General Idea on the Provision of Legal Separation in Colorado

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Legal separation in Colorado is a decree issued by the court to the conflicting spouses who are unsure whether they want a divorce or keep their marriage intact. The statute of Colorado provides two options. They are as follows:

  1. Decree for Dissolution of Marriage The decree issued by the court which deals with absolute divorce.
  2. Decree for Legal Separation The decree issued by the court of Colorado which deals with the option of legal separation instead of divorce.
Decree of Legal Separation in Colorado:

The decree of legal separation in Colorado declares the partners to be separate entities financially and without any responsibilities or obligations towards each other such as support, debts, investments, retirement plans unless thus ordered by the court of law.

The decree of legal separation in Colorado -

  • establishes the financial obligations of the parties such as payments of household expenses or support amounts
  • issues directions regarding the division of property, assets, debts and responsibilities between the parties
  • determines if the spousal support is required according to the earning capacity and inheritance or monetary rewards achieved by both the parties
  • resolves issues such as parental rights including guardianship, child support, payment of the support amount, etc.
  • decided upon financial issues such as insurance coverage, health care benefits, extraordinary medical expenses required by either of the parties etc.
The provision of legal separation is recognized by the statute of Colorado and the directions are given accordingly. If the couple decides to file for legal separation instead of divorce, the statute of Colorado helps them to make it as smooth and normal functioning as possible.

Advantages of Legal Separation in Colorado:

As mentioned above, the process of getting a legal separation is made easy by the provisions of the statute of Colorado. However, the process of getting a divorce and legal separation is almost identical and one can ask why would a couple waste as much time as divorce in getting legal separation. The answer lies in the advantages of legal separation over divorce.

Legal separation is a softer option than a divorce and it is revocable. If the couple decides to reunite, they have to file for the revocation of decree of legal separation and they can be together as a married couple. If they do not want to reconcile but are unsure about getting a divorce, they can stay 'legally separated' until they reach a decision.

The advantages of legal separation in Colorado are as follows:

  • Inheritance Rights - After being legally separated, each spouse is entitled to inheritance rights on the other's property in the event of death if the separation agreement is not signed saying otherwise. As the couple is still technically married after getting a legal separation, it is legally appropriate that they have the inheritance rights over the other's property.
  • Insurance and Retirement Benefits - A legally separated couple is able to retain the insurance coverage and benefits on the retirement and pension plans invested by either of them. The insurance coverage in the light of emergency health hazards or for extraordinary medical expenses can be availed on each other's policies. Besides these, retirement plans, pension plans can also be shared by the technically married spouses as per the state law of Colorado.
  • Social Security Benefits - For the couple who has been married for more than 10 years, there are some social security benefits available for the life after retirement on each other's earning history. These benefits are necessary for a couple to lead a normal life when they are not young enough and want to lead a quiet retired life. These benefits could be used for assisted living as well as emergency health-care services if necessary. Basically, it is a provision for an aged person to live a normal life even after retirement.
  • Religious or Moral Obligations - For the couples who are affiliated with religious obligations who frown upon the concept of divorce, legal separation is an ideal option as it provides all the benefits of a divorce without actually getting a divorce. Technically, the couple still remains husband and wife but they can lead separate lives as though they were divorced. Basically, legal separation establishes economic independence and structures all the responsibilities and marital issues so that the couple can lead separated lives with relative ease.
  • No Social Stigma - There is no social stigma attached with being legally separated as the couple can choose not to share the status of their marriage with people. Even if they do share this status, they can always imply that they are considering the option of reconciliation for their children and thus be positive about it. It is the best option for couples having moral reservations against the concept of divorce.
Disadvantages of Legal Separation in Colorado:

Along with advantages, there are some disadvantages of legal separation in Colorado. These are as follows:

  • The couple cannot remarry after getting a legal separation as they are still technically married.
  • The process and cost of divorce and legal separation is almost identical. After getting legal separation, the couple still remains married.
  • The property acquired after getting a legal separation is considered as individual property along with the debts and responsibilities and the partner is not liable for the same.
This is a general overview of the provision of legal separation in the state of Colorado.

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