Read through our Colorado divorce and child custody articles to gain a better understanding of the road ahead. Educating yourself about the divorce process in Colorado will improve your ability to communication with your divorce lawyer, which goes a long way toward helping your reach your goals in Colorado family court.
Colorado Family Law Attorneys provide answers to frequently asked questions with regards to Colorado divorce.
Colorado is considered a “no fault” state. This means that you do not need the consent of your spouse to obtain a divorce, nor are the reasons why you want a divorce considered in granting the divorce. In Colorado, the courts can enter a divorce decree (referred to as a decree of dissolution) upon showing that:
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Unfortunately, there are no set numbers on how much your divorce will ultimately cost. You do have several options in lieu of trial that will cut costs such as mediation and settlement discussions.
To begin the divorce process one spouse is required to file a divorce petition. In most cases, there is an associated fee for filing this legal documentation. In Colorado, the existing divorce petition fee is $195.
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It is possible to complete your divorce without representation by an attorney. However, it is not recommended as this process is emotional and often more difficult than originally expected. An attorney can ensure that your interests are protected during the process as well as give you valuable advice on the overall proceedings.
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No. Colorado is a no fault state.
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Maintenance is never a guarantee in divorce cases as there is no set formula for determining the length or amount of the awards. The court will look at all relevant factors in determining the appropriateness of a maintenance award, including:
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Yes, though you must request your name be restored prior to the finalization of your decree. Your name can only be changed to one that you previously used.
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Annulments occur where you or your spouse can show that your marriage is invalid. Marriages can be invalid under the following circumstances:
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In Colorado, you must have been a resident of the state for 90 days prior to the filing for divorce.
In this state, the legally separated party is required to wait six months before they can pursue a divorce. This means the waiting period begins when the separation decree is put in place and at the end of that six months the spouse may request a divorce. During this time period, they are unable to remarry as well.
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The court may grant your divorce on the 91st day following the filing of your Petition for Dissolution.
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In Colorado, if an attorney represents you and the other party it is possible to file an Affidavit of Non-Appearance allowing you both not to show up to court to finalize the divorce. However, there are several appearances that are required in your divorce proceeding whereby you will be required to appear before the judge.
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If you have attempted to serve your spouse but are unable to complete service, depending on the circumstances you may be able to provide service by publication upon the court’s permission.
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Legally you cannot be married to more then one person at the same time. Therefore, until your divorce decree is entered (no sooner then 91 days upon filing for divorce) you cannot remarry. The decision to begin dating again is a personal decision that only you can decide when the time is right.
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In Colorado, you do not need the consent of your spouse to obtain a divorce. You simply need to show that the marriage is irretrievably broken. If your spouse is denying this requirement, be prepared to attend court-ordered mediation or even possibly counseling.
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Generally, yes. However, in certain situations it is possible to bifurcate your divorce proceeding and have the court retain jurisdiction over the remaining issues while entering your divorce decree.
Some states are marital property states while others adhere to the guidelines of community property. In this case, Colorado is a marital property state. Under this type of law, all of the assets and debts from a marriage should be divided equally between the two parties in the case of divorce, legal separation, or annulment.
If a marriage has lasted for a minimum of 3 years to a maximum of 20 years and the couple’s combined gross income annually is less than $240,000 the courts may use existing statutes to determine appropriate alimony payments and the length of time for which they will be paid.
Once the divorce is filed, you must obtain permission from the court prior to relocating. Colorado will still retain jurisdiction of your divorce proceeding even if it grants you permission to leave the state.
There are special rules concerning military personnel and it is recommended if you are in the military and would like a divorce that you consult an attorney.
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You will need the Petition for Dissolution, Case Information Sheet, Summons and any fee waiver document in order to file for divorce. You will then be required to have your spouse personally served with these documents.
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The Petition for Dissolution is filed with the clerk of the court, in the jurisdiction where you live or where most of the marital property is located. You go to the courthouse with the Petition, Case Information Sheet, and Summons and pay the clerk the filing fee for the action or your attorney can file the documents for you. Find the clerk of the court in your jurisdiction.
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The easiest way to serve your spouse is to use a private process server, the sheriff’s department, or have anyone that is over 18 and not an interested party to the case give your spouse the documents. However, any of the above methods do require an affidavit of service to be filed with the court.
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Once you have met all the requirements given by the court in your divorce proceedings (i.e. mediation, parenting class, etc.), the court will review your file – if non-contested – and enter your divorce. If there are still matters that require court assistance to resolve, you will have to have a Permanent Orders Hearing, otherwise known as a trial, where you will need to appear before the judge and present evidence and testimony.
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Colorado is a no fault state, therefore fault does not need to be and should not be proven.
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Common law marriage is valid in Colorado. However, simply living together will not be enough for the court to recognize a common law marriage. A common law marriage is established by the mutual consent or agreement of the parties to be husband and wife, followed by a mutual and open assumption of a marital relationship. Living together by itself will not establish the marriage, but the court will look to other evidence in establishing the relationship.
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