• calendar23rd Apr 23 11:00 pm
  • userJamie

How To File For Divorce In Colorado

The decision to get a divorce has the potential to affect your property, your relationship with your children, and your lifestyle. If you are considering divorce, understanding the divorce process may help you protect your rights and avoid costly mistakes. If you are wondering how to file for divorce in Colorado, consider contacting Colorado Divorce Law Group. One of our family lawyers can answer your questions and guide you through the process. You can schedule your confidential consultation by calling (720) 593-6442.

How Do I Start the Divorce Process in Colorado?

You or your spouse begins the divorce process by filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in the appropriate court. The divorce petition explains why you are seeking a divorce and asks the court to grant certain things, such as child custody and support. You must be able to show you meet the following conditions to file for divorce in Colorado:

Residency Requirement

Under Colorado law, before you can get a divorce, you or your spouse must have lived in the state for at least 91 days if you do not have children. If you do have children, the children must have lived in Colorado in one of your care for at least 182 days if your divorce involves child custody.

Grounds for Divorce

Colorado is a no-fault state for divorce. Colorado state law only recognizes one ground for divorce: Your marriage is irretrievably broken. You must state this in your divorce petition.

How Long Does It Take to File for Divorce in Colorado?

As soon as you meet the residency requirement and have grounds for divorce, you can file for divorce in Colorado.

What Is the Process to Get Divorced in Colorado?

While all divorce cases are unique, the general process to get divorced involves the following steps:

  • File a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.
  • Serve the spouse with the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and other divorce paperwork.
  • Spouse responds to the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.
  • File a Proof of Service with the court.
  • Complete all applicable Colorado divorce forms, which can be found on the Colorado Judicial Branch Depending on the status of the case, forms that need to be filed may include a sworn financial affidavit, certificate of compliance, separation agreement, Decree of Dissolution of Marriage, pretrial statement, and support order. Some of these will not be filed if you are not in agreement regarding the issues, and the Court would need to resolve the issues at a hearing.
  • Attend the initial status conference.
  • Attend divorce mediation.
  • Attend the final divorce hearing. There are circumstances where a final hearing would not be required.

If the case is contested, you can expect additional steps, such as completing discovery requests and attending additional preliminary court dates. There may also be initial orders before the final orders are put in place.

What Is the Fastest Way to Get a Divorce in Colorado?

The fastest way — but not necessarily the best way — to get a divorce in Colorado is to file for an uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce is one in which you and your spouse agree on the basic terms of your divorce, including:

  • How to divide your marital property.
  • How to split up your marital debt.
  • What type of custody or visitation arrangement to have regarding your shared children.
  • The amount of child and/or spousal support that should be paid.
  • If financial disclosures have been completed and filed, and all of these agreements are reached, signed and filed, then the Court would consider your divorce “uncontested” and grant it much more quickly than if you disagree.

If you and your spouse do not agree on these matters, the case will typically take longer, because the court will have to sort out these issues. Additionally, you will have to wait for an available date in the court’s busy schedule to present your arguments.

How Much Does It Cost to File for Divorce in Colorado?

The most direct cost you pay in a divorce case is the filing fee. According to the Colorado Judicial Branch, filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in 2023 costs $230. Filing a response costs $116. If you cannot afford these fees, you can ask the court to waive them.

Many people choose to hire a lawyer to represent them during a divorce. Attorneys may change hourly fees billed against retainers, and some may offer unbundled services.

Additionally, you will typically have to pay to have your spouse personally served with the divorce paperwork unless he or she waives service. Personal service is generally $50 to $70.

Colorado offers the option to co-petition for divorce with your spouse, which can cut down on some of the associated fees and make the process more affordable if the divorce is amicable.

Many counties require mediation, which can involve additional costs, but it can sometimes help resolve some issues and thus make the process less expensive. Rules vary by county, with some counties requiring mediation in all divorce cases, some requiring it only in cases involving children, and some not requiring it at all.

If your case is contested, you can expect the divorce process to be more expensive. You may have to pay for:

  • Attorney fees.
  • Discovery costs.
  • Appraisal costs.
  • Expert witness fees.
  • Child custody evaluations.
  • Out-of-pocket expenses.

Do I Need a Lawyer to File for Divorce in Colorado?

Divorce can involve complex issues that affect:

  • Your property and livelihood.
  • The debt you will have to pay.
  • Insurance coverage.
  • Financial support you receive or have to pay.
  • Child support.
  • Parenting time and access to your children.
  • Who makes decisions regarding your children.

While you do not have to hire a lawyer, many people decide that the stakes are simply too high not to. Many matters resolved during divorce are permanent, and without a lawyer, you may make costly mistakes that cannot be undone. A divorce lawyer from Colorado Divorce Law Group can explain your legal options and make recommendations based on your unique circumstances.

Contact Colorado Divorce Law Group for Help

If you would like more information on how to file for divorce in Colorado or have further questions about the process to file for divorce, consider contacting the dedicated and compassionate family law attorneys at Colorado Divorce Law Group. One of our family lawyers can walk you through the process, explain your legal options, and provide recommendations based on your particular situation. You can schedule your confidential consultation online or by calling (720) 593-6442.