The role of fault in a Colorado divorce

The decision to pursue a divorce can be a difficult one for a Colorado resident, but when they are certain that their marriage needs to end, they may wish to start the process as soon as possible. As in other jurisdictions, Coloradoans must follow certain rules and procedures to ensure that their legal proceedings are heard by the courts. For example, to get divorced, a party must file paperwork with the court that explains why their marriage should be terminated.

Fault vs. no fault divorce

In the past, many jurisdictions required the parties to a divorce to show that one or both of the parties had committed acts of fault that caused the marriage to fail. Examples of fault may have included adultery, criminal activity, or abuse, and these fault-based divorce grounds are still recognized in some places. In Colorado, residents do not have to prove fault to get divorced.

A no-fault divorce is one in which the parties only have to plead that their marriage is irretrievably broken. Neither party must prove or admit to wrongdoing in order to have their legal union with their spouse dissolved, and parties can often keep their personal conflicts in private since they do not have to offer evidence of fault to get out of their marriage.

An irretrievably broken marriage

While a no-fault divorce does not require the airing of a couple’s grievances against each other, it still requires a pleading of an irretrievably broken marital union. If one of the parties to the divorce disagrees that their marriage to their spouse is irretrievably broken, then a court will hear evidence from the parties to determine if the marriage should end.

A divorce is a major legal process that requires the parties to know the law and prepare themselves with arguments to explain what they want and need. It can be useful for those who are considering divorce to talk to family law attorneys in their communities. This informational post should not be read as legal advice.


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