COLORADO DIVORCE MADE EASY. DOCUMENTS DONE RIGHT!
COLORADO 3STEPDIVORCE TM - KEEPING YOUR UNCONTESTED DIVORCE SIMPLE
This easy to use online divorce is a "do it yourself (without a lawyer)" solution for any uncontested divorce (with or without children) that will be filed in the state of Colorado. An uncontested divorce is one in which you and your spouse are in agreement and eliminates the stress and expense of settling your divorce in court.
With 3StepDivorce TM you will complete and print your Colorado divorce forms (including a marital settlement agreement) instantly. Then, follow our step-by-step filing for divorce in Colorado procedures to file your paperwork in a timely, professional, and hassle free fashion. The online software is designed to give you full control of your divorce and also avoids the use of third party data entry, thus helping protect your personal information and privacy. If you're not ready to file for divorce, learn more about getting your Separation Agreement or learn more about the basics of divorce in Colorado and how to do your own divorce in Colorado . Also, If you have any questions try visiting our Colorado Divorce Online Help Center .
Online Divorce FAQ: Colorado
Filing for divorce can seem overwhelming. Like starting almost any other legal proceeding, it takes finding the right forms, filling out the forms properly, and understanding the court’s requirements for the next steps you’ll need to take.
Traditionally, most people have hired a lawyer to take care of all the legal matters in their divorce. But more and more couples are turning to a much cheaper option that’s still easier than figuring out everything on their own: filing for divorce online.
If you want to know more, read on for answers to some of the most common questions about online divorce in Colorado.
How Does Online Divorce Work in Colorado?
Colorado 3StepDivorce™ takes care of the divorce paperwork for you. Once you sign up for the service, you’ll answer some questions about your situation. Based on your responses to the questionnaire, Colorado 3StepDivorce™ will fill out the forms the state requires to start the divorce process, along with instructions for adding any further information that’s needed. You’ll be able to print out the forms yourself immediately or, if you prefer, get hard copies by mail.
Can I File for Divorce in Colorado?
Colorado has two basic requirements to file for divorce (known as “dissolution of marriage”) in the state: a residency requirement, and a legally recognized reason for ending your marriage.
What Are the Residency Requirements for Divorce in Colorado?
Either you or your spouse must have had your main, permanent home in Colorado for at least 91 days just before you file for divorce. (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 14-10-106 (2021).)
What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Colorado?
Colorado has only one legal reason (or “ground”) for divorce—that your marriage is “irretrievably broken,” meaning there’s no reasonable chance of fixing it. If you want to get an uncontested divorce (more on that below), you and your spouse must agree this is the case. Otherwise, a judge would have to look at the evidence and decide whether your marriage is in fact beyond repair.
Do I Need a Lawyer to File for Divorce in Colorado?
Many Colorado residents are finding that they can file for divorce and get through the process without the expense of hiring a lawyer if they’re filing for an “uncontested divorce” in the state. That means that they’ve agreed with each other about all of the legal issues in their divorce, including:
- how to divide their property and debts
- Alimony (known as “spousal support” in Colorado), and
- child custody, visitation, and child support (if they have minor children).
If you still have disagreements with your spouse about these or any other issues involved in ending your marriage, you’ll have to file for a traditional, contested divorce. Because that will involve legal battles and presenting evidence and arguments at court hearings, it would be risky to pursue a contested divorce without a lawyer to navigate the process for you—especially if your spouse has an attorney.
Can I Use Colorado 3StepDivorce™ in My Situation?
You may use Colorado 3StepDivorce™ as long as you have an uncontested divorce and meet the state’s residency requirement. You’ll need to have a written marital settlement agreement (known in Colorado as a “separation agreement,” even if you don’t get a legal separation), signed by both you and your spouse, that covers all of the issues in your divorce. Colorado 3StepDivorce™ will guide you through the process of creating this agreement, based on your answers to the questionnaire.
Colorado 3StepDivorce™ can also help you prepare a separation agreement if you aren’t ready to file for divorce and are interested in a legal separation in Colorado. In that case, you might want to work out arrangements for support, custody of your children, who has to move out of the family home, and how to take care of the bills while you’re separated but still legally married.
What If My Spouse and I Can’t Agree on the Issues in Our Divorce?
Just because you haven’t been able to agree with your spouse about everything in your divorce, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go through an expensive and time-consuming contested divorce. You could try divorce mediation. If you’re able to resolve your disagreements with the mediator’s help, you can then use Colorado 3StepDivorce™ to prepare the written settlement agreement, along with the other divorce paperwork.
Can I Get an Online Divorce in Colorado If I Have Children?
Generally, you can use Colorado 3StepDivorce™ even when you have minor children with your spouse, as long as you agree on all of the issues related to your kids, including legal and physical custody, a parenting (visitation) schedule, child support, health and dental insurance, and tax deductions. Colorado 3StepDivorce™ will allow you to address these issues in your settlement agreement. We provide a standard parenting schedule, but you’ll have an option of customizing the schedule to meet your individual needs.
However, you won’t be able to address custody-related issues with Colorado 3StepDivorce™ if the affected child or children don’t meet the “home state” requirement. Usually, that means the child must have lived in Colorado with a parent (or a parent figure) for at least 182 days before you file for divorce (or since birth if the child is younger than that). If you don’t meet the 182-day rule, you should speak with an attorney to find out whether you might qualify for one of the complicated exceptions. (Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 14-13-102, 14-13-201 (2022).)
How Will My Online Divorce in Colorado Deal With Child Support?
In Colorado, both parents have an obligation to support their children. And like all states, Colorado has child support guidelines for calculating how much support the parents should pay, based largely on their incomes and custody arrangements.
3StepDivorce™ provides the Colorado Child Support Guideline Worksheets, so you can easily calculate the state's guideline level of support. You and your spouse may agree to an amount of child support that differs from the guideline amount, but the judge will review your agreement to determine if the amount of support is in your children’s best interests.
In your settlement agreement, you and your spouse may include child support provisions that aren’t legally required, such as a parent’s contributions to private school tuition or the cost of a child’s college education. You may also agree on some specific questions like which parent will claim the children as dependents on tax returns.
Will We Be Able to Change the Amount of Child Support After Divorce?
After your divorce in Colorado is final, you (or your spouse) may request a change in the amount of child support, but you’ll need to prove to a judge that your circumstances have changed to such an extent that the previous amount of child support is unfair, and that the changes are ongoing. (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 14-10-122(1) (2022).)If you want to save the time and expense of a contested court hearing over a request to modify child support, you and your spouse may agree to a modification on your own, without having to go through a court hearing. However, if the new amount departs from Minnesota’s child support guidelines, you’ll have to file child support guideline forms, along with an explanation for your agreement, with the court. A judge will review your documents and decide whether to grant or deny the modification. (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 14-10-115(14) (2022).)
How Will Online Divorce Handle Property and Debts From Our Marriage?
When you fill out your questionnaire for Colorado 3StepDivorce™, you’ll answer a series of questions about your separate and marital property and debts, including how you’ll divide your marital property and allocate responsibility for payment of the marital debts.
What About the Family Home?
If you own a home with your spouse, your agreement can spell out what will happen to it when you get divorced. Here again, the questionnaire will include a few questions about the property and how you’ve chosen to deal with it, such as:
- selling the house and splitting the proceeds
- transferring ownership to one spouse, with the other spouse receiving money or other assets in exchange for that spouse’s share, or
- continuing to own the property together while allowing one spouse to stay in the house for a period of time (and, if so, how you’ll handle paying the mortgage and other ongoing costs).
What About Retirement Accounts?
In your Colorado 3StepDivorce™, you may also agree on whether and how you’ll divide any retirement accounts that you and your spouse have, including 401(k)s, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), and defined-benefit pensions.
If you started contributing to the retirement plan before you were married, you’ll start by figuring out how much of its current value is marital property and how much is your separate property. There are experts and firms that will do this for you (for a fee, of course). The service is usually known as a pension appraisal or valuation. You’ll almost always need this kind of expert help when you’re dealing with a defined-benefit pension.
Once you know the marital value of your work-related retirement accounts, the easiest way to handle the division of the assets is not to split them but to transfer other assets as an offset. Here’s how that works: Say you have a 401(k) through your job, and the marital portion of the account is worth $100,000. If you and your spouse agree to divide that portion down the middle, and you have other marital assets to divide (such as a regular savings account), your spouse could receive an extra $50,000 from those assets while you keep the entire 401(k). That way, you don’t have to hire another expert to prepare the kind of special order that’s needed to tell the 401(k) administrator how to divide the account.
The rules are different for IRAs. You may simply agree to have your spouse’s share transferred to another IRA account in that spouse’s name. (You’ll have to submit a special form to the bank, along with a copy of your divorce decree.)
Can I Get Alimony With an Online Divorce in Colorado?
You and your spouse may waive any right to spousal support in your Colorado divorce, or you may agree on the specifics of alimony payments: who will pay, how much, and for how long. Your agreement may also state whether spousal support can be modified in the future, and it could cover related issues like health insurance and life insurance.
How Do I File My Divorce Papers in Colorado?
Once you have your completed forms, your next step will be to file the paperwork with the court clerk's office in the county where you or your spouse lives. You may file the documents in person at the courthouse or file the forms electronically. (Learn more about the process of filing for divorce in Colorado.)
How Much Is Colorado’s Filing Fee for Divorce?
Colorado courts charge a fee for filing divorce papers ($230 as of 2022). There’s also an additional fee for using the state’s eFiling system.
What If I Can’t Afford to Pay the Divorce Filing Fee?
If you can’t afford the filing fees, you may apply for a waiver. You might be able to pay the fees in installments if the court determines that you don’t qualify for a fee waiver based on your income.
How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Take in Colorado?
Uncontested divorces are much quicker than contested divorces. If you don’t have children and meet the other qualifications with an Affidavit for Decree Without Appearance of Parties, you may not even have to attend a final court hearing. With or without a hearing, however, the judge may not enter your final “decree of dissolution of marriage” until at least 91 days after you filed your joint petition with the court. (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 14-10-106 (2022).)
How Can I Get More Help With Colorado Online Divorce?
Colorado 3StepDivorce™ provides unlimited, live, person-to-person support for customers. If you have any questions about how uncontested divorce works, call our Colorado Divorce Online Help Center at (888) 665-6782 (toll free), Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm (Pacific Time).
Please keep in mind that we are not lawyers and so cannot give out legal advice. If you have questions about Colorado law or need legal advice, we recommend that you contact an experienced family law attorney in your area.