The judge will probably grant many, if not all of the requests by the petitioner regarding child custody, support and property distribution in the original petition. However, some Colorado judges demand a filed response before allowing the petitioner to submit evidence. If your spouse files a Response with the court within 20 days of service, but agrees with all of the details in the petition, this is considered an uncontested dissolution.
If your spouse files a Response to the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage or Legal Separation which disputes various aspects of the Petition, then the court will likely have to step in and make decisions regarding contested issues. The court will schedule an Initial Status Conference that both parties must attend, which will identify disputed issues, and if you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement, you will proceed to a trial. If you and your spouse cannot agree on the major issues in how your marriage should be dissolved, you will probably need to hire an attorney to represent you in this complex divorce proceeding.
If you and your spouse can agree to a settlement prior to going to trial, it will dramatically reduce the cost and emotional stress related to the divorce. That is why you should do everything possible to resolve any major conflicts with your spouse prior to engaging in a divorce. By filing an Affidavit for Decree without Appearance of Parties, you will sidestep any expensive legal proceedings and can conclude the divorce without an attorney. You answer questions and your divorce paperwork is filled out and you can be done within hours.
The state of Colorado offers couples who are considering a divorce the opportunity to use mediation services. Mediators are independent, conflict resolution professionals with expertise in resolving personal issues. Although they may not have the legal authority to force a couple to remain married, they are usually quite capable of providing useful dispute solutions. To learn more about filing a summons, preparing a petition, and service of process, go to the Starting the Court Case page in our Preparing for Court - By Yourself section.
Fourth, if your spouse disagrees with anything in the divorce papers, he will then have the opportunity to file papers telling his side. You should speak to a lawyer in your state about how long you have to wait to see if your spouse answers the divorce papers before you can continue with the divorce.
Fifth, if there is property that you need divided, or if you need financial support from your spouse, you will have to work that out in an out-of-court settlement, or in a series of court hearings. Custody may also be decided as part of your divorce. You can find more information about service of process in our Preparing for Court — By Yourself section, in the question called What is service of process and how do I accomplish it?
Colorado Legal Services has answers to frequently asked divorce questions , including information on grounds for divorce in Colorado, which are posted on Lawhelp. These links are informational resources only. All rights reserved.
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The more you know about getting a divorce in Colorado, the less difficulty you will have when navigating the legal system and making your way through proceedings. Sell Your Ring. Like marriages, the process of divorce is different for everyone. While it is possible for a Colorado resident to obtain a divorce within 90 days from the date that the summons and petition are filed with the court, there are a number of mitigating factors that can increase the length of the divorce process.
Be careful! If you make a mistake when filing for divorce in Colorado, the entire process is likely to take longer.
Couples considering divorce are encouraged to seek legal counsel. When obtaining a divorce in Colorado, either one of the spouses must have resided in the state for 91 days before divorce procedures begin.
There is no need to prove grounds for divorce. Individuals should file a Petition for Legal Separation in the county where they or their spouse reside. At least one spouse must be a legal resident of the state for at least 91 days before the petition is filed. Once terms have been agreed upon and the court has accepted the petition, at least 90 days must pass before a Decree of Legal Separation is finalized. Some couples find that legal separation works indefinitely; however, the state of Colorado allows either spouse to convert the legal separation into a full divorce after a six-month waiting period passes.
Spouses who wish to make changes to the terms may approach the court to do so. Colorado divorce proceedings are different for couples with children than they are for couples without children. Couples may opt to file jointly or on their own.
In either case, the couple or individual must file for divorce in the county where they or their spouse resides. When filing for divorce on their own, individuals must have the other party served with copies of all three documents. The service must be conducted by an uninvolved third party aged 18 or older.
A notarized Return of Service serves as proof that the other party was served, and must be provided to the court.
After reviewing the documents, the court may require an initial status conference. If both parties are able to agree on all issues, the court may issue a final divorce decree on or after the 92nd day after filing. If both parties are unable to agree on all the issues, they may be required to attend mediation. In addition, a contested hearing date may be set.
Only after all issues have been settled will the court provide a final divorce decree.