Colorado Divorce Procedures

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When you are thinking of getting divorced from your spouse, it is natural that you get subjected to a lot of emotional problems, including the feeling of insecurity and stress. In such situations, you generally don't know how to cope up with the legal issues that your divorce is about to bring forth. It is advised that you consult a lawyer who will show you the right direction. But, knowing the basic laws of your state is also deemed as necessary, for it will save you from getting cheated or misguided. For example, if you are in Colorado, you must know the common divorce laws like residency requirements, divorce grounds, visitation rights etc. Also, you must possess sound know-how of the Colorado divorce procedures in order to win your case.

The importance of knowing and following divorce proceedings is paramount. Separating couples must take the steps as specified by the court, in order to obtain a divorce legally, and that with utmost convenience. At many times couples think that legal proceedings are boring, time-consuming, and complex in nature. They may be. But not all cases are marked by lengthy procedures; it depends on the nature of the case. For example, if your marriage is three to five years old with no children and not much marital property, then you may have to follow less divorce procedures. On the other hand, if a couple is seeking divorce after twenty years of marriage with minor children and have issues of property and debts, then the divorce court proceedings may last for even a year.

Colorado Divorce

In Colorado, a divorce is referred to as a Dissolution of Marriage. There are 3 ways in which the divorce procedure in Colorado can be executed.

  • Uncontested - By agreement
  • By contest
  • By default

For your convenience, we are dividing the procedural phase into three stages as described below:

Initial stage of Colorado Divorce Procedure

  • One divorcing partner files the Summons and Petition in the court and then serves these documents to the other divorcing partner
  • The other divorcing partner is given 20 days to file a Response from the date of service. If the service is done outside the state, then 30 days are allocated
  • It is expected that within this time span, the divorcing partners should locate financial papers, inventory the assets, and start to plan alternate living arrangements for self as well as the child or children
  • As per the statute, from the date of service, a minimum of 90-day period should pass by, following which the divorce decree might be issued
Middle stage of Colorado Divorce Procedure
  • If the Response is filed, then it is compulsory that financial disclosure must be done within 20 days after the Petition was filed
  • If no Response is submitted in the court, then it is mandatory that financial disclosure should take place within 40 days after filing of the Petition
  • It has been observed in several cases that during this stage, the divorcing partners do not have particular arrangements regarding the financial stage or the children. Hence, they opt for a contested temporary orders hearing
  • In case the divorcing partners have conflicts regarding financial issues, then, the respective lawyers execute financial discovery procedure in this state
  • If the divorcing partners have children, they may undergo a parenting after divorce class
  • This is the proper stage when the assistance of a financial advisor should be taken regarding financial planning
  • The post-divorce living arrangements must be sorted out in this stage
Last stage of Colorado Divorce Procedure
  • It has been seen that usually after 2 to 4 months after the initial filing, the final stage of divorce begins
  • Here, it is expected that the divorcing partners should negotiate and sign a settlement agreement known as a separation agreement. Additionally, if the divorcing couple has children, it is essential to draft a permanent parenting plan
  • When the divorcing partners fail to draft an agreement, then the option of divorce mediation is open
  • If mediation does not work out, then the only way is to have a final hearing in the presence of a judge
  • At least 60 days prior to the final hearing, expert witnesses reports must be revealed
  • Generally 30 days before the final hearing, the special advocate's report must be submitted
  • Typically 10 to 20 days prior to the final hearing, there must be a pre-trial settlement meeting of the divorcing couple and the competing lawyers
  • It is essential to file a trial management certificate minimum 10 days before the final hearing

The Colorado divorce procedures described here are some common proceedings that are followed in almost all cases. Your lawyer can educate you more on the specific procedures relevant in your case

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