your spouse, you’ll find that having a law firm of attorneys specializing in family law works to your advantage in knowing the current trends in maintenance awards.Please note that there are many factors that are considered when the courts rule on maintenance.

Common Law Marriage

In Colorado, a couple is common law married if they present themselves to their friends and family as “husband and wife,” and intend to be common law married. The amount of time they have spent together is rarely considered. A common law marriage depends on the individual facts of the case. If it it determined that you are not common law married and there are children involved, it is still possible to file an Allocation of Parental Responsibilities Action.

Colorado Divorce Mediation

If you and your spouse cannot reach a settlement agreement and you do not want a Judge make the final decisions, you can participate in mediation, where a trained and neutral third party will attempt to reach a settlement between the parties. Mediation takes place outside of the courtroom, and is a less formal and less expensive process than litigation. A good mediator will tell you where your case stands in relation to Colorado law and what a Judge might order, thus helping facilitate the settlement process. Parenting issues often arise after a divorce, and mediation can be a useful tool to resolve issues not addressed in your original case. Former law professor and attorney Margaret Walker is our mediator at The Harris Law Firm who can guide and counsel you through the mediation process. View additional information on our Colorado Divorce Mediation Services

Contact Us with your Colorado Divorce or Separation questions or schedule a consultation to begin the process.

Located in Denver (303) 515-5000 and Fort Collins (970) 472-1838, The Harris Law Firm is Colorado's largest family law firm.  Focusing exclusively on Colorado Divorce and Colorado Child Custody and Support, the firm's philosophy is to work with you to resolve your legal matter in the best way possible. When you consult with one of our attorneys, the expert legal advice you receive will help you understand your rights and options according to Colorado law. And when you retain this AV rated firm, the many years of combined experience provided by your legal team will ensure that the resolution of your case is handled in the most organized, timely, cost efficient and effective manner possible. If you want to limit conflict and protect your rights, call us today to schedule a private consultation in our Denver or Fort Collins offices. Call us at 303-515-5000 or send us an email at

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