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Separation or divorce: What you need to know

In the early days of your relationship, you took pride in knowing everything there was to know about your partner. Now all you know about your partner is that you need space apart. Space can be helpful, and it doesn't mean that you're headed down the path toward legal separation or divorce. Many couples who take a break simply need to spend time away from their partner to remember why they chose them in the first place.

Wondering about separation vs. divorce?

Whether you choose to take a break, pursue legal separation, or divorce, it's important to understand your options before making a major life change. Your decision will rely on your relationship, your religious and moral convictions, and your family. The role of your attorney is to clearly outline the options for you to reach your goals.

For example, many couples who choose to legally separate do so for religious reasons. Other basic information about legal separation and divorce are below.

What you need to know about legal separation

  • A legal separation in Colorado is very similar to a divorce. Couples divide assets, there is a determination about spousal support and, if minor children are involved, parents decide on a parenting schedule.
  • A couple with a decree of legal separation cannot remarry without further action.
  • Unlike a divorce, the decree of legal separation is reversible.
  • A legally separated couple can convert their decree of legal separation into a decree of marriage dissolution after six months. If the terms stay the same, this can be a simple process.

What you need to know about legal divorce

  • Colorado is a "no-fault" state.
  • The state of Colorado requires a minimum 90 day waiting period before a legal divorce is finalized.
  • A residency requirement exists in Colorado stating that either spouse must live in the state for 90 days prior to filing.
  • A divorce will likely impact your taxes. It would be wise to consult a tax professional early on.

Where you go from here is a question that only you and your partner can answer. Before you pursue options to end your marriage, make sure that it's truly over. If you haven't already, consider therapy or perhaps a trial separation. If it comes down to a legal separation or divorce, with so much at stake, it's important that you put as much of your time and energy into the process as possible. With the right guidance, you can see your way through this.

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