Divorce Attorney for Mutual Separation
“This is his fault … I have proof that he cheated on me!” Sorry to hear that, but in Colorado, fault is not an issue when parties are seeking divorce. All that is required as proof for divorce in Colorado is that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” The parties may simply state their marriage is “irretrievably broken” and such a statement will be sufficient proof to the court.
“She will not sign for the divorce, but I want one!” Not a problem here as only one party need seek divorce on these grounds, even though the other partner does not desire to terminate the marriage.
When is Fault a Consideration in Colorado Divorce?
Many clients seek our services when they discover their partner has engaged in an extra-marital affair. Unfortunately, we must explain that whether the spouse engaged in an affair is irrelevant. That is, Colorado does not care if your spouse cheated on you. Fault is not an issue that can be raised under Colorado law, although the actions of your spouse could potentially be taken into consideration in rare circumstances such as the following:
- When a party has depleted marital assets to their sole benefit, such as in the furtherance of an addiction or extra-marital affair, the Court may take that into consideration in the ultimate division of assets
- When one partner disposes of marital assets in furtherance of their addiction (i.e. gambling, sex, drugs), for use in their affair (i.e. hotel rooms, jewelry, trips, etc.)
- When one partner incurs significant debt without the knowledge of the other party and the debt did not benefit the marriage.
- When marital assets were used in a venture without prior consent or knowledge of the other partner (i.e. business venture where the other partner had no knowledge or did not consent) and that results in a financial liability.
In these instances, and if the non-violating partner can provide documentary proof of the use of marital assets, the court may be willing to order reimbursement of the marital assets used for these endeavors. Ultimately, the courts must issue financial orders that are equitable, not necessarily equal. While fault is not a consideration, the same sorts of actions may be used to argue that an unequal is equitable under the circumstances.