In Golden and Wheat Ridge, Colorado, legal separation and divorce are two different things. If you filed the paperwork with the Jefferson County Court to be legally separated, and you and your ex decide to get divorced instead, you must go through a separate process to convert your separation. Let’s take a closer look at this process.
Why Convert a Legal Separation into a Divorce
Those who are legally separated basically have gone through the divorce process with one major difference: the couple remains married in the eyes of the law. The couple lives separately, the assets are divided, and a parenting plan is in place for the children. Often, a couple chooses to legally separate because they want to test out a divorce without the finality. The two can still enjoy some benefits, like staying on the same healthcare plan, while living life separately.
Timeline for Converting a Legal Separation into a Divorce?
The Legal Separation Decree can be converted to a Decree of Dissolution if one of the spouses requests the conversion. However, the parties must wait six months from the time the separation decree is issued. The process can go relatively quickly, as the separation decree can be merged into the divorce decree. Unless there are major changes that the parties want to make, there is generally a pretty quick response from the judge once the request for the divorce conversion is filed.
The Conversions Process: Converting Your Legal Separation into a Divorce
After the 6 months has passed, the party requesting the divorce must complete and file the Motion to Convert along with any supporting documents, and pay the filing fee. Once filed, the judge or magistrate will review the motion and make a ruling. The court will mail a copy of the Order to Convert the Decree of Legal Separation to a Decree of Dissolution of Marriage and the Decree for Dissolution to the parties. At this point, the divorce is final.