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Changes in Colorado Divorce Law

The Judiciary Committee defeated HB 1022 Concerning the Elimination of the 90-day waiting Period. The bill would have eliminated the 90-day waiting period for parties to obtain a decree of dissolution. The Family Law Section testified in opposition to the change. The sponsor of the bill tried to amend the bill by reducing the waiting period to 20-days where children are not involved and the parties enter into a stipulation on all issues. The Judiciary Committee decided to keep the status quo on the waiting period.

A Bill to strip judges of the authority to require parenting classes: DEFEATED.

The committee defeated HB 1110 Concerning Parenting Time. This bill would have removed the court's ability to order parties attendance at Parenting after Divorce Classes. Additionally, it would have required courts to seal prepared psychological or medical reports or data obtained as part of a proceeding concerning the allocation of parental responsibilities.

A Bill on making divorce records confidential:
PASSED in committee, but sent on for further action

The Judiciary Committee approved HB 1169 Limiting Access to Domestic Relations Cases. The committee sent the bill to the floor on a unanimous 11-0 vote. The bill requires the court to make the following confidential: financial affidavits, parenting plans, records of interviews between a child and judge, guardian ad litem reports, marital agreements, schedules itemizing the property and liabilities in stipulation agreements, and attachments to stipulation agreements that include parental responsibilities. The bill does require, however, that a summary parenting plan be prepared by the attorneys or the parties and submitted to the court; such summary will not be confidential.

A Bill to deal with attorney's fees for 'unjustifiable conduct' Sent to committee.

The remaining Domestic Relations bill HB 1111- Concerning Attorney Fees for Unjustifiable Conduct was sent to the Appropriations Committee. As introduced, the bill required judges to award attorney fees if a party engages in unjustifiable conduct in discovery. The bill's sponsor asked the committee to amend the bill by dropping the original version of the bill and substituting the bill with an amendment that encourages the parties to keep their financial information current with the court. The amendment also allows a court to impose attorney fees for willful and unjustifiable violations of the discovery requirements. The amended bill prohibits appeals on the award of attorney fees for failing to update financial information with the court.

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If you are in need of a compassionate, skilled, and experienced Colorado family law attorney, The Harris Law Firm can help. If you have a legal question about a domestic relations issue, including divorce and the allocation of parental rights, please complete our contact form below. A member of our legal team will be in touch with you soon to arrange a private consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. Together we can find a resolution.
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