Like many other states, Colorado has a process through which a married couple, or parties to a civil union, can engage in what the law calls a legal separation.
More than simply a couple making a decision to live apart, a legal separation, much like a divorce, will involve a judge entering a court order dividing up the couple's property, awarding spousal support, and, if the couple has children, entering orders regarding child support and parental responsibilities.
The big difference between a legal separation and a divorce is that, following a legal separation, the couple remains married in the eyes of the law.
While this may be helpful to the couple in many respects, such as qualifying for certain benefits, the couple needs to keep in mind that they are likely not going to be able to remarry unless they later opt to convert their legal separation into a divorce.
Residents of the greater Denver area may have a number of reasons for considering a legal separation in lieu of a divorce. As mentioned, sometimes there are financial or other professional or personal reasons to remain legally married.
Other couples may have moral or religious concerns about legally ending their marriage through a divorce. Still, others may wish to remain married for the sake of their children or even because they themselves just are not ready emotionally to end their marriages.
Although legal separation is an option in Colorado, residents need to remember that it is a legal proceeding and, as such, people must meet certain legal requirements. Moreover, even in a legal separation, there will be important issues about the division of property, children, and the like that may necessitate a person consulting with an experienced family law attorney.
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