Couples who walk down the aisle expect it to end in happily ever after, but that’s not always the case. If you find yourself at the end of your marriage and frightened at the prospect of a divorce trial, there are alternate paths to divorce for you.
One of the major hindrances to going forth with divorce is the legal fees and fear of battling an ex in the courtroom. Mediation is a solution to both those obstacles. When it comes to divorce litigation, a judge is the ruling decision-maker, meaning he or she will settle issues on alimony, child custody and support, property, and debt.
Many spouses choose mediation because it saves time and money and helps couples maintain an amicable relationship. With this option, one should seek a qualified mediator who will act as a neutral party to help both spouses reach an agreement regarding the terms of their separation. In some cases, the mediator may or may not be a lawyer, but he or she is well-versed in divorce and family law.
At Peak Mediation, our attorney-mediator is there with you every step of the way from finding a solution and memorializing it with a legally binding agreement to helping you submit the agreement to the court for approval.
For couples who are on the fence about going through with a divorce, separation can be a viable option. A trial separation where one partner physically moves out generally won’t impact finances as the couple will still be entitled to all the financial benefits as a married couple. This trial period can also help individuals see if they can live apart, support themselves financially, or discover the marriage is fixable.
However, if the couple decides to go forward and make the split more binding, they can obtain a court order to legally separate. Typically, these contracts will go over the terms of the agreement, including alimony, property, debt, and child-related issues. We need to add that in a legal separation, couples remain married to each other, which means they cannot remarry until they officially divorce.
Annulments typically make the headlines when associated with celebrities who decide to end their coupling. While a divorce ends an existing, valid marriage, an annulment declares that a marriage never occurred. Each state has varying laws for filing for an annulment. In the state of Colorado, there is no official court of action called “annulment of marriage,” but you may request a “declaration of invalidity.”
Grounds for requesting a declaration of invalidity in Colorado include:
One of the spouses lacked the capacity to consent because of mental problems or because of the intoxicating influence of drugs or alcohol at the time the marriage was made official.
One of the spouses lacks the physical ability to consummate the marriage, and the other spouse didn’t know that at the time of the marriage.
One of the spouses was underage at the time of the marriage and failed to obtain the consent of a parent, guardian, or Colorado judge.
One spouse perpetrated fraud to convince the other spouse to agree to marriage.
One or both parties married because they were under duress.
One or both parties only agreed to marry as a joke or dare.
The marriage is prohibited by Colorado law because it is bigamous or because the spouses are related by blood.
To get an annulment in Colorado, you must be a resident of the state for at least 30 days and meet the statute of limitations, which range from six months to two years. One might seek an annulment for religious or other reasons, but in many cases, it may be easier to obtain a divorce.
We’re Here to Help
If you decide that mediation is the best option for you, enlist the team at Peak Mediation. Our attorney-mediator, Matthew B. Drexler, has saved spouses thousands of dollars on litigation fees and costs and is ready to help you find a solution too.
Call our Colorado Springs office at (719) 259-5944 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today!
Blog Author: Attorney Matthew B. Drexler
Matthew B. Drexler is an attorney-mediator, arbitrator, and facilitator at Peak Mediation.
Visit his bio to learn more about how he helps good people navigate difficult times.
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