How to Convert a Legal Separation into a Divorce in Colorado

How to Convert a Legal Separation into a Divorce in ColoradoSome couples may decide to file for legal separation instead of divorce. This can be a good way to separate their finances without completely ending the marriage. 

However, if they do eventually decide to officially end their marriage, it’s possible to convert their decree of legal separation into one for dissolution of marriage. 

If you’re considering this, consult a reputable Colorado divorce lawyer, and keep these important things in mind. 

What forms are Needed for a Colorado Separation?

The following forms will need to be completed and filed before the court:

  • The Decree of Dissolution of Marriage or Legal Separation (JDF 1116)
  • The Order to Convert Decree of Legal Separation to Decree of Dissolution of Marriage (JDF 1322)
  • The Motion to Convert Decree of Legal Separation to Decree of Dissolution of Marriage (JDF 1321)

These forms will require the couple to provide details and information on several issues including child support, spousal maintenance, custody, parenting plan, legal name changes, and property division. 

The judge will review these forms before signing an order for dissolution and entering the same in the official records.

What Do You Need to Consider Before Conversion?

Below are some important tips and considerations to keep in mind:

  • In the state of Colorado, a petitioner will need to wait at least 182 days from the date the legal separation order (or the Decree of Legal Separation) was issued before they can file the forms and paperwork mentioned above to start the conversion process.
  • The petitioner will also need to provide their spouse with notice that they wish to convert their legal separation into a divorce.
  • The paperwork should be filed in the same court where the Decree of Legal Separation was issued.
  • The petitioner will need to pay for the filing fees assessed by the court. However, fee waivers are also available for those who qualify. They do, however, need to complete form JDF 205 if they’re planning to request a fee waiver.
  • Converting from a legal separation to divorce means that the terms that are set in the former will also apply to the latter. This means that if any of the terms aren’t working or are unfavorable to the petition, they may need to talk to a lawyer to request a modification.
  • Modifying the previously issued decree will entail a separate process. The petitioner will also need to demonstrate that some considerable change has taken place to warrant the request for modification, especially if both parties are not in agreement with the requested changes. 

Do You Need a Lawyer to Convert a Legal Separation into Divorce?

Any type of divorce requires the help of an attorney. They can help you fight for your rights, protect your interests, and help you achieve a favorable resolution so you can move on with your life. 

Our team at Goldman Law has represented numerous clients who are looking to convert their legal separation into a divorce. 

Our attorneys are committed to providing clients with quality legal representation. We understand how serious and devastating a divorce can be. Contact us at (303) 656-9529 to schedule a free, no obligations consultation. 

We look forward to hearing from you.