FAQ’s

  • How much does it cost to get a divorce?

Each divorce case is different. The overall cost to finalize a divorce depends on a number of factors including the number of issues that need to be addressed, whether you and your spouse are able to reach an agreement on any of the issues, the number of court hearings required, and whether trial is necessary.  To get a better idea as to what your divorce case will cost, call Bishop Law Offices and set up an initial consultation so your specific needs can be reviewed.

 

  • How long does it take to get a divorce? 

In Wyoming there is statutory waiting period of 20 days that must pass before a divorce can be finalized. This 20 day waiting period begins to run the date the divorce is filed with the court.

In Colorado there is a statutory waiting period of 90 days that must pass before a divorce can be finalized. Like in Wyoming, the statutory waiting period begins to run on the date of filing.

In reality, most divorces take longer than the statutory waiting period. The more things you and your spouse disagree about, the longer it will take for the divorce to be finalized.

 

  • How long do I have to live in Wyoming before I can file for divorce? Colorado?

Both Wyoming and Colorado require a person to be a resident of the particular state before a divorce can be filed there. It takes 60 days to become a resident of Wyoming and 90 days to become a resident of Colorado. So long as either party has met the residency requirement of the particular state, the divorce can be filed there; however, there may be jurisdictional restrictions as to what issues the court can and cannot decide.

 

  • I have been served with divorce papers, how long do I have to respond?

In Wyoming, if you have been served with divorce papers and you were served within the state, you must file a response with the court within 20 days of being served. If you have been served outside of the state of Wyoming you have 30 days from the date of served to respond.
In Colorado, a response must be filed within 21 days after the service of the summons and complaint for divorce.

If you do not respond within the allotted time, the Court may make decisions relating to your divorce without your input.

 

  • What are some of the issues that need to be resolved in a divorce proceeding?

Although each divorce is different, the main issues that need to be addressed are division of assets and liabilities, child custody and visitation, child support, and spousal support if certain circumstances apply.

  • How is child support calculated?

Child Support in Wyoming is calculated by using a formula provided by statute. The amount a parent will pay in child support is based on the net income of each parent, the number of minor children involved, and the custody arrangement.  See our resources page for a link to Wyoming  and Colorado child support calculators and related forms.

In Colorado, child support is calculated by using a formula which takes into consideration the parents’ adjusted gross incomes, the number of children, the amount of overnight parenting time spent with the children each year by the non-custodial parent, day care costs, and health insurance costs.

 

  • How is child custody determined?

Wyoming courts make custody determinations based on what custody arrangement will be in the best interests of the minor child. In making this determination Wyoming courts takes a number of factors into consideration including but not limited to the quality of relationship that the child has with each parent; the ability of each parent to provide adequate care for the child; the competency and fitness of each parent; each parent’s willingness to accept parenting responsibilities; the geographic distance between the parent’s residences; and the physical and mental ability of each parent to care for the child.
Colorado Courts also use the “best interest” standard when making custody (also known as “parental responsibility” in Colorado) determinations and in doing so place paramount consideration to the child’s safety and the physical, mental, and emotional conditions and needs of the child. Colorado Statutes require courts to consider a number of factors similar to those used in Wyoming.

 

  • Do my children have any say on who gets custody?

Minor children do not get to decide which parent with whom they will live; however, the older children get, the more weight a court places on their preference.  Ultimately, a child’s preference is just another factor a court takes into consideration in making the required best interests determination.

 

  • How is property distributed?

Wyoming and Colorado are both equitable division states. This means that property acquired during the marriage (also known as marital property) will be divided fairly, not necessarily equally. Generally, gifts, inherited property, and property acquired prior to the marriage are considered separate property and not subject to division upon divorce unless there is proof that they were commingled with marital property and are no longer traceable to the original separate property.
Parties are encouraged to reach an agreement on their own, but parties who are not able to so do this will end up having a court make a determination for them.

 

  • How do I modify a current child support order?

In Wyoming, there are a couple of different circumstances that allow a current child support order to be modified. Either party may ask the court to change a current support order if it has been at least 6 months since the current support order was entered and if it can be shown that the support amount will change by 20% or more. Notwithstanding these two requirements, a party may make a motion to modify a current support order if there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the time the current support order was entered.
In order to modify a child support order in Colorado, there must be a showing of changed circumstances so substantial and continuing as to make the terms of the current child support order unfair. The changed circumstances will not be considered “substantial and continuing if the filing of a motion for modification of the child support order results in less than a 10% change in the amount of support due per month.

 

  • What is a Guardian Ad Litem & will I need one for my case?

If you have a “custody fight” (battle over physical residence of the child, or parental rights and responsibilities), it is quite likely that a Guardian Ad Litem will be appointed to your case. The role of the Guardian Ad Litem is to do an independent investigation and (if necessary) report to the Court on the best interests of the minor children involved. A Guardian Ad Litem can, potentially, save you legal fees. Ideally, the Guardian can help resolve the case before it ever gets to trial – opposing a good Guardian’s report is very difficult, so once the Guardian’s views are known, settlement is often facilitated. Of course, if the Guardian’s recommendation comes out against you, this can be very difficult to overcome. In most cases, Judges give a great deal of weight to the recommendation of the Guardian Ad Litem.
There are many individuals who act as Guardians Ad Litem. The choice of a Guardian for your case can be crucial. Only an experienced family law attorney is going to be able to assist you in choosing a Guardian Ad Litem, and seeing to it that an appropriate person is appointed Guardian in your case. Likewise, an experienced attorney will work with the Guardian to make sure that the client’s case is truly given all the consideration to which it is entitled, and that the best interests of the children are genuinely served.

 

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