Sometimes a divorce is a simple matter of each party walking away. Other times, the process of disentangling two lives, property and children is complicated and emotional. Here we have described some of the basic steps and procedures regarding divorce proceedings in Colorado and what you might expect.
Please get in touch with us if you come to a place where you need help.
Steps For Divorce
1. Filing For Divorce
You or your spouse must reside in CO at least 91 days before filing for divorce. You will file in the county where you reside. Following are the three sets of forms that initiate a divorce case.
- JDF 1000: Case Information Sheet
- JDF 1101: Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
- JDF 1102: Summons for Dissolution of Marriage
If both parties are in agreement, it’s possible to file jointly, or one person can file and the other person can waive service and accept the documents informally.
If parties are not in agreement, the filing party must have the paperwork personally served on the other party. The local sheriff’s office can usually perform this service for a nominal fee.
3. Legal Forms/Disclosures
A. In the first 42 days, each party must exchange financial disclosures with the other party and file proof of compliance, along with a financial statement.
- JDF 1125 (Form 35.1) outlines what forms to exchange
- JDF 1104 Certificate of Compliance
- JDF 1111 Sworn Financial Statement
- JDF 1111SS (if needed)
If you are in agreement on all issues:
If everyone agrees, the agreements can be filed with the court at any time.
4. Status Conference / Temporary Orders Hearing
also within 42 days of service
If there are pressing issues that require a judicial order while the case is proceeding, either party can request a temporary orders hearing at the initial status conference. That conference also provides an opportunity to confirm the financial disclosures, request the appointment of experts and schedule future court appearances. Some issues to address might include:
- Home Appraisal
- Business Evaluation
- Vocational Evaluation
- Child Family Investigator (CFI)
- Parental Rights Evaluator (PRE)
Typically, parties are ordered to attend mediation before moving on to a final hearing. The Office of Dispute Resolution provides mediation services and the Datz Law Firm offers mediation as well.
6. Final Orders
typically within 6-12 mos of service
Any issues that are unable to be resolved by agreement will be decided by the court at a permanent orders hearing. A judge will hear testimony and review evidence and make final decisions and issue final orders.