If you and your spouse are considering ending your relationship, you may wonder whether you should get a legal separation or a divorce in Colorado. Both options have advantages and disadvantages, depending on your situation and preferences.
Legal separation in Colorado
In a legal separation, a couple lives separately and divides their assets and debts, but remains legally married. A legal separation is not the same as simply living apart without a court order.
To get a legal separation in Colorado, you need to follow a similar process as getting a divorce. This includes filing a petition for legal separation with the court and serving the petition on your spouse.
It also includes reaching an agreement or having a trial on issues, such as child custody, child support, spousal support and property division. It also includes getting a decree of legal separation from the judge.
A legal separation can last for as long as the spouses want, but it can also be converted into a divorce after six months if either spouse requests it. A legal separation does not allow the spouses to remarry other people, but it may have some benefits.
Benefits include keeping some of the rights and benefits of marriage, such as health insurance, inheritance, social security and pension. It also includes respecting religious or moral beliefs that prohibit divorce and it gives the spouses time and space to reconcile or decide on divorce. Finally, it avoids some of the negative impacts of divorce on children.
Divorce in Colorado
A divorce is when a couple legally ends their marriage and becomes single again. A divorce in Colorado requires that the marriage is irretrievably broken, which means that there is no chance of reconciliation. A divorce also follows a similar process to a legal separation, but it has different consequences.
Consequences and benefits
Consequences include losing some of the rights and benefits of marriage, like health insurance, inheritance, social security and pension. Conversely, the benefit is that you can then remarry other people, have a final closure of the relationship and have less connection and involvement with the former spouse.
How to choose
The choice between legal separation and divorce depends on your personal circumstances and preferences. There is no right or wrong answer, but it is important to understand the legal implications and consequences of each option before making a decision. Think about your financial situation and needs, your emotional readiness and stability, your religious or moral convictions, your future plans and goals, your relationship with your spouse and children and then, decide what is best for you.