Even if you and your spouse do not have any children together as a result of your marriage, there is still plenty to take into consideration if you do decide to file for divorce.
First, under Colorado Revised Statutes section 14-10-106, for a Colorado court to grant you and your spouse a divorce, at least one of you must have been domiciled in Colorado for a minimum of 91 days prior to beginning the divorce proceedings. Divorce proceedings in Colorado begin with the filing of what is called the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. If there are no children as a result of the marriage, the Petition will be called the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage without Children.
The court must then also find that the marriage is irretrievably broken, which means the marriage is permanently unable to be fixed.
Even without children, both parties will still be required to file Sworn Financial Statements, which are an overview of the financial affairs of each spouse. Based on these, the court will then oversee the division and distribution of marital property. The court will also oversee the determination of spousal maintenance, which is also known as alimony in most other jurisdictions. Spousal maintenance consists of payments, usually made monthly, from one spouse to the other, usually for a specific time period. In Colorado, the necessity and amount of spousal maintenance is determined, in some cases, by calculating the income of the parties and weighing it against the lesser earning spouse’s financial needs.
The Colorado general assembly created a framework for guiding the determination of spousal maintenance, which considers the length of the marriage, the amount of each party’s gross income, the marital property apportioned to each party, the financial resources of each party, and the reasonable financial need as established during the marriage.
In short, although a divorce may seem simpler without children, it is wise to be aware of what rights you and your spouse have under Colorado law regarding both marital property and potential spousal maintenance. Feel free to contact us to help you get your fair share under the law.