FAQ Page2019-04-08T16:44:27+00:00
Do I have to let the police or anyone else search my house or car?2019-03-22T16:08:34+00:00

No. In most situations the police need either your consent or a search warrant to enter your house. Most police officers will ask your permission to search because it saves them a great deal of hassle in getting a search warrant. The sufficiency of any search warrant can later be tested to see if it was properly obtained. However, if you give consent, any defects in procedure or evidence will probably not help your situation and the search will probably be allowed.

Motor vehicles are a slightly different matter. Usually the police will be able to search your car if you are being arrested. However, this usually does not include stops for speeding or other minor traffic violations.

If you are stopped by the police in your vehicle, you always have the right to say “No, you cannot search my car.” If the police have the legal right to search it, they will do so anyway. If they were wrong, anything they found cannot be used in court. Unfortunately, if you consent to the search, the items found will likely be used against you, even if they had no legal right to search.

Without your consent, private investigators and detectives cannot search your car or home.

Can the police lie to me when questioning me about a case?2019-03-22T16:08:59+00:00

It is frightening that the answer is YES. The police are allowed to tell you an outright lie in their attempt to get you to incriminate yourself. One of the most common lies is to say they have witnesses or other evidence when they do not, or to tell someone that their accomplices have already confessed so they should as well.

The alleged victim in my crime called me and asked me to apologize. Are the police behind this?2019-03-22T16:09:26+00:00

Probably. The police frequently use what is called a “pretext phone call” to try to get a confession over the phone. This usually occurs in alleged sexual assaults and consists of the alleged victim calling the alleged perpetrator and asking him to apologize or explain why he did something. Most of these phone calls are recorded and forwarded to the district attorney.

The police are offering me a deal to give them evidence on others involved in my crime. Can I trust them?2019-03-22T16:09:58+00:00

Depends on the cop. Many police officers are men and women of their word, but some are not. The best policy is to have an attorney negotiate with the police and the district attorney and get the agreement in writing. Many times the police exaggerate the trouble you are in or the evidence they really have.

Many people wind up getting strung along as the police keep asking for just one more piece of information and it never seems to reach a conclusion. An agreement should include exactly what benefit(s) you are to receive, what they are expecting, who it is they are trying to arrest, and how long or how many times must you assist. These things should be explored before putting yourself at risk as an informer.

The district attorney has offered to let me plead guilty with no jail on my first offense. Is this a good deal?2019-03-22T16:10:54+00:00

Not necessarily. It really depends upon the level of violation and the charge itself. Many have accepted an unfair plea simply because they were promised that they would not get jail time. A number of these people probably had little or no risk of actually serving a jail sentence even if they went to trial and lost.

Most people who get misdemeanor charges do not go to jail on their first offense. In most cases this is because the district attorney could not get the judge to give a jail sentence to a first-time offender. For example, a class one misdemeanor, such as 3rd degree assault, is punishable by 6 months to 24 months in jail. However, the judge may and usually does suspend all or some of that jail time. It is best to have one of our attorneys look at your case to determine what a reasonable offer from the district attorney might be.

Individuals who are charged with felonies are looking at penalties ranging from 1 year to the rest of their life in prison. Again, in many cases it is possible and sometimes likely that the judge will forego any prison time in favor of probation. Further, many felony cases can be reduced to misdemeanors, or you may receive a deferred sentence (an agreement to stay out of trouble and comply with other specified conditions in return for a dismissal of the case). Additionally, the law and facts sometimes warrant that a case be totally dismissed.

Each case is different and you should have one of our attorneys review your situation before accepting any disposition to your case. Some criminal charges such as driving under restraint or suspension, sexual assaults, and statutory crimes of violence have mandatory jail or prison sentences. Information is power and to make an informed decision in your case you should consult one of our attorneys for a free initial consultation.

It is always best to contact an attorney as soon as you are charged with any crime. There are time limits and rules that must be followed to make sure that every opportunity to challenge and investigate the case against you is undertaken.

My spouse has been charged with a crime. Can I bond him/her out of jail?2019-03-22T16:11:29+00:00

Probably. Most people charged with a crime in Colorado are entitled to have a reasonable bond set in their case. Felony cases usually have bonds ranging from $750 to $50,000. However, in very serious cases such as murder the bonds can be even higher. Misdemeanor cases usually have bonds ranging from $100 to $1,500.

To bond someone out of jail you must give the courts the amount of money equal to the bond. This money then serves as a guarantee that all court appearances will be made. Once the case is complete the money will be returned to the person who posted the bond. In serious cases it may be impossible for you to post the entire bond amount.

If you are unable to post a cash bond in the amount needed you can consult a professional bail bondsman. These companies will charge you a premium of usually 10-15 % to bond a person out of jail. This money is their fee and you will not receive any of that money back once the case is complete. Depending on the amount of the bond and the nature of the case, the bondsman might ask for some form of collateral on the bond (often it is a lien on your house or property).

Bondsmen do not represent you in a criminal case. They are not advocates, nor can they give you legal advice on your case. It is illegal for a bondsman to refer you to an attorney. One reason it is illegal for a bondsman to refer you to an attorney is that the bondsman may decide to revoke your bond at a later date and if you are using the lawyer he suggested it might be that your lawyer has a relationship with the bondsman. This means the attorney may have a conflict of interest and could not adequately be fair to you and the bondsman. It is better for you to have an attorney who is independent and does not owe any loyalty to your bondsman.

Can The Police Search And Seize My Property?2019-03-22T16:12:25+00:00

Drug cases often involve the search and seizure of private property. Many times the police try to build a case involving simple possession into something much more serious such as distribution, intent to sell, trafficking, and more. They will do this by searching for additional evidence past what they find either on you or at the scene. The police can search your car, your home, your work, and anywhere else they believe is connected with the crime. They may take your car, money they found on you, things in your home, and whatever they think was involved in the crime or bought with drug money.

I was arrested, but the officer never read me my Miranda rights. Does this mean the case will be dismissed?2019-03-22T16:12:56+00:00

Unfortunately, no. Police are only required to read you those Miranda warnings if you are placed in custody and then interrogated. Sometimes this does occur during the course of an investigation, but not always. Each case is different and must be evaluated individually. However, remember that even if the police don’t tell you specifically, you do have the right to remain silent.

The Police called me/came by my house and want to talk to me. Do I have to talk to them? What are my options?2019-03-22T16:13:32+00:00

You have the right to remain silent. Even if you feel like you were in the right, you do not have to give a statement. Often, the Police are unsure of whether a crime has been committed, are do not have the necessary evidence to charge someone if the parties do not give statements. If you are unsure of what to do, the best choice is often to invoke your 5th amendment rights and remain silent.

I was arrested for a DUI but the police officer never read me my rights. Does the case have to be dismissed?2019-04-08T16:28:25+00:00

Unfortunately the answer is usually no. Police are only required to read you those Miranda warnings if you are placed in custody and then interrogated. Sometimes this does occur during the course of a DUI investigation, but usually it does not. Each case is different and must be evaluated individually. However, remember that even if the police don’t tell you specifically, you do have the right to remain silent.

Do I have to do roadside maneuvers like walking a line or touching my nose?2019-04-08T16:28:06+00:00

No you don’t. Those roadside maneuvers or field sobriety tests, as they are called by police, are voluntary. You have the absolute right to decline to participate. The officer is entitled to ask and it is not uncommon for it to sound like an order, not a request, but you may absolutely refuseto take those tests.

One additional test that is often offered is the Portable Breath Test (PBT).

The PBT is also voluntary, and its results cannot be used in court against you.

Do I have to take a blood or breath test?2020-11-12T20:16:26+00:00

No you don’t. However, if you refuse to take a chemical BAC test your license is likely to be revoked for 1 year on a first refusal, 2 years on a second refusal, and 3 years on a third refusal.  If you take a BAC test or a breath test and the test result is above .08, your license could be revoked for 9 months if this is the first time your license is revoked for excessive alcohol content. There is a provision for early reinstatement with an interlock device after 1 month of no driving. If your license has been revoked for having a prior excessive alcohol content, your driving privileges will be revoked for 1 year.  If your license has been revoked for having 2 prior excessive alcohol contents, your driving privileges will be revoked for 2 years. If you have more than one revocation for an excessive alcohol content, you may also be eligible for an early reinstatement of your driver’s license if you install an ignition interlock in your car. No matter whether you took a BAC test or refused you are entitled to request a hearing to determine if the state has a right to revoke your license. You are allowed to maintain your driving privilege until the date of that hearing.

What happens if I refused the chemical test?2019-04-06T02:15:39+00:00

A Department of Motor Vehicle administrative hearing will be held if your test result is .08 or over (.02 if you are under 21 years of age) or if you refused to take a chemical test. On first offenses the DMV will revoke your license for 9 months. You are eligible to reinstate after 1 month of no driving if you install an interlock device in your car. If you install the interlock, there are no limitations on where or when you can drive. There are provisions which may allow the interlock device to be removed early. If your license has been revoked on a prior offense in which you submitted to a chemical test, your driving privileges will be revoked for 1 year.  If your license has been revoked on 2 prior offenses in which you submitted to a chemical test, your driving privileges will be revoked for 2 years. If you refused to take a chemical test and lose the hearing then your license will be revoked for 1 year on a first offense refusal, 2 years on a second refusal, and 3 years on a third refusal. You may also be eligible for early reinstatement if you install an interlock device in your car.

 

The courthouse is the second place your license is in jeopardy. In Colorado a driver aged 21 or over has 12 points in any one-year period. If you plead guilty to DUI, the period of suspension is 9 months. If your license was revoked for excess alcohol (BAC above .08), the revocations will run concurrently and the DMV will not suspend your license for any more time. DMV proceedings and court proceedings are hardly related at all. It is entirely possible to lose at DMV and not be convicted in court or vice versa.

 

People who have been previously convicted of DUI, DWAI or have been revoked by DMV in the past or revoked for an alleged refusal are subject to various rules regarding length of revocations and early reinstatement.  The changes in Colorado DUI laws have made license issues very complicated. It is best to contact a lawyer as soon as you are charged or aware that there may be a problem. Our office offers a free initial consultation so don’t hesitate to call us.

How do I request a DMV hearing?2019-04-06T02:16:47+00:00

If you refused the test or if you submitted to a breath test with a result at or above the limits stated above, you should have been served with a notice of revocation. This notice gives you 7 days to request a hearing. You can request a hearing at most DMV offices by simply walking in with the notice of revocation and your driver’s license. They will take your driver’s license if the cop has not already done so and issue you a temporary permit that is valid for up to 60 days or until you have your DMV hearing (which is usually at least a month after your request).

 

If you chose a blood test you will be notified by mail if your test was at or in excess of the limit. If you receive such a notice look carefully at the notice as it will indicate how long you have to request your hearing.

 

You will also have to determine if you want to have the officer show up at the DMV hearing. If the police officer is requested to show up and fails to do so your license will usually be returned and the DMV case will be dismissed. There are times and situations where it is more advantageous to not have the police officer show at the DMV. Perhaps crucial information is missing from his report and his showing up will only allow him to rectify the situation. We recommend that you contact our attorneys immediately after you have been charged and prior to requesting a DMV hearing even in the case of blood tests where results are not immediately available.

What is the difference between a Revocation and a Suspension?2021-03-27T16:40:05+00:00

If you are revoked, you are generally not eligible for a work license or any other driving privilege unless you are eligible for a restricted interlock driver’s license. In some situations, you may be able to reinstate early. A suspension usually results from getting too many points and you are usually eligible for limited driving privileges for work, school and medical purposes if approved by the DMV.

Can I get a license to go back and forth to work or school?2019-04-06T02:17:30+00:00

If you driver’s license is revoked for excess alcohol, you may apply for early reinstatement after 1 month of no driving. However, you will have to install an interlock device in your car for 8 months. You can apply to remove the interlock early if you have 4 straight months without any problems, and your BAC was below .15. If your license is revoked for some other reason, the law often does not allow for restricted licenses to drive to work or school. A person under revocation for more than one year because of alcohol offenses may be eligible to apply for the Early Reinstatement Program. However, eligibility is very dependent on individual circumstances. Early Reinstatement requires placing an ignition interlock device in your car that requires you to breath into it before the car will operate to make sure you have not ingested any alcohol. You have to pay installation and monitoring costs.

 

Persons who are suspended because they have too many points over a particular time frame, but who are not currently under revocation by DMV may be eligible for a probationary (restricted) license that allows driving for specified work, school, medical, or other purposes.

How many points can I get before I lose my Driver’s License?2021-03-27T16:38:56+00:00

Depends on your age. If you are age 16-17 you are subject to suspension if you accumulate 6 points or more during any 12-month period or 7 points or more for the duration of your license. If you are 18-20 you are subject to suspension if you accumulate 9 points or more in any 12-month period, 12 points or more during any 24-month period or 14 points or more for the period of the license. If you are 21 or older you are subject to suspension if you accumulate 12 points or more in any 12-month period or 18 points or more over any 24-month period. However, for people under 21 years of age any drunk driving conviction, regardless of the number of points, results in a one-year revocation.

 

It can be difficult to determine if you are in danger of losing your license. Remember that points are figured based on date(s) of violation(s), not the day you pay the fine or show up in court and plead guilty. It is also based on the age you were on the date(s) of violation(s). You can go to DMV and request a copy of your DMV record and try to figure it out yourself. If you have any doubt or uncertainty contact us, and one of our experienced attorneys will review your record and help you to understand it and minimize the effects of any new offense.

I was under Revocation for some time and received a ticket. I have since gotten my license back and the district attorney is offering to allow me to plead guilty to a reduced charge. Should I take this offer?2021-03-27T16:38:34+00:00

Be careful. If you plead guilty to a traffic related violation that occurred while you were under Revocation/Denial/Suspension, the DMV is likely to once again revoke or suspend your driving privilege. Contact us to determine if the offer you are contemplating is a good one in your situation or to see if it can be improved.

 

The district attorney is likely to indicate to you that you are facing mandatory jail when charged with Driving Under Revocation/Suspension/Denial (mandatory 30 days jail for alcohol related revocations). Faced with these startling possibilities it is easy to understand why any offer not involving jail would sound good. However, accepting the wrong disposition can lead to once again losing your license. Contact us and we can discuss those issues and any possible defenses you may have.

Is jail mandatory with a DUI arrest?2020-11-12T20:19:23+00:00

Some Colorado statutes indicate that jail is mandatory in certain situations. For instance, if you are convicted of DUI or DWAI and have a prior conviction for an alcohol driving offense, you could be facing a sentence of a minimum 10 days up to 60 days, or having felony charges filed. Also, for first offenders where the breath or blood test is .20 or higher within 2 hours of driving, you will also face a mandatory sentence of 10 days. Every case has its own facts and circumstances and there are numerous ways to try and avoid or minimize jail!  Also, jail alternatives are often available. There are many factors to consider and you should discuss all the possibilities and probabilities with an experienced lawyer.

What is an interlock device?2019-04-06T02:19:28+00:00

An interlock device on your car requires you to breath into it before the car will operate to make sure you have not ingested any alcohol. You have to pay installation and monitoring costs. The interlock must be installed on any car you drive or own. If you are caught driving a car that does not have the interlock, you may be charged with a new offense. If your interlock device detects alcohol, your car won’t start, and it will be reported to the DMV as a violation. These violations can lead to various penalties with the DMV. There are different interlock devices on the market and some clients have experienced problems with some of the units. Our attorneys can help advise you on how to deal with this situation if you are ordered to have an interlock installed in your car.

What If I’m From Out Of State?2021-03-27T16:37:59+00:00

If you are a driver from another state, you are subject to the same laws and penalties as a Colorado-licensed driver. This also applies to the  Colorado express consent laws. That means that as a condition of driving in Colorado, you agree to chemical testing if you are stopped by law enforcement. If you refuse a test, your driver’s license will most likely be revoked for one year. Even though you are not a Colorado citizen, this revocation can affect your driving privileges in your home state as well.

We represent out-of-state drivers charged with DUI and other traffic offenses here in Colorado, and we can help you with DMV issues that arise from you refusing a chemical test. Depending on the county in which you were charged, w can often resolve the situation for out-of-state clients without them having to return to Colorado.

What If I Hurt Someone When I Was Driving Under The Influence?2020-11-12T20:26:25+00:00

If you seriously injure someone while you are driving drunk, you may be charged with vehicular assault and DUI arrest. This is a Class 4 felony with a potential prison sentence of four to 12 years. If you kill someone while driving under the influence, you could be charged with vehicular homicide, a Class 3 felony, punishable by prison time. When we defend a vehicular assault case, we get to work quickly to build a strong case.

It is important to investigate the accident thoroughly. To do this, we may hire an accident reconstruction expert to interpret and analyze the evidence in your case. We go to the scene, interview witnesses, aggressively litigate motion issues, and whatever else is needed to build the strongest defense possible. Your very future and your freedom are at stake, and our attorneys take our DUI and DWI defense work very seriously. Liberty Law Center’s goal is to get the charges reduced, dismissed, or if necessary, take your case to trial.

Do you charge a consultation fee?2021-03-27T16:36:17+00:00

We offer Free Consultations on DUI, Criminal, and Traffic cases. Please call for our consultation fee on Family Law, Divorce, and Child Custody cases.

What If It’s My First Offense?2021-01-07T23:00:22+00:00

Even one conviction can have a significant impact on your life. A traffic offense can affect your insurance rates, your privilege to drive, and you may even face jail time depending on the severity of the charge. A misdemeanor offense or felony can affect your ability to gain employment, keep you from going into a particular career field, prohibit you from owning a firearm, and sometimes affect your ability to rent an apartment or go to college. Subsequent convictions may carry harsher penalties such as increased fines, lengthy probation sentences, and mandatory jail or prison time.

Will I Go To Jail?2021-01-07T22:59:15+00:00

arrested in Colorado need a lawyerMisdemeanor and Felony offenses can result in jail or prison time – sometimes mandatory sentences – depending on the nature and severity of the charge. Surprisingly, many traffic offenses also carry the risk of jail time. We have the experience to guide you through the legal system, explain the potential sentences that can result from a charge, and we can help you obtain the best possible outcome.

We will fight to keep you out of jail or prison whenever possible. If there is the mandatory time required, we will aggressively defend you and work towards at least getting you a reduced sentence or sentence alternative.

What To Do After an Arrest in Colorado Springs?2021-01-08T00:58:01+00:00


criminal charges attorneyCall the Liberty Law Center as soon as you are able. Our lawyers can be with you during all hearings and during the bail process. In addition, we will protect your rights and prevent officers and investigators from trying to coerce a confession out of you. Know your rights! You have a right to remain silent and a right to an attorney. Be sure to call us before you talk to anyone. Even if you are innocent, investigators and prosecutors can twist your words against you. We can make sure that does not happen.

After an arrest in Colorado Springs, here are some steps you can take to help protect your future:

  • Remain calm and silent
  • Ask for legal representation immediately
  • Do not resist arrest or flee
  • Write down all facts about your arrest, even ones that may not seem important
  • Keep records and know all key dates and deadlines
  • Always show up for hearings and court appearances
  • Follow your attorney’s advice
  • Stay off of social media
Do I Need to Hire a Guardian Ad Litem/Custody Evaluator?2021-03-16T21:29:59+00:00

No, but it can be very helpful to get their services in some cases.

Will My Child Be Required to Appear in Court?2021-03-16T21:31:04+00:00

Most often, no.  Actually, it is discouraged to involve the child in court proceedings.

Am I Able to Collect My Own Evidence if My Case Goes to Court?2021-03-16T21:32:10+00:00

Yes, you are permitted to collect your own evidence.  Keep in mind, you must adhere to the Rules of Evidence when introducing your proposed evidence.

Is it True That the Mother is Favored Over the Father in Court?2021-03-16T21:33:00+00:00

The court is prohibited from bias due to sex.

Are There Different Levels of Visitation?2021-03-16T21:33:47+00:00

Yes, in addition to unsupervised visitation, there is “supervised visitation” and “no visitation.”  The court may issue either of these if it feels that one party is a danger to the child’s physical or emotional health.

What does the term “visitation” mean?2021-03-16T21:34:29+00:00

This is parenting time.  Visitation is any time when one parent gets a chance to visit with the minors.

Is it possible to increase my chances of a larger custody agreement?2021-03-16T21:35:00+00:00

There are a variety of factors used to determine a parenting visitation.  Throughout this process, it’s helpful to constantly ask, “why is this the best option for my child?” to stay child-focused.

We can’t agree on a custody agreement. What happens now?2021-03-16T21:35:22+00:00

If the parents are unable to come to an agreement on a parenting schedule, the court will determine a schedule that it feels is the best for the wellbeing of the minor child.

Can I modify custody?2021-03-16T21:35:45+00:00

The parenting plan and the parenting schedule can be changed at any time if the change is in the best interest of the child.  It is important to note that any major changes to parenting time can only be requested if the child’s present environment can be shown to endanger the child’s physical health.

When will we make a decision on child custody?2021-03-16T21:36:07+00:00

The final parenting time decisions are made by the court during Permanent Orders.  At this point, you might receive Temporary Orders to determine parenting time until the parties can agree on a parenting schedule.

Can child custody and/or support be included in my divorce decree if it’s in my separation agreement?2021-03-16T21:52:02+00:00

Yes, they should always be integrated. Learn more about how child support is calculated.

What’s a parenting plan?2021-03-16T21:50:43+00:00

This is a plan that parents give to the court that explicitly states the allocation of parenting time, including holiday visits and other circumstances.  This document is required since it is essential that both parties are aware of the terms. Learn more about parenting time. 

Do grandparents receive custody and visitation rights?2021-03-16T21:38:04+00:00

Third parties (including grandparents) do not have visitation rights to the minor, unless an independent action for gaining those rights is started.

When can the child decide which parent to live with?2021-03-16T21:38:24+00:00

There is no age limit for when a child can decide which parent to live with in Colorado.  Here, the court will hear the child’s wishes and will consider them to the extent that the minor is mature enough to express both reasoned and independent preferences regarding the time schedule.

Can either parent refuse to allow visitation as a result of unpaid child support?2021-03-16T21:38:41+00:00

Absolutely not.  Whether child support is paid, it is an entirely independent issue from visitation rights.

If parents share custody, do either of the parents have to pay child support?2021-03-16T21:39:03+00:00

This is determined by gross monthly income and other expenses.  A factor of child support is who spends the majority of the time with the child, however it’s not determinative of any support obligation.

What’s the difference between joint custody and sole custody?2021-03-16T21:39:29+00:00

Colorado doesn’t have joint or sole custody, but instead, the term parental responsibility is used.  Parental responsibility can either be joint or primary.  Joint parental responsibility is characterized by equally sharing in overnight visitation with the minor.  If one parent maintains less than 90 overnight visitations with the minor, the other parent is maintaining primary parental responsibility.

Additionally, Colorado separates decision-making responsibilities from residential responsibilities.  Joint decision-making is when both parents are required to jointly make decisions dealing with education, religion, extracurricular activities, and medicine.  In a sole decision-making situation, one parent is able to make all these decisions without consulting the other parent.

Who gets custody of our child?2021-03-16T21:39:50+00:00

In Colorado, there isn’t a set of rules that determines who receives custody of the child or children.  However, the court must consider statutory factors before awarding a decision involving minors.

What is Mediation?2021-03-16T21:54:25+00:00

Parents will reach an agreement on parental responsibility and parenting time that is reduced to writing and submitted to the Court for approval. Learn more about mediation in child custody cases in Colorado.

What is the Residency Requirement?2021-03-16T22:13:56+00:00

Just because you’re in Colorado doesn’t mean you can get divorced here. There are a few stipulations. One of the spouses must have been a resident of Colorado for at least 91 days prior to filing the petition, and if the case concerns a minor child, the child must have resided in Colorado for at least 182 days.

What if One Spouse is No Longer a Resident of Colorado?2021-03-16T22:14:27+00:00

The Court must have personal jurisdiction over both parties in order to divide property, allocate debt, order maintenance and enter orders regarding children for parental responsibility, parenting time and support.  If the other spouse no longer resides in Colorado, the Court can obtain personal jurisdiction if the non-resident spouse files as a co-Petitioner, waives service, is served in Colorado or had maintained a matrimonial domicile in Colorado.  If the other spouse’s whereabouts are unknown and can’t be served,  service can be accomplished by publication.  There must be a showing of diligent efforts to serve the other party before the Court will approve publication.  In this case, the Court may only grant a decree of divorce and any other issues will be reserved until personal service can be accomplished.

What Are The Grounds for Divorce?2021-03-16T22:15:50+00:00

Colorado is called a “no fault” state, which means that you don’t have to explain to the court the reason behind your divorce, only that the marriage is “irretrievably broken”.   In the past, if a spouse wanted a divorce, he or she had to prove that the other spouse had a reason for divorce—such as adultery, abandonment, or dangerous behavior. . This “no fault” approach to divorce matters is considered to lead to more fair and reasonable outcomes for each spouse

What is Property Division in a Colorado Divorce?2021-03-16T22:17:00+00:00

If a couple can agree on how to divide their property, they can confirm their agreements in a written document called a “separation agreement.” If spouses can’t agree, a judge will decide how to divide their property at a permanent or final orders hearing.Another aspect to Colorado being a “no fault” state is that the court will divide all property in what is called equitable distribution without regard to marital misconduct. This means that even if one spouse has committed a serious offense like domestic violence, the court will not use financial orders to compensate for wrongs that occurred during the marriage.

The Colorado court will distribute the shared assets of a couple in a manner that considers all relevant factors, including the contribution of each spouse to the marital property, the economic circumstances of each spouse, and if children are involved. If there is property in another state, then a Colorado court doesn’t have the right to get involved unless both spouses give personal jurisdiction to Colorado

What About Alimony?2021-03-16T22:17:55+00:00

Maintenance or alimony is another issue to consider. Maintenance may be awarded if the Court finds that a spouse lacks sufficient property to provide for his or her reasonable needs and is unable to support himself or herself through appropriate employment or is the custodian of a child whose condition makes it inappropriate for the spouse to seek employment out of the home.  Maintenance may be awarded on a temporary basis until the final orders hearing.  A court can also order long-term alimony awards if the lower-earning or unemployed spouse can prove that they need it (for example, if they don’t have the job skills or are caring for very young children).  Many considerations go into a decision on alimony, including the supported spouse’s age, health, financial resources, ability to earn and income capacity, and the ability for the paying spouse.  A judge may utilize a statutory formula for determining the amount of maintenance that looks at the income of the parties and the length of the marriage

What if I can’t find my spouse?2021-03-16T22:30:41+00:00

You must make reasonable efforts to find your spouse. Once you have filed the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the court, a disinterested person over the age of 18 may serve the Petition on your spouse. Learn more about how to file for divorce if your spouse is missing.

What is Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)2021-03-16T22:31:22+00:00

ADR measures to resolve marital issues without going to trial. These alternatives include things like mediation and arbitration.

What is an annulment?2021-03-16T22:32:23+00:00

A legal proceeding in which the marriage is declared void, as if a marriage never existed in the first place. This option is only available to very specific circumstances.

What is collusion?2021-03-16T22:33:18+00:00

An agreement that there have been false, untrue charges brought up by both parties to accomplish a goal in court. This illegal agreement may happen between a husband and a wife, for example, if they both agree to use adultery as a way to quicken the divorce process when adultery never happened.

What is a common law marriage?2021-03-16T22:34:02+00:00

A legal acknowledgment of two consenting adults who live together for a designated period of time (as determined by the state), after which they are considered to be common law married. Most states recognize common law marriage.

What is qualified domestic relations order (QDRO)?2021-03-16T22:35:24+00:00

 A court order that gives a spouse’s retirement fund to the other spouse.

What are the types of divorce in Colorado?2021-03-16T22:41:21+00:00

In general, there are five ways a dissolution may occur in Colorado: an uncontested divorce, a mediated divorce, a collaborative divorce, a litigated divorce, and a legal separation.  Learn more about the types of divorce in Colorado.

Uncontested Divorce When both spouses agree, this is called an uncontested divorce.

Mediated Divorce  This is where a mediator in the form of an objective, third party (usually a lawyer or retired judge) helps a couple make decisions and work toward a resolution for their divorce agreement.

Collaborative Divorce A collaborative divorce is when each spouse has a lawyer that helps them navigate the divorce process, but without having to go to court to achieve a satisfactory outcome for both parties involved.

Litigated Divorce  In a litigated divorce, the court will decide how to divide up your property, how to best handle issues like child support and alimony, and how to provide an equitable outcome for both spouses.

Legal Separation  This can be a great option for anyone who might not want a divorce yet because of various legal reasons–like health insurance, religious reasons, or tax reasons. After 6 months from the entry of a decree of legal separation, either party can request that the court convert the legal separation to a decree of dissolution.

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