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Laws and Legal Authority Governing Family Law Actions in Denver and Colorado
The general legal authority governing family law and domestic relations cases in Colorado and Denver is enumerated in Colorado Revised Statutes (“C.R.S.”) § 14-1-101 to 14-15-119 and covers a variety of areas, including dissolution of marriage actions, more commonly known as divorces; adoptions; domestic abuse; child support; and civil unions. The specific statutes governing divorces in Colorado and Denver can be found in the Uniform Dissolution of Marriage Act, that is, C.R.S. § 14-10-101 to 14-10-133. Additionally, the process of actually litigating domestic relations actions, inclusive of divorces, is primarily governed by the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure (“C.R.C.P.”). In particular, C.R.C.P. 16.2 specifically applies in domestic relations cases and governs discovery and disclosure requirements as well as timelines for litigating divorce and other family law actions. The specific statutes governing divorces and C.R.C.P. 16.2 are discussed further below.
The statutes governing divorces, C.R.S. § 14-10-10 to 14-10-133, detail the requirements, subject matter, and factors that are considered by the court when getting a divorce in Denver or Colorado. This includes, among other things, jurisdictional requirements and status of the marriage requirements that are necessary for getting a divorce; determinations the court must make in issuing a divorce decree; considerations in distributing marital property; what constitutes marital property; allocation of spousal support or alimony; factors in determining parenting rights and parenting time for marital children; and guidelines for determining child support. The statutes can be relatively complex and interact highly with one another. Accordingly, it may be worth speaking with an attorney or lawyer to help guide one through the process.
In complement to the statutes governing domestic relations and family law actions, C.R.C.P. 16.2 is the main rule governing the actual procedure of these actions in Colorado and Denver courts. C.R.C.P. 16.2 indicates when the initial status conference must take place which allows the parties to meet and preliminarily discuss the issues and timeline for the case; what information must be disclosed to the other party and when those disclosures must be made by; what other discovery tools are available to the parties, including depositions, interrogatories, and requests for admission; and the general timeline of the how the action is to proceed. Any person dealing with a divorce or other family law or domestic relations matter would be wise to familiarize themselves with this rule since it is a critical component governing the process of how the case is resolved.