Like the majority of states in the U.S., Colorado is a no-fault divorce state. Divorces are simplified in no-fault divorce states because spouses do not have to present evidence of marital misconduct to prove grounds for divorce. A dissolution of marriage is granted when one or both spouses seek divorce because the marriage is ‘irretrievably broken.’
At Perusse Nixon PLLC, we understand that deciding to end your marriage can be difficult and very emotional. We represent clients in divorce matters, and our goal is always to protect their rights and interests while seeking the best possible outcome in every case. If you are considering divorce in Colorado, contact our office to speak with a skilled and experienced divorce attorney.
No-Fault Divorce Law
Prior to Colorado’s no-fault divorce law, spouses had to prove fault before courts would order the dissolution of marriage. Proving fault to the court involved providing evidence of bad acts and conduct, such as adultery, abandonment, domestic violence, emotional neglect, financial neglect, or substance abuse. Today, the poor behavior of a spouse during the marriage won’t be allowed to be discussed at a trial. As mentioned above, the only requirement for divorce now is showing that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
In general, when granting a divorce and making decisions about divorce terms, such as property division and spousal support allocation, courts will consider what is fair and equitable to each spouse without making moral judgments. Except as described below, Colorado courts will not consider conduct and character in divorce matters.
Situations Where Behavior Matters in a Divorce Matters
The one circumstance in which the conduct of a spouse might be taken into account is in the event of “marital waste.” “Marital waste” is when one spouse spends money on things during the breakdown of the marriage that doesn’t benefit the household and deprives the other spouse of their fair share of the marital estate.
Typical examples include gambling losses, spending on illicit drugs, prostitutes, mistresses. This doesn’t mean you can try to reclaim dollars on every foolish or frivolous expense during the marriage. It has to be for wasteful spending close to the filing of the divorce petition.
Marital behavior will only be considered in custody decisions if that behavior impacts the child in some manner. For example, if one parent is in an extramarital relationship with someone who could be dangerous to a child that would affect that person’s parenting time.
If a parent has a drug addiction, that could result in restricted parenting time. Domestic violence against a child or in the presence of a child could will most certainly be taken into consideration when deciding upon parenting time.
Colorado Divorce Attorney
Divorce law is complex, and divorce decisions can significantly impact your future financial security and parental rights. If you have decided to end your marriage or you have questions about divorce in Colorado, you need an experienced family law attorney advocating for your rights and interests.
At Perusse Nixon PLLC, our goal is to secure the best possible family law outcome for our clients. We care about our clients, and we provide high-quality legal services in divorce, child custody, and all other family law matters. Contact our office to schedule a consultation and to learn more about the legal services that we provide.