Your Trusted Guide Through Legal Separation in Colorado Springs

What do you think of when someone says, “We are separated”?

If you are like many people, you probably imagine one spouse living in a hotel or apartment by themselves while the other stays in the marital home. If children are involved, the spouse in the marital home likely takes care of them most of the time, but there may also be an informal arrangement for the other spouse to spend time with the children. Other than this, things essentially work out as they did when both spouses lived together as a married couple.

That is the perception, and in some cases, this is essentially true. Some married couples engage in an informal period of “taking time away from each other” to see if this alleviates whatever issues they might be experiencing. Some couples do this intending to ultimately get divorced. Others may use the period to go to counseling and work through problems in the hope of reconciling.

Legal separation in Colorado is the process of making this informal arrangement into a formal one governed by statutes that provide a formal framework for spouses to establish rights and responsibilities during the separation period.

While many people do not see legal separation as something as “serious” as divorce, you definitely need to take it seriously because it encompasses many of the same decisions as divorce, and the ramifications can be immense.

At The Law Office of Andrew Bryant, we have years of experience helping Colorado Springs couples navigate the tricky landscape of legal separation. We know what it takes to ensure that your rights—and your family’s needs—are protected.

Understanding Legal Separation Laws in Colorado Springs

In Colorado Springs, legal separation is governed by state statutes and established legal precedents. Spouses may pursue legal separation as an alternative to divorce for various reasons, including religious, financial, or personal considerations.

Some critical issues under legal separation include property division, child custody, and support arrangements. However, legal separation allows couples to live apart while maintaining their marital status, enabling them to retain certain benefits, such as health insurance coverage, social security benefits, and tax advantages.

As someone who has handled numerous cases involving legal separation, Andrew Bryant is an invaluable resource to have by your side during this process. One of the first things to consider is whether or not you meet the requirements Colorado imposes to file for legal separation. Generally speaking, these requirements mirror many of those the state sets for people seeking a divorce.

What are they?

  1. At least one of the spouses needs to meet Colorado’s residency requirements. Typically, this means establishing a domicile in the state for a specified period that precedes the legal separation filing.
  2. You must tell them why you want to separate, which must be a legally acceptable reason. Legal separation is allowed in Colorado based on the same grounds as divorce. Basically, this means that you have to say there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage or that there are irreconcilable differences.
  3. You need to file the paperwork. This means a Petition for Legal Separation. Only one spouse (the petitioner) needs to do it. He or she must file a petition for legal separation with the district court in the county where either spouse resides. This petition outlines the grounds for legal separation (as mentioned above) and requests relief regarding property division, child custody, support, and other relevant issues.
  4. You have to go through all of the legal proceedings. The legal separation process in Colorado Springs is similar to divorce proceedings, involving service of process, negotiation, mediation, court hearings, and the court’s issuance of a formal separation decree.

Andrew Bryant Knows What Factors You Need to Think About When Considering CO Legal Separation

Before pursuing legal separation in Colorado Springs, couples should consider several key factors. Some of these are potential benefits of getting legally separated as opposed to divorce, while others present possible drawbacks:

Financial Stability and Benefit Retention

Legal separation may provide financial stability and security, particularly for spouses who rely on each other for support or benefits, such as health insurance coverage under a spouse’s plan, social security benefits, and other marital benefits that could be lost in divorce.

Financial Obligations

Conversely, spouses remain financially responsible for each other’s debts and liabilities during legal separation unless otherwise stipulated in a separation agreement or court order.

Legal Protections

Going through the legal separation process establishes formalized agreements and court orders regarding property division, child custody, and support, providing legal protections for both spouses during the separation period. Additionally, you will outline formalized parental responsibilities and visitation schedules for the children.

Marital Status

Unlike divorce, legal separation does not terminate the marriage, and spouses remain legally married. Allowing couples to retain their marital status can be beneficial for personal, religious, or financial reasons. However, this may have implications for estate planning, inheritance rights, and other legal matters.

Property Division

Similar to divorce, legal separation allows spouses to address property division, debts, and assets accumulated during the marriage. Couples can negotiate property settlements or request court intervention to establish equitable distribution.

Time for Reflection or an Emotional Strain?

One of the most significant benefits of legal separation is that it provides couples with time and space to reflect on their relationship, explore reconciliation, or make informed decisions about the future of their marriage.

That being said, legal separation can also be emotionally challenging as couples navigate the complexities of living apart while addressing legal and financial issues associated with the separation. Additionally, while time and space can be excellent, they can also prolong uncertainty about the future of the marriage as couples weigh the possibility of reconciliation or eventual divorce.

Just Because You’re Getting Separated in Colorado Springs Does Not Mean You Have to Do It Alone

Remember, the ultimate goal should be to achieve a stable and amicable resolution for all parties involved. Perhaps that will result in a reconciliation between you and your partner. Maybe you will continue further down the path that legal separation begins and decide to divorce. Or both of you may discover that staying married but legally separated works best for your situation.

Whatever the result, know you do not have to figure it out alone. Andrew Bryant has been a family lawyer for years and understands the various ins and outs of legal separation in Colorado Springs. If you or your spouse are considering this, do not hesitate to contact our office and schedule a free consultation to discuss your options.