Contested Divorce in Fort Collins
Handling Contentious Divorce Cases with Care
There are two types of divorce in Colorado: contested and uncontested. An uncontested divorce is where the parties can agree on all issues. If the parties cannot reach an agreement in all areas, they will file a contested divorce and decisions will have to be ordered through a court hearing.
Through the divorce process, spouses are planning what their futures will look like after the end of their marriage. Many decisions must be made, and many disagreements can occur along the way. Spouses may disagree on child support, child custody, property division, spousal maintenance, and other issues.
Additionally, a contested divorce may be necessary because your spouse lied or misrepresented information during mediation. In other cases, spouses may have bad intentions, like trying to fight for child custody only to lower their child support payment, making a contested divorce inevitable.
If you are navigating a contested divorce in Fort Collins, you will need a trusted lawyer on your side. I offer comprehensive counsel for clients navigating uncontested divorces.
Representation during Permanent Orders Hearings
If your divorce is contested, you must attend a Permanent Orders Hearing. At this hearing, a judge will make a final decision on all the issues that the parties were unable to agree upon. The judge will make his or her decision after hearing all the evidence presented by both parties. There are no juries in Permanent Order Hearings – the judge alone will be making the final call. You will not know who your judge will be until a week or so before the hearing.
Evidence that you can present during a Permanent Orders Hearing includes:
- Financial evidence. The court can require the parties to submit a sworn financial statement that details all relevant financial information, including marital assets, debts, and expenses. The court may also make you pay for formal appraisals or valuations of your property.
- Statements from relatives, friends, neighbors, and coworkers. During the hearing, the other party may try to discredit your trustworthiness. Relatives, friends, neighbors, coworkers, or others who know you can testify to your truthfulness and credibility.
- Medical expert witness statements. If mental stability is in question, psychologists or psychiatrists can testify.
- Evidence of child abuse. If you cannot agree on issues related to child custody – like decision-making or parenting time – the court will hear evidence relating to child abuse or neglect. The court could even order you to pay for an investigation on child-related issues.
Disadvantages of a Contested Divorce
Divorce is hardly ever simple, but the process becomes much more difficult when it is contested. Although sometimes unavoidable, you should try to avoid a contested divorce.
Contested divorces can be:
- Timely and costly. A contested divorce takes longer and is more expensive than an uncontested divorce. An attorney will have to prepare for and litigate a Permanent Orders Hearing, which can take a lot of time. In addition to attorney fees, you may need to pay for expert fees and investigation costs.
- Unpredictable. Instead of you and your spouse making the choices, it is a stranger – the judge – who determines what your future will look like. A judge can only make his decision on the information presented to him; he does not know the entire history of your relationship.
- A strain on your relationships. A contested divorce is very stressful, and the relationship between you and your spouse can become volatile. Especially when there are children involved and you will be co-parenting, it is essential to try to keep your relationship intact.
You Need an Experienced Attorney by Your Side
If you are facing a contentious divorce, you need an experienced attorney by your side. I have experience helping clients through contested divorces and am here to guide you through the process.
Call Levi A. Brooks, Attorney at Law today at (970) 293-8371 to schedule your free consultation.