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Permanent Orders Hearing


Summary:  Although a permanent orders hearing is a final solution in a divorce or other family law case, it is not the best way to resolve disputed issues. However, sometimes they cannot be avoided. But every attempt to avoid them is well worth it. They are expensive financially and emotionally.


Permanent Orders by a Colorado Judge at the Final Hearing

Colorado courts impose their decisions on the parties whenever they cannot negotiate a settlement agreement.

These final decisions are called permanent orders. They are made as a result of a formal court hearing where evidence in the form of testimony, expert witnesses, and documentary evidence are presented to the court. This is commonly called a trial.

Generally they last anywhere from 4 hours to 2 days. Some are as short as 2 hours, and some may last a week or longer.

They are expensive, in part because of extensive pre-hearing preparation. This includes formal discovery, including depositions with a court reporter and the review of expert opinions. And the preparation of hearing exhibits and a trial notebook. Often parenting issues are also investigated by child and family investigators. The average short hearing may take 1 year or longer to schedule and complete. In Colorado, the length of time to get to a permanent orders hearing varies by county. The minimum cost for a short-term marriage with few disputed issues is about $5,000. They often cost much more. The average legal cost for a permanent orders hearing for a 20 year marriage with children and the typical property and debt issues is roughly $20,000 for each party. Some are more, and some are less. However, costs of $50,000 or more for each party are fairly common. In large marital estates, costs generally exceed $100,000.

Generally a permanent orders hearing should be held only if:

1. There is nondisclosure or misrepresentation of marital assets or income;

2. There is an unbalance in bargaining power between the parties; or

3. One of the parties (often the attorney is the one) refuses to negotiate or take any position.

The best approach is to avoid all hearings. You know more about the facts of your family law case than does your attorneys or the judge.  Negotiate a settlement with or without the help of a neutral mediator.

Additional comments appear at the contested hearing page.

GIF The material on this web site is for informational purposes only. This law firm practices only in Colorado. An attorney-client relationship is established only when an agreement as to the scope of representation and fees has been signed and a retainer paid. Colorado law may consider these web site materials to be attorney advertising. GIF
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