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The actual process of divorce in Colorado can require the completion of as many as more than 20 forms. The divorce papers must be delivered and certified in an approved manner to be acceptable by the court.

Colorado is an equitable distribution state, and alimony may be awarded.

Colorado Grounds for Divorce

Colorado is a no-fault only divorce state. Grounds for dissolution of marriage Colorado is based on the court finding that the marriage is irretrievably broken. If the court believes there is a chance of the marriage being saved it will not grant the divorce.

Colorado Residency Rules for Divorce

One of the spouses must live in this state of Colorado for 90 days before the beginning of the divorce proceeding.

Process of Uncontested Divorce in Colorado

The petitioner makes three copies of all the divorce paperwork and keeps one. The appropriate forms depend upon whether a party is the petitioner or the respondent and is filing jointlyor as an individual and whether there are minor children. However, the action starts by completing three forms: the Case Information sheet, which provides basic information about both parties, such as names, addresses, and Social Security numbers; the Petition, which asks for a divorce and describes orders the petitioner requests, such as child support, custody, and property division; and the Summons, which is not used when the couple files jointly. These forms are all filed in the Colorado County Court.

Colorado online divorce process The petitioner files in the county where either party lives and makes three copies of all documents and holds onto the original. Eventually, the originals go to the court and one copy goes to the respondent, and the petitioner keeps the last one. The petitioner must make sure that the respondent receives a copy of the Case Information, Petition, and Summons. Service of process may be done by anyone who is not a party to the action -- a friend or family member, a person over the age of 18, the county sheriff's Department, or a private party, and the server must complete the Return of Service located on the Summons and file it with the Court as proof of service.

The petitioner should serve the respondent directly at his or her home address if the respondent is pro se, and if the respondent spouse has retained a lawyer, the petitioner should serve the lawyer at his or her office and not send copies directly to the spouse.

The respondent can accept the documents and sign a Waiver and Acceptance of Service form in front of a notary, and return it to the petitioner who files it with the court. Here is more information regarding the process of filing uncontested divorce papers in Colorado.

Both spouses complete a notarized Sworn Financial Statement and, if necessary, the Sworn Financial Statement with Supporting documentation. These statements detail each spouse's financial picture, from employment to assets to liabilities and monthly expenses. This helps everyone (including the court) to understand more about, for example, how much child support should be paid, or whether one spouse should receive alimony.

Uncontested divorces move more rapidly and cost less than contested actions. Colorado requires a 90-day waiting period before granting a Final Decree of Dissolution. Most contested divorces in Colorado take at least six months to a year. If the respondent does not contest the divorce or the division of property, and there are no child custody or support issues, then a Colorado divorce can take as little as 90 days. This also depends upon the divorce cases load at the county court house the petitioner files. Learn the best ways to save money when doing your own divorce in Colorado.

Do It Yourself Online Divorce in Colorado

Our online software makes it easy to file for divorce in Colorado. In as little as 20 minutes you can have all your completed divorce forms and filing instructions ready for signing and filing. Instantly access your completed divorce forms after a short online interview. It is that easy, no lengthy completion or delivery times. See if you qualify below:

Colorado Property Division Upon Divorce

Colorado is an equitable distribution state and uses dual classification. Unlike most states, the appreciation of separate property is marital. When the parties are unable to reach a settlement, the Chancery Court classifies the property as either separate or marital and then divides the estate equitably. Equitable does not mean equal, or even half, but rather what the judge considers fair. Many divorcing spouses are confused by this and feel everything is always split 50/50, which is not the case.

In dividing property, the court considers the parties' age and health, contributions to the marriage and economic circumstances and tax consequences.

The court accepts any fair and reasonable property division that the spouses reach. An agreement regarding the division of the property and debt is typically put in writing with what is called a Marital Settlement or Property Agreement. The written agreement is signed by both spouses for submission to the court.

Except for an inheritance, gift or property owned before the marriage, all property acquired during the marriage is marital.

In dividing property, the court generally does not consider marital misconduct, but economic misconduct - such as gambling away marital assets, for example - may result in off setting compensation to the victim spouse.

When couples cannot agree on a fair and equitable solution, courts considers the contribution of each party to the marriage; "the value of the property given to each spouse in the property award"; "the economic circumstances of each spouse at the time the division of property is to become effective, including the desirability of awarding the family home or the right to live therein for reasonable periods to the spouse with whom any children reside the majority of the time"; and increases or decreases in the value of the separate property during the marriage or the use of the separate property for the marriage.

As in other jurisdictions, divorcing couples normally sell the marital home and divide the profits, or sell the home to one spouse and refinance, or the custodial parent occupies the house until the last child leaves school and then sell it. The marital home is often the largest asset to divide in a divorce. Offsetting it with other assets in the distribution is not always an option.

Retirement benefits are marital property and when the worker meets all the requirements for payout, he or she is vested. Retirement plans are either Defined Contribution Plans (DC), such as a 401(k), or Defined Benefit Plans (DB), which is the company pension. That part of a pension accumulated during a marriage is community property and subject to distribution. When spouses share in each other's pension plan, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) must be prepared. The QDRO spells out the terms and conditions of the pension distribution.

Colorado Spousal Support and Alimony

The Colorado Divorce and Family Law Guide states spousal support is not an "automatic right"; instead, the court considers the divorced couple's standard of living before and during the marriage, and the paying spouse's ability to pay maintenance and provide for himself or herself at the same time. Alimony influences the marital property distribution, and it can become a very intricate part of the final outcome of any divorce.

The amount of alimony depends on the financial resources of the appellant and his or her independent finances through work or family. The court also considers the age, physical state and emotional state of the alimony petitioner. A final factor the court will consider is the ability of the payor to meet his or her own needs while paying alimony.

The Court may also dictate any ending point because maintenance may be payable for a fixed, temporary or indefinite period of time, and it normally ends when one former spouse dies or when the one recipient spouse remarries.

Courts entertain motions from either party to modify alimony on in the case of a "substantial change in circumstances." A job loss or a serious health problem is considered a substantial change.

Child Custody in Colorado

In Colorado, child custody "may be awarded to either parent based on the best interest of the child, and shall consider all relevant factors."

Courts permit a variety of custody regimes, and if one parent is unfit, the other receives sole custody, but Colorado courts strive for parents to share as equally as possible in the custody of a child.

Joint custody gives both parents equal right and responsibilities. Joint legal custody in Colorado is different from shared custody. One parent has most of the parenting time and responsibility but both parents have the right to make decisions in the best interest of the child. This custody arrangement prevents one parent from making all the major decisions for the child, because parents consult with each other on issues pertaining to health, education, religious upbringing and general welfare, but not on routine day-to-day decisions.

Colorado judges strive for shared custody solutions rather than traditional joint custody. Shared custody involves both parents sharing equal time and financial responsibility for the child. In shared custody, the parent who makes more money is required to make payments to the other parent. It is not official child support, as both parents are splitting the cost of child rearing.

One or both parents may be given either legal or physical custody, but when both parents can work together, the Colorado court normally awards both parents joint physical custody.

Sometimes a third party, such as grandparents, may be awarded custody when the court determines that both parents are detrimental to the best interests of the child. If the court determines that the biological parents are detrimental (for example, the parents are sex offenders), they may be granted supervised visitation.

Courts modify custody routines only when the party seeking modification can prove that it is in the best interest of the child. This is no easy task and is rarely an uncontested request, but all involved must always keep the child's best interest in mind when pursuing a custody modification.

Colorado Child Support

Colorado uses the Income Shares model to determine child support. With this time of child support guideline, a child receives the same proportion of parental income that he or she would have been received if the parents had not divorced because in an intact household, both parents pool their income and spend it for the benefit of all household members, including any children. Income Share is based on a principal in the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act. It considers the gross income of both parents and then establishes the proportion each contributes and divides it among their minor children.

If the noncustodial parent earns more than the custodial parent, the noncustodial parent assumes a higher share of the child's support, but if the noncustodial parent earns less than the custodial parent, he or she pays a smaller share of the support.

Sometimes, after calculating support, courts permit adjustments up or down that are called deviation factors. Courts consider extraordinary expenses, independent income, seasonal fluctuation in parents' income, special needs as well "any other reason that should be considered to make child support more equitable." Likewise, extraordinary expenses can be either add-ons, where the expense is added to the support payment paid by the noncustodial parent, or a deduction, where it is subtracted. If you are filing an uncontested divorce action and your agreed upon child support amount is different than that of the guideline worksheet(s), you may be requested by the court to substantiate you amount with specific deviation factors.

A parent may be ordered to include a child on medical insurance, particularly when the visiting parent receives health insurance.

Courts order temporary child support during custody and support actions, and either parent may be order to pay.

Colorado Child Support Guidelines and Worksheets:

Colorado Service of Process for Divorce

In Colorado, a process server does not have to be licensed and can be anyone not a party to the action but authorized by the county court.

Colorado uses four different process service options: personal service with the complaint, personal service with no complaint, no personal service, complaint served at the same time and no personal service and complaint not served at the same time.

A party is considered personally served when he or she receives the summons personally. Leaving a copy of the divorce papers at the defendant's home with a mature person (typically someone over the age of 18) may also effect service.

In a divorce, the server delivers the summons and complaint to the defendant, and completes an Affidavit of Service that identified the recipient, time, address and manner of service.

When a spouse is missing, service by publication permits constructive notice, which, after a diligent search, permits publication of the action for three successive weeks in a newspaper.

A Simple Divorce Process
Step 1 See if you qualify & create account!
Step 2 Answer the questions at your own pace.
Step 3 Print, sign and file your divorce forms with your local court (instantly review & print your forms online or have them sent US Priority Mail at no additional charge).


Only $299 (flat-fee)

or 2 monthly payments of $157
or 3 monthly payments of $109
or 4 monthly payments of $84
Payment Options Do Not Delay Divorce
Instant Delivery - Instant Changes
100% Guarantee of Court Approval
or Your Money Back
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