Contact Burnham Law today!
Call 303.647.9767 or click here
Your initial consultation is FREE and CONFIDENTIAL
Three forms are required to have your legal separation decree converted into a divorce decree: Motion to Convert Decree of Legal Separation to Decree of Dissolution, Order to Convert Decree of Legal Separation to Decree of Dissolution, and the Decree
of Dissolution itself.
The motion form must include the date you received your legal separation decree, a declaration that at least six months have gone by since that date, and an affirmation that you gave your spouse notice of your intent to convert the decree in a way that
meets the court’s requirements for such notice. If desired, you may also request to restore your former name, or you may keep your married name.
On the order, you only need to complete the top section, where the names and case number go. The rest of this form will be completed by the judge. This is the order that will make the provisions of your legal separation the terms of your divorce as
well, including the decisions previously made on property and debt division, the parenting plan, child support and spousal support.
Lastly, the decree of dissolution is the third form you’ll need. This decree needs to be done in a way that is consistent with your current decree of legal separation as that has already been approved by the court and presumably has the terms you’ll
want for your divorce. If you want to go back to a former name, that will be included on this form as well. If you are changing your name back, you may want to get certified copies of this decree once it is approved by the court as it will act as proof of your legal name change.
After all the forms are completed, they need to be submitted to the court with the proper filing fees. At this point, the forms will be reviewed by the magistrate or judge. Once he or she signs the order and enters it officially, your decree will become
one of dissolution of marriage. This signed order is then sent to both parties. You will want to keep certified copies of this order for your records.
Converting your legal separation decree into a divorce decree means that your separation terms are going to be what is used in your divorce as well. If these terms are not working, you will not want to convert the decree as is because those same terms
will apply in the divorce. Review your separation decree to confirm it is going to work as your divorce decree before filing for the conversion with the court. While decrees can be modified after they have been issued by the court, it is still another process you would have to go through, and you also have to be able to demonstrate that some significant change has occurred to warrant the modification if you and your spouse are not in agreement regarding the changes.
If you believe some material changes need to be made to your separation decree before it can be used as a basis for the final divorce, you should speak to an experienced family law attorney first. This is especially true if you and your spouse can’t agree on the changes.
Converting a legal separation decree into one of divorce is a simple process as long as the decree’s terms are still acceptable to both parties. Follow all the requirements set by the court for conversion and consult an experienced and aggressive attorney
at Burnham Law if you are ready to end the separation and get divorced.