As top divorce lawyers in Colorado, we understand there's a significant amount of paperwork involved in filing for divorce. First, there are numerous forms to fill out and sign. These will differ depending on whether or not you are the petitioner (i.e., the person filing for divorce) or the respondent. You'll also have additional paperwork if you have children with your spouse, owned property together, ran a joint business, or have some other situation that adds complexity to your case.
In addition to the various forms required by the courts, you'll also need to dig through your files to find the requested supporting documents. These will be required to prove that assertions you make are correct, and to give the court the information they need to make a fair and just ruling.
Fortunately, the Judicial Branch of Colorado provides instructions as well as flowcharts to help you determine the steps you need to take, and the forms required. Here are some of the most common forms and documents you will need to fill in:
Petition For Dissolution of Marriage
In a sense, this is the flagship form for your divorce. It contains:
- the name of the petitioner, co-petitioner/respondent
- date of marriage
- full names of any children
- information about any prior court actions, whether or not there is any human services involvement
- the existence of child support orders, etc.
Essentially this is the form stating that one or both parties of the marriage are seeking a divorce.
Sworn Financial Statement
The financial statement document is completed to verify each party’s income, expenses, deductions, debts, and assets. This is a sworn document, and it is imperative that you are completely honest and accurate when filling it out. You should plan on gathering any documents you have on hand to ensure your form is complete. The numbers here will be used to calculate child support, spousal maintenance, and other potential obligations.
In many cases, both spouses agree that the marriage should end. If your spouse does not agree, you will need to fill out the summons form. It is served to them to give them notice that you are filing for divorce and that they are obligated to respond to your action.
Child Support Worksheets
The state of Colorado has several forms relating to child support. These include forms for requesting child support initially, to modify child support, and to end the child support obligation. The courts also provide a link to a tool for calculating child support obligations and lets you download printable worksheets.
If there are children of the marriage, both parties must submit a parenting plan. This plan should cover items such as holiday visitation schedules, where the child will attend school, religion to be practiced, and medical decisions. The parenting plan can be a full joint plan, which means that both parties agree to everything, a partial joint where there are some agreement and disagreement, and a parenting plan completed by one parent. The latter is where the parents cannot agree on anything.
Certificate of Marriage
You will need a copy of your marriage certificate for the divorce proceedings. This can usually be found in the county in which you were married.
There’s undoubtedly a lot of paperwork involved in getting a divorce. The more complex your divorce is going to be, the more paperwork you will have to manage. Fortunately, with the help of a good family attorney, you should be able to complete any necessary forms and ensure a smoother divorce process.