- 1 How to Get a Divorce in Colorado?
- 2 Valid Grounds To Get Divorce in Colorado
- 3 Requirements for an Uncontested Divorce in Colorado
- 4 Divorce Process in Colorado
- 5 Colorado Divorce Papers and Forms
- 6 How to File Divorce Papers in Colorado
- 7 How to Serve Divorce Papers In Colorado
- 8 Colorado Courts and COVID
- 9 File Divorce Papers Online
- 10 Common Questions about Divorce in Colorado
- 10.1 When is the divorce actually finalized in Colorado?
- 10.2 How long does it take to get divorced in Colorado?
- 10.3 How is property divided in a divorce in Colorado?
- 10.4 How much does it cost to file divorce in Colorado?
- 10.5 How many years do you have to be married to get alimony in Colorado?
- 10.6 Do I have to go to court in Colorado?
- 10.7 How can I get a quick divorce in Colorado?
How to Get a Divorce in Colorado?
As a legal process, divorce may have multiple implications for both your future and life. There are a lot of points to take into consideration before filing for divorce. Here, we will shed some light on the divorce process in Colorado. Without further ado, let’s dig into it.
Valid Grounds To Get Divorce in Colorado
Colorado is a typical “no-fault” state, so the court does not need to know who’s at fault when filing for divorce. Colorado divorce law doesn’t decide any matters like spousal support, custody, or property division based upon the fault.
The irretrievable breakdown of the marriage is the only legal ground for divorce in Colorado. The old grounds for marriage dissolution, including adultery, desertion, and cruelty have been permanently abolished.
Requirements for an Uncontested Divorce in Colorado
Are you eligible for an uncontested divorce in Colorado? Qualifying for this type of divorce involves meeting requirements as follows:
- Property division – The uncontested divorce is only granted to spouses who don’t have any shared marital property. Otherwise, they need to sign a separation agreement.
- Residency – One of the spouses must reside in this state for at least ninety days. So if you want to file an uncontested divorce right now, make sure you (or your spouse) have lived here for more than 91 days from today.
- Agreement – Both spouses should confirm that they want a divorce and that their marriage has been irretrievably broken.
- Minor children – If there are children, spouses must enter the separation agreement, which includes child support, visitation, and custody.
Divorce Process in Colorado
The legal reasons for divorce may include everything from abandonment to alcohol or drug addiction and physical or mental abuse. None of these reasons matter in Colorado.
To complete a divorce process successfully, spouses need to declare that their marriage is broken irretrievably without any chance of reconcilement. It is a good idea to obtain or download a divorce worksheet. That can help in navigating a separation.
In order to get a legal separation in Colorado, one spouse needs to be the resident of this state for a minimum of 91 days. Once this requirement has been satisfied, the court will enter a decree of dissolution and the divorce process will be given the green light to start.
You will need to file the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage to initiate the divorce process. This document should be filed in the District Court.
After filing divorce papers, it will take up to 42 days for the Initial Status Conference to come into effect. The divorce process differs slightly if there are children. Let’s check out both scenarios.
In this case, a divorcing couple will have to submit a Sworn Financial Statement. Basically, it is an overview of the spouses’ financial affairs that enables the court to handle the distribution and division of marital property.
Additionally, they are also required to file the Petition for Dissolution of a Non-Covenant Marriage (without children) before the beginning of divorce proceedings.
Each party has to take parenting classes when the children are involved in the divorce process. If both parties agreed on the division of debts and assets, they will only have to file the Separation Agreement.
It should be noted that child custody implies certain jurisdictional obligations. Keep in mind that the Colorado court will require jurisdiction over the respondent to order child support or divide the out-of-state property.
Tip: It’s advisable to use a divorce calculator before splitting finances or assets. Online divorce calculators can do a great job of managing money in the event of a divorce settlement.
Colorado Divorce Papers and Forms
Filing a Legal Separation or Dissolution of Marriage may include some of the following forms:
- JDF 1000 – Case Information Sheet
- JDF 1101 – Legal Separation or Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
- JDF 1102 – Summons for Dissolution of Marriage
- JDF 1111 – Sworn Financial Statement
- JDF 1115 – Separation Agreement
- JDF 1117 – Support Order
- JDF 1125 – Mandatory Disclosure
- JDF 1201 – Affidavit for Decree without Appearance
Your best bet is to consult a divorce lawyer for advice on which papers you will need for divorce in Colorado. While most of these papers and forms can be found online, an attorney can save you the hassle of drawing out all of these papers/forms on your own. It takes about 7 days for a lawyer to prepare all divorce papers.
How to File Divorce Papers in Colorado
Listed below are some of the papers and forms required to complete a divorce process in the state of Colorado:
- Response to Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
- Petition for the Dissolution of Marriage
- Sworn Financial Statement
- Marital Settlement Agreement
- Decree of Dissolution
In addition, you should draw out some instructional forms like:
- JDF 1096 – Flowchart Divorce with Child(ren)
- JDF 1098 – Instructions for Completing a Divorce with Child(ren)
- JDF 1100 – Dissolution or Legal Separation with Child(ren)
File your divorce paperwork
How to file your paperwork? As a petitioner, you need to visit the local court (the district courthouse in your or your spouse’s county) when initiating the divorce process. Some of the essential papers include the petition, case information sheet, and divorce summons.
Serve your spouse
The court clerk will provide you with a case management order that specifies deadlines, additional requirements, as well as forms that should be completed. Your spouse, i.e. the other party, should be served with all of these papers promptly.
Attend a hearing and receive your divorce judgment
When it comes to the uncontested divorces, it is imperative to submit an affidavit, which allows the court to grant a divorce.
Appearing in court for a hearing is also required in most cases. That’s because the judges want to ensure that both parties meet the divorce requirements. This is also a good way to check if both spouses agree with a separation agreement.
How to Serve Divorce Papers In Colorado
Remember that you will not be able to serve your divorce papers personally. That said, designating a third party who’ll be serving all the necessary papers is another thing you need to do when ending your marriage.
You will have a couple of options to choose from, such as:
- Serving by mail (the easiest and most common method)
- A process server or delivering papers via proxy
- Acceptance of Service
- Serving by publication (publishing petition in a newspaper)
Colorado Courts and COVID
As the situation rapidly changes due to COVID-19, the work process of the courts also changes during the outbreak. For instance, the fourteenth Judicial District conducted the proceedings over a streaming platform (Cisco Webex) and moved them online when Coronavirus hit the state in March.
The virtual court has not only made jury trials complicated, but it has also changed the court schedule. So be sure to check the district court calendar and judge schedules for your state.
File Divorce Papers Online
Filing divorce documents can be a huge pain when doing it all by yourself. Luckily, there are a lot of websites that provide online divorce-related services, including filing divorce papers. This allows you to file for divorce without paying for lawyer fees.
Instead of handling everything on your own, it’s much better to let the professionals complete your divorce online. In addition to saving a lot of time, filing papers online will relieve the stress and save you money by reducing the costs associated with your divorce process.
How does it work?
After completing an online interview from the comfort of your home, you will receive instructions that will help you fill out your divorce documents. It’s that simple!
Common Questions about Divorce in Colorado
When is the divorce actually finalized in Colorado?
The court will eventually enter substantive order and a decree of dissolution of marriage. A judge will make a decision after the final hearing, and if both parties agree to the order, they will finalize their divorce by signing the final decree of divorce.
How long does it take to get divorced in Colorado?
Granting a divorce takes not less than 91 days as of the date of filing the petition. Please note that it’s the shortest possible timeframe. At best it takes 3 months for the divorce to get finalized in Colorado; however, it takes anywhere from six to twelve months in most cases.
How is property divided in a divorce in Colorado?
Just like in other marital property states, spouses are required by Colorado law to equally divide all the debts and assets from the marriage in the event of legal separation or divorce.
How much does it cost to file divorce in Colorado?
The associated fee is $195. Filing a divorce petition is required to initiate the divorce process in Colorado.
How many years do you have to be married to get alimony in Colorado?
It is needed to be married for at least three years and no more than twenty years to get alimony in Colorado. The courts determine alimony payments based on existing statutes when the gross annual income of divorcing couple doesn’t exceed $240,000.
Do I have to go to court in Colorado?
It is not necessary to appear in court to get the divorce finalized if a lawyer represents both parties. Still, the divorce proceeding involves visiting the court a few times before the judge.
How can I get a quick divorce in Colorado?
The fastest way to get divorced is to reach an acceptable agreement without visiting court. Otherwise, the spouses should avoid litigation to expedite their divorce process. It should be mentioned that an uncontested divorce is a cheaper and quicker way of finalizing the process.