Divorce is a category of focus within the broader area of family law. Other areas of family law include adoptions and the allocation of parental responsibilities (for unmarried parents of minor children). As a family lawyer, my practice focuses on an even broader definition of Family Law which includes appointments of a conservator and/or guardian, probate proceedings and what I like to call litigation prevention planning which includes estate planning documents (Wills and Trusts), advanced directives (Powers of Attorney) as well as pre and post nuptial agreements.
To get a divorce is the legal process by which one severs the presumptive rights a partner has over the other partner in marriage. Among these rights are inheritance to a deceased partner assets and decision making ability during periods of incapacity. It also equitably divides assets/debts accumulated during the marriage which may include maintenance (formally known as alimony) and allocates parental responsibilities (including child support).
Interestingly, Colorado recognizes common law marriages, but not common law divorces. So if a common law marriage has been established, one would still need to go through a formal divorce to sever those presumptive rights and to subsequently get married, even formally.
It is important for a party to recognize the implications in getting married as well as divorced and to have a divorce attorney be able to advise you of all of the issues to be determined and addressed. All divorce attorneys and family lawyers are not alike. We pride ourselves on our compassion and our results.