Colorado Springs Legal Separation Attorneys
Providing Guidance & Advocacy to Our Clients
Thinking about separating from your spouse? Need a little time to sort
things out and see what the next step is in your marriage? The legal separation
attorneys at Knies, Helland & McPherson Law can help. We understand
that the possibility of ending a marriage is a sensitive issue and not
an easy choice to make. Every couple’s situation is different, which
is why we work with you to create an individualized plan to assist you
in reaching your goals.
To get started, call our separation attorneys today at
How Is a Legal Separation Different Than a Divorce?
Many couples take a bit of a “cooling off” period when they
are contemplating a
divorce or even attempting to reconcile. However, a legal separation is more than
just a personal choice to take some time apart. A court approved separation
is one that legally defines enforceable rights as well as obligations
on the behalf of each party, but it does not permanently dissolve the
marriage. A legal separation differs from an informal separation in that
it is court-ordered and must be approved by law. This arrangement also
differs from a formal divorce as the marriage continues to exist following
a legal separation.
In Colorado, a legal separation is an alternative to a divorce or annulment.
The advantage of this type of arrangement is that all financial and custody
arrangements are final (including child support as well as property and
debt division), but the marriage still exists for such purposes of health
care plans, insurance, and benefits (your insurer may have specific rules
regarding a legal separation and whether coverage may continue). It is
important to understand that, with a legal separation, Colorado legislation
does still recognize the spouses as married, so neither individual can
remarry without first getting a dissolution.
Many spouses seek a legal separation assuming it will be simpler than a
divorce, but that is not the case. The process includes all the same procedures
as a divorce. It just has a slightly different outcome. Our attorneys
will talk through your options with you and help you understand the benefits
and drawbacks of each option so you can come to a thoughtful decision
as to whether separation or divorce is more fitting in your specific situation.
How to File for a Legal Separation
To begin filing for a legal separation in Colorado, you will first need
to meet the state’s residency requirements. Once that requirement
has been satisfied, you will need to file a petition with the court for
a legal separation. While you can complete the necessary paperwork on
your own, it is in your best interest to work with a lawyer to make sure
the paperwork you submit is accurate and complete.
The separation agreement must include
One of our lawyers can review your agreement and make sure you have taken
all necessary factors into consideration.
After the finalization of the initial paperwork, it will need to be served
to your spouse, unless the two of you have chosen to file jointly. Once
the petition is served, each spouse has a certain period to respond. If
you both agree to the provisions in the agreement, then it will need to
be notarized and presented to the court.
At this point, it is often best to work out any disagreements with the
help of a mediator. Our attorneys will work with you to achieve a peaceful
agreement; however, if one cannot be reached, the separation will need
to go before a judge.
Once you and your spouse have come to agreeable terms, you will each need
to sign the separation agreement and submit it the judge for review. The
final document will be approved and filed with the county clerk. It is
possible to convert a legal separation into a divorce later; however,
specific time limits do apply. If you choose to do so, we can provide
you with the specific requirements that need to be met to convert the
Do I Need a Lawyer?
The reality is that when you are filing for a legal separation, you have
just as much at stake as if you were filing for divorce. Child and/or
spousal support, child custody, visitation time, division of funds, and
retirement are all things that the judge will decide in your separation.
Considering all that is on the line, it is in your best interest to hire
a professional who handles this type of case on a regular basis. Separation
is just as harrowing of a process as divorce, and it is difficult to remain
objective when attempting to represent yourself. Our knowledgeable family
law attorneys will empathize with you throughout the process, but still
guide you with a keen sense of objectivity and discretion.
How Quickly Can I Get a Legal Separation?
The length of time it takes for the completion of a legal separation varies
depending on several factors. A case in which you and your spouse quickly
agree on terms will move more quickly than one in which you disagree on
everything. It is important to understand, though, that even if you agree
on everything, your petition will still have to go before a court for
approval. Working with our knowledgeable attorneys at Knies, Helland &
McPherson Law will help you move through the process as quickly and effectively
as possible by avoiding incomplete paperwork and other commonly missed issues.
Contact Our Compassionate Attorneys Today
Our attorneys in Colorado are knowledgeable in all aspects of divorce law
and know the specific rules and regulations regarding
legal separation. We will provide you with guidance and support to make sure you take the
steps necessary to have a lawful separation, should that be what you choose.
Our goal is to help you work through this difficult time to move toward
a better, more successful future.
If you are considering a separation, give us a call today at
(719) 626-8530 or
contact us online to discuss your unique situation in complete confidentiality.