How to Divorce Your Spouse in Colorado
Before seeking a divorce, it's important to do your homework so you understand the divorce process, or seek legal assistance to get help understanding the nuances associated with this process. The state of Colorado has specific requirements when it comes to finalizing a divorce and each step has to be followed accordingly. (Download our handy divorce flow chart.) The forms and procedures can be complicated but with our Divorce Navigator, we provide an easy-to-follow, guided interview that completes your forms for you. And in some cases with your account coordinator!
Colorado requirements to file for a divorce
Let's begin with the requirements to file for a divorce. In general, for a divorce to be filed in Colorado, one of the two parties must show proof of residence in the state for the previous 91 days (3 months). If there are children under 18 involved (that are over 6 months old), they must have resided in Colorado for at least 181 days (6 months) before the divorce is initiated. It's also important to note the filing has to be done in the specific county one of the parties resides in at the time of their divorce.
Colorado is a "no-fault" divorce state, meaning you do not need to explain to the court why you are requesting a divorce. It is sufficient for one of you to state that the marriage is "irretrievably broken" when filing the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, and you are not required to explain any reasons beyond that.
The process to file a divorce includes a strict 91-day (3 months) waiting period until the filing is finalized. This ensures both parties have time to think about their decision and whether or not it is the best decision moving forward. There is no way around this waiting period.
How to begin the divorce process in Colorado
To get started, file a petition for a divorce in the District Court, so long as you meet the residency requirements. This can be done in multiple ways, including filing through an online divorce platform like Hello Divorce. You can file by yourself or jointly with your spouse.
Once the petition is filed, an Initial Status Conference (ISC) will be scheduled - Don't worry, this is just a basic meeting so the court can assess where each party is at and what you agree upon. Aside from the ISC, the county you filed in will affect how your process unfolds, for instance, some counties require parenting classes or mediation for divorces that include minor children.