Englewood Divorce Lawyer
Award-Winning Divorce Representation in Arapahoe County
For many folks, divorce is a first encounter with the court system. Aside from complicated forms, court-required disclosures, and unfamiliar processes, there are a variety of issues that require resolution, even as they pose considerable potential for conflict and dispute.
If the divorce process sounds difficult, it’s because it is. However, separating spouses can successfully navigate the process with the help of experienced counsel.
At The Harris Law Firm, we’re devoted to handling issues in which family life and the law intertwine, and have become known for providing personalized, award-winning representation in a range of divorce proceedings. If you have questions about a Colorado divorce, our Englewood divorce attorneys can help.
Comprehensive Divorce Counsel
The Harris Law Firm leverages over 250 years of combined experience to help clients navigate all types of divorce-related issues, including those involving:
- Child custody
- Property division
- Spousal support
- Child support
- Temporary orders
- Domestic violence and protection orders
- Military divorce
- Post-decree modification
Given that many folks who live in Arapahoe County and the Englewood area work in the Denver Tech Center, our team has handled many cases involving specialty divorce issues. This includes divorces involving high net worth, complicated assets, RSUs and complex investment products, and business ownership issues.
We understand the unique nature of these types of cases and leverage both our experience and connections with professional experts in finance, business valuation, and other fields to provide insight-driven counsel for complicated matters.
Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce
Every divorce is unique, as no two couples, marriages, and estates are the same. However, there are distinct differences between certain types of cases – particularly in terms of how much conflict they involve and how capable separating spouses are when it comes to resolving them. For example:
- Uncontested divorces are those in which spouses can agree about important issues in their case, such as property division and child custody (which pose the most potential for conflict). Uncontested divorces aren’t free from disagreement, but they do require that spouses can overcome those disagreements collaboratively by communicating and negotiating in an amicable manner. When these out-of-court negotiations are facilitated by experienced attorneys, parties in uncontested divorces can effectively protect their rights and interests while saving costs, time, and headache.
- Contested divorces involve spouses who cannot reach agreements about settling key issues in their divorce. As such, the biggest difference in contested divorces is that they are resolved by a family Judge who weighs evidence and testimony presented in Court to issue a final decision. Not only can the need for contested hearings and trials make cases longer and more costly, it can also introduce real risks that one or both parties won’t be happy with the outcome, since they aren’t making the decisions themselves. Unlike uncontested divorces, where spouses can only seek modifications of court orders, decisions reached in contested divorce cases are appealable, though appeals come with added costs and risks.
Because spouses in uncontested divorces can reach their own agreements about key issues, they are typically resolved much faster than divorces where conflict between parties requires court intervention to resolve. This, in turn, will also cut down legal fees.
At The Harris Law Firm, we focus on helping clients find ways to resolve divorce issues outside of the courtroom and leverage our experience in mediation and alternative dispute resolution to overcome disputes. Of course, we also understand that some matters can’t be resolved amicably, or that clients may need to attend court hearings to address certain issues, such as the need for temporary orders, protection orders, or resolutions involving issues like hidden assets. In these situations, we invest the necessary time into building strong cases that position our clients for success.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Divorce in Colorado?
Generally, Colorado law requires a minimum of 91 days from the time that divorce papers are served before a divorce decree can be finalized. This means that the fastest you can get a divorce in Colorado is three months.
Of course, the amount of time it will take to finalize your divorce will depend on factors unique to your case, including how long you have been married, the nature of your assets and debts, whether you have children, and more. The most significant factor that can influence the timeline of your divorce is your ability to communicate and compromise with the other party.
At The Harris Law Firm, we help clients understand the Colorado divorce timeline and what they can expect based on the particularities of their cases. We also discuss how we can facilitate negotiations over key issues and how clients can take an active role in cutting down on time, costs, and frustration. For example, here are some ways you can help move the process along:
- Establish reasonable expectations about the process and the outcomes you want with the help of an attorney.
- Gather and organize all documents you’ll need to provide your attorney and the court, including information about your assets, debts, and real property.
- Complete all necessary forms, such as financial disclosures, prior to submission deadlines. If you have questions about completing these accurately, ask your attorney as soon as possible.
- Maintain an open line of communication with your lawyer; heeding your counsel’s advice is the best way to ensure deadlines are met and that you can resolve issues as efficiently as possible.
The level of complexity involved in a case and each party’s ability to cooperate ultimately determine how long the divorce process will last. Generally, the better spouses are in controlling their emotions and remaining reasonable when reaching compromise, the sooner they can move forward with their lives.
What Is the Divorce Process Like in Colorado?
Divorce can be filled with many complexities and potential pitfalls. If you’re looking to efficiently navigate the process with your sanity intact, having a general understanding of what the Colorado divorce process looks like is a great place to start.
- Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. A divorce usually begins when one party retains an attorney who assists in the filing of a Petition for the Dissolution of Marriage. This document states the reason for divorce (often irreconcilable differences) and how the party intends to settle financial and child custody issues. The other party is served with the Petition and a summons for a response, which much be submitted within a specific time frame. If no response is submitted, the Court assumes that the party agrees to the terms.
- Financial Disclosures & Discovery. Parties submit financial disclosures and participate in discovery to exchange information about assets and debts. This information will aid in the calculation of spousal maintenance and child support and can be used as the parties decide how to divide property. Sometimes, an Initial Status Conference is held before a Judge or Family Court Facilitator to track the progress of these disclosures and set deadlines if mediation, temporary orders, or child and family investigators are needed.
- Temporary Orders. After a divorce is filed, parties may request a temporary order hearing to seek court intervention for certain issues during the pendency of a case, such as how bills will be paid, how parenting time will be shared, whether temporary child support and maintenance are needed, and who will occupy the marital home. These hearings are brief and require parties to prepare to efficiently present evidence to the Court.
- Mediation. In some cases, divorcing parties may be required to attend mediation, a form of alternative dispute resolution in which a neutral third party helps spouses come to agreement about key issues in their case. Mediation can be a great way to resolve conflict without the added expense and time associated with contested hearings and trials.
- Settlement or Trial. If parties can reach agreements about parenting time and property division on their own, a settlement can be drafted and submitted to the Court. If the Court approves, a divorce is granted. If the parties are unable to come to an agreement, the case will proceed to trial, where each side will present evidence, testimony, and arguments to a Judge who then renders a decision that becomes a court order.
Do I Need a Lawyer for My Divorce?
There is no requirement that you have legal representation when divorcing but given that the outcome of a divorce can profoundly impact your finances, your relationship with your children, and your future, working with an experienced attorney can make all the difference.
At The Harris Law Firm, we recognize that every client is unique, and tailor our representation accordingly. In all divorces we handle, we strive to help clients protect their rights and interests at every step of the process by:
- Explaining how the divorce process works and what clients can expect based on their unique circumstances.
- Completing and filing Petitions for Dissolution of Marriage or responses to Petitions.
- Providing guidance to complete financial disclosures and furnish needed evidence and information during discovery.
- Facilitating negotiations for parenting time, decision-making authority, and other custody issues, as well as negotiations for the division of assets and debts.
- Filing motions for temporary orders that address issues such as support, custody, and the marital home while a divorce is pending.
- Preparation for status conferences, temporary order hearings, mediation, and other court processes.
- Representation in contested hearings and trials, when necessary.
Request an Initial Consultation. Call (303) 622-5502
The Harris Law Firm has cultivated a reputation for compassionate representation driven by experience. Whether you’re testing the waters or taking your first steps toward separating, we’re available to discuss your matter, Colorado divorce law, and how we can help during an initial consultation.
The Harris Law Firm supports the legal, local and international community. Through deliberate strategic giving efforts, we work together to bring strength, happiness and empowerment to Colorado and beyond. WE CARE about our role in the world around us.
We celebrate the many individual strengths that make up The Harris Law Firm team. We encourage growth while also promoting a collaborative working environment. WE CARE about our team and strive to ensure an environment of collegiality, appreciation and consistent professional development.
You come to us for guidance, support and assistance at a trying time. We take this responsibility very seriously. You deserve a high level of service and excellent legal representation. WE CARE about your challenges, solutions and process for resolution.
I AM THRILLED and relieved and so ready to move forward. Thank you, everyone, for your hard work on behalf of my sweet daughter. God bless you!!- Jeni
Sangeetha, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you did to help me get this settlement. Thank you for trying to keep the hours down on this case. You are truly more than an attorney. In this case somewhat of a super hero. Thanks again.- Mark
Thank you both for everything you have done to help me have my daughter in my life. My family and I deeply appreciate it.- Paul
We had a successful conclusion to all of our work this morning. The court commented on the fine work that had been done using a combination of the collaborative process and our independent efforts. I would like to thank the team for your patience with us through what has been a very difficult process for us both.- Mark
I am grateful that you represented me because you are smart, talented, generous and kind, and I want to thank you for being you!- Rachel
I am so grateful for your professionalism- Linda
You have helped my family so much....there are no words.- M.P.
First... let me say how MUCH I love and appreciate Peggy!- Andrea