How To Stop A Divorce
In Colorado, the grounds for no-fault divorce is that the marriage is irretrievably broken. As long as both spouses agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the Court will enter a divorce decree. Even if the parties do not agree, the Court will issue a decree. It is only necessary for one spouse to take the position that the divorce is irretrievably broken.
A divorce can be stopped if both parties change their mind about the divorce. If the filing spouse changes his or her mind, he or she can choose not to provide a copy of the filing paperwork to the other party. Without service of a copy of the paperwork to the other party, a court does not have jurisdiction to issue a divorce.
If the case has been filed and the spouse has not filed a response, the filer can file a notice of dismissal with the Court to end the case. However, after the non filing spouse has entered the case, dismissal requires agreement between the parties. If both parties agree to dismiss the case, they can file a joint motion or stipulation. If either party changes his or her mind again later, they could file another petition.
There are some procedural mechanisms wherein a motion to dismiss could be filed, for example a lack of jurisdiction or defective service of process. For a Colorado court to have jurisdiction, one spouse must be a legal resident of Colorado for at least 91 days before the divorce case was filed. Personal jurisdiction requires that that one of the four following criteria is met:
- The responding spouse is a Colorado resident,
- The responding spouse was served with process in Colorado,
- The responding spouse consents to Colorado jurisdiction, or
- For spousal maintenance or child support, personal service outside Colorado occurs as long as the marital domicile is in Colorado and the at least one party has remained in the state.
Service of process involves informing the other party of the legal action. A copy of the summons must be delivered to the other party or left at their home with an adult family member or at his or her workplace with a manager, bookkeeper, secretary, Human Resources representative or agent for service of process.Stay of Proceedings
If a couple reconciles while the case is proceeding, the couple can ask the Court to stay (stop) the proceedings. This stops the case from proceeding for a certain period of time. The parties can request a stay for a variety of reasons. Whether to stay a case is within the discretion of the Judge. The stay will be limited to a certain timeframe. When the stay is over, if a party has not let the Court know that it wants the case to continue, then the case will be dismissed. A stay can allow time for reconciliation.Conversion to a Legal Separation
A case can be converted to a legal separation. When a legal separation is granted, marital property will stop accruing, however the parties will remain married, but officially separated. This is in contract to an unofficial separation, where the parties simply stop living together, however are not legally separated. An informal separation does not legally cease the accrual of marital property like a legal separation does. A conversion to legal separation must be consented to by both spouses.Failure to Pursue the Case
If the parties stop taking action in the case, the court will on its own dismiss the case. The court will send out a delay prevention notice prior to dismissing the case letting the parties know what steps must be taken to prevent the case from being dismissed and the parties will be given 35 days to complete the requirements.Turning Change Into Opportunity
How can an attorney help? An attorney can assist you in high conflict divorce and family law matters by helping you navigate through challenges. Legal issue identification can be difficult for those without an in-depth knowledge of the law.
A Colorado Springs divorce and family law attorney can guide you through high conflict divorce by negotiating, mediating and litigating. This allows you to focus on moving forward to a better future rather than on spending your time trying to figure out the overly complex court system. Contact us at 719-344-5523 or complete our online form to set up a free thirty-minute informational consultation.