PERMANENT ORDERS: The final stage of the Colorado divorce process is the permanent orders hearing. This is when the judge will determine the final division of marital assets and debt, the amount of a maintenance award (spousal support), and the allocation of parental responsibilities (child support, parenting time, and decision making). The separation of marital property, debt division, and orders regarding parenting time and child support are binding. This is also the time that the judge will rule on the payment of the other party’s attorney fees.
In general, a permanent orders hearing takes about take a half day to complete, but sometimes can take two days or more to reach a final conclusion. Following the permanent orders hearing, and when the final orders are in writing, the court will enter the decree of dissolution of marriage, and formally terminate the marriage.
In many divorce cases, some or all of the issues are resolved prior to the permanent orders hearing. Even if a hearing has been scheduled by the court, the parties can get avoid appearing before the court by filing a full agreement. However, in instances where one or both parties are unrepresented by counsel and there are children involved, the parties will be required to attend an uncontested permanent orders hearing. At this hearing, the court will consider the agreement, and determine if it is fair and in the best interest of the children before ruling.