The Ten Essential Steps of a Colorado Divorce
Emotions running high, property at stake, and children involved--getting a divorce can often be a stressful ordeal. In order to ensure everything goes smoothly, I advise that you obtain an attorney who can walk you through the process and help you understand each step.
In Colorado, there are ten essential steps to getting a divorce:
1) You need to decide if you and your spouse will jointly file for divorce or if you will be the sole person filing.
2) You must file for divorce in the county in which you or your spouse reside. In order to file in Colorado, one or both parties must reside in the state for more than 91 days.
3) You must review the documents you receive from the court. This may include a date for an initial status conference, a Case Management Order, or request to attend a Parenting Class.
4) You must complete personal service of the documents received from the court to your spouse. Personal service is legalese for legally serving the other party with required notices. The service must be performed by a disinterested party who is over 18 years of age. [THIS STEP ONLY APPLIES IF FILING ALONE]
5) Once personal service is made, you must subsequently provide proof of service to the court. This comes in the form of an affidavit filled out and sworn to by the disinterested party mentioned above. Once your spouse has been served, a mandatory 91 day waiting period will commence before the divorce or separation may be finalized. [THIS STEP ONLY APPLIES IF FILING ALONE]
6) You must complete five forms (Certificate of Compliance, Sworn Financial Statement, Parenting Plan, Pretrial Statement, and a Child Support Worksheet), have the forms notarized, and file the forms with the court.
7) An Initial Status Conference will be held to discuss the status of the case and exchange forms.
8) You and your spouse must participate in mediation and provide proof of mediation to the court before a hearing may be held. [THIS STEP ONLY APPLIES IF YOU AND YOUR SPOUSE DO NOT AGREE ON ALL OF THE ISSUES]
9) You and your spouse will attend a final hearing. At this time, you may both present evidence and testimony to support your requests.
10) Once all the documents are complete and the final hearing has concluded, the court will issue a Decree and Support Order.
If the marriage produced children, then the court will consider parental responsibilities, child support and maintenance, and disposition of property.
It is important to note that section 14-10-106, Colorado Revised Statutes, requires that at least one party be domiciled in Colorado for 91 days prior to filing for divorce, the marriage be irretrievably broken, and that 91 days have elapsed since commencing the proceedings before the court will grant the divorce or separation.