Colorado No-Fault Divorce—From Top to Bottom
Divorce proceedings are not easy for anyone. Things can get heated fast, making the process even more traumatic and nerve-racking. The worst you can do at that moment is start pointing fingers and blaming each other for the breakdown of the marriage. Luckily, that is now avoidable!
In this handy guide, you can find all the information you need about a Colorado no-fault divorce and a step-by-step guide to filing for one.
When filing for divorce, the petitioner or plaintiff is supposed to state legal reasons for the dissolution of the marriage. In no-fault divorce cases, it’s enough to claim that the marriage is over due to irreconcilable differences. Neither one of the spouses has to take the fall for the termination of the relationship.
Many couples prefer this option because it:
- Takes less time
- Is less demanding
- Reduces the conflict
- Lowers the attorney fees
Fault-based grounds for divorce usually include:
- Mental illness
- Domestic violence
- Absence or desertion
- Alcohol or substance abuse
As of 1970, Colorado is a no-fault state for divorces. The divorce court doesn’t recognize fault, meaning that neither party takes responsibility. A judge doesn’t consider any alleged misconduct during the court proceedings—adultery, absence, or desertion won’t affect their decisions regarding matters such as alimony or division of debt.
A person can file for marriage dissolution in Colorado based on the claim that the marriage is irretrievably broken and caused by irreconcilable differences.
Meeting residency requirements is the first step to getting divorced in Colorado. To file for divorce, you must meet the following criteria:
- At least one of the spouses must have lived in the state for at least 91 days before filing the petition
- If the case involves a minor, the child must have lived in the state for at least 182 days
Having a no-fault divorce makes the whole process easier. If you want to go one step further and simplify the procedure even more, you should choose an uncontested dissolution of the marriage. Besides being quicker than the regular method, it's cheaper because you don’t need a lawyer.
To file for this low-cost option, all of the following has to be true:
- Either you or your spouse has to meet the residency requirements
- You and your spouse:
- Agree on the grounds of divorce
- Don’t have marital property
- Have no minor children (born or adopted)
- Don’t expect a child
If you have marital property or minor children together, you must sign a divorce settlement agreement that defines the terms you’ve agreed on.
If you agree on every important issue and meet the residency requirements, the process shouldn’t be too complicated. In the following table, you can find the step-by-step guide to filing for a friendly divorce in Colorado:
|Prepare the divorce papers||Collect the required Colorado divorce forms, fill them out, and make copies of each|
|File the original documents with the court||Keep in mind that you cannot submit these forms online. You need to take the original petition and other uncontested divorce papers and deliver them in person to the local clerk’s office|
|Serve divorce papers||There are two ways to serve your spouse:
|Make a divorce settlement agreement||Once you’ve agreed on important matters with your spouse (alimony, child support, parenting plan, division of property), you should put it all in writing. Avoid pricey lawyers and complicated procedures—subscribe to DoNotPay, and we’ll do the grunt work for you!|
|Attend a hearing||During the hearing, the judge will:
A divorce settlement agreement is one of the most important documents you need when you’re getting an uncontested divorce. To make sure the judge approves it, you have to draft it with utmost care. If you don’t want to pay the earth for a lawyer’s assistant, you can download a template and write it on your own. Even though it may sound appealing, using templates from unreliable websites is not the safest option.
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Is there something else you need help with? We can answer any divorce-related questions you might have. In the following table, you can find some of the most frequently asked ones:
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