If you don’t have children, getting divorced in the state of Colorado can be a relatively straightforward matter. Presented below is a general guideline of the steps you and your spouse would need to take to file for divorce or legal separation. Please note that these steps are for informational purposes only and should not be used in place of qualified legal advice. If you decide to represent yourself in your divorce, know that you are bound by the same rules as a practicing attorney.
Steps to Getting Divorced in Colorado
Before taking steps to getting divorced, it’s required that either you or your spouse reside in Colorado for a minimum of 91 days. Paperwork must be filed in the Colorado county where you or your spouse resides. For all forms, you complete and file, make sure to maintain a copy for your records.
- Complete Initial Divorce Forms. You will either be filing jointly as Petitioner and Co-Petitioner or as Petitioner (you) and your spouse as “Respondent” if they are not agreeable to the Legal Separation or Dissolution of Marriage.
- Provide the Court with the Petition, Case Information Sheet, and Summons (if your spouse is considered “Respondent”). The Petition must be signed in the presence of a Notary Public.
- If applicable, serve “Respondent” with the Marriage Dissolution or Legal Separation Papers. There is a mandatory 91-day waiting period that begins once your spouse has been officially served with the Petition and Summons.
- Proof of Service of the Petition and Summons must be provided to the Court, whether you are filing as Petitioner / Co-Petitioner or Petitioner / Respondent. Once this is received by the court, the 91-day waiting period begins.
- In the case of Petitioner / Respondent, the Respondent must file a Response to the Petition. The purpose of this is for the Respondent to state in writing if they agree or disagree with the Petition.
- Depending on your case, additional forms may be required before your Initial Status Conference is scheduled. Complete these with time and accuracy as they provide required information to the Court for the division of property, assets, debts, and spousal support if necessary. Forms required may include the following:
- Mandatory Disclosure
- Certificate of Compliance with Mandatory Financial Disclosures
- Sworn Financial Statement
- Separation Agreement
- Decree of Dissolution of Marriage or Legal Separation
- Support Order
- Affidavit for Decree without Appearance of Parties
- The Initial Status Conference will be scheduled as a time to discuss your case and provide the Court with any additional forms that may have been required. Depending on the details of your case, attendance at the conference may not be required.
- If you are filing as Petitioner / Respondent and have not been able to reach an agreement, both parties may be required to participate in mediation before a Contested Hearing. If your divorce case does progress to a Contested Hearing, both sides must file with the Court, and share with one another, Pretrial Statements 7 days before the hearing.
- At the Court Hearing, the Judge grants your divorce by entering a Decree which outlines the division of property, debts and spousal maintenance, if applicable.
Here is the above in flowchart form, courtesy of the Colorado Judicial Department:
Additional Notes on Filing Your Divorce in Colorado
The additional notes below will be very important if you are taking steps to getting divorced.
If you and your spouse change your mind about divorce after the Petition has been filed, you must notify the Court immediately and file a Stipulated Motion to Dismiss.
If your marriage is a civil union, domestic partnership or similar legal relationship established in another state or jurisdiction, you must use the court forms related to dissolution/legal separation of a civil union.
If you believe you are unable to pay the $230.00 filing fee, completing the Motion to File Without Payment and Supporting Financial Affidavit must be submitting to the Court along with the required documentation. The Court will review your Motion and determine if the filing fee can be waived.
To learn more and access downloadable versions of the forms, click here to visit the official State of Colorado Resource.
Contact Laura Monty Law
If you or your spouse will be filing for divorce in Northern Colorado or reside in the Larimer County or Fort Collins area, and want to explore divorce options that protect your children as much as possible, do not hesitate to contact Laura Monty Law. We provide collaborative divorce representation, divorce mediation services, legal advising for uncontested divorces, and a full array of traditional, court-based divorce and family law services in Northern Colorado. We strongly believe in taking a compassionate approach to family law, and recognize that every situation is unique.