An uncontested divorce may be one of the more conflict-free actions taken in family law. It occurs when both divorcing parties are able to completely agree on all terms of the divorce. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t legally prepare for this process. This post outlines the steps you need to take to amicably part ways with your spouse.
How To Obtain an Uncontested Divorce in Colorado
To file for a divorce, one or both of you must have lived in Colorado for at least 90 days prior to filing. You should also agree on the terms of your separation, in particular, when it comes to asset division and child custody. These terms need to be documented in a separation agreement, both of you sign and file to the court.
The timeline for an uncontested divorce in Colorado is at least 90 days after you provide all the required documents. Here are all the steps necessary to successfully complete an uncontested divorce in Colorado.
Step 1: File the Required Divorce Papers Jointly
If you agree on most matters, file the divorce papers jointly with your spouse. You can also do so alone and then serve the papers upon the other party. But this can extend the divorce timeline.
Here’s what you’ll need to provide:
- Domestic relations information sheet: Contains basic personal information.
- Petition for dissolution of marriage: A form requesting a divorce.
- Separation agreement: Only needed if you have children or shared marital property. This will contain information about visitation, support, and division of property.
- Support order: Details the amount of support that one spouse will pay to the other.
- Affidavit for Decree without the appearance of parties: An agreement that both spouses want a default divorce decree without a trial.
Step 2: Draft a Separation Agreement
The separation agreement outlines the details of the divorce agreement related to asset and debt division as well as child support and visitation arrangements. It’s a legally binding document Colorado courts will use to make any rulings.
Even if you and your spouse don’t have any qualms over the divorce terms, it’s still best to consult an attorney. They will provide an objective view of your case and help draft a solid agreement that comprehensively protects the rights of both parties.
Step 3: Complete Other Documents
Many of the forms listed above apply only in certain circumstances. For example, financial disclosures are required if you have shared property. Child support worksheets are needed only if you and your spouse share children or are expecting a child. Fill in all the relevant forms carefully and file them with a clerk.
Step 4: Attend an Initial Status Conference
The initial status conference (ISC) is the first formal court appearance, scheduled within 42 days after filing the divorce petition. However, you can avoid this step if you filed the affidavit for decree without appearance, completed your separation agreement, and filed any other needed paperwork by that time too.
Step 5: Wait For The Decision
Most divorces are granted within 92 days. Once the judge issues a decision on your case, you’ll be contacted to pick up your divorce decree. If it is needed, your support order will also be available.
Colorado Uncontested Divorce FAQs
Can you get a divorce online in Colorado?
You can file for divorce online if you live in one of 8 Colorado counties: Arapahoe, Douglas, El Paso, Grand, Larimer, Moffat, Routt, or Teller. These counties are testing e-filing. This means you can fill in all the necessary divorce forms online and submit them digitally to a court clerk for review. If you live in a Colorado county other than those mentioned above, you’ll have to submit all the paperwork in person.
Do both parties need a lawyer in an uncontested divorce?
There is no legal requirement to retain an attorney for an uncontested divorce. Yet, it is nearly always a good idea to do so, even if in a more limited capacity. An attorney can help you navigate the divorce paperwork and iron out the minor issues in your separation agreement to make sure both parties are protected.
How much does an uncontested divorce cost in Colorado?
The average rate among Colorado attorneys is $254/hour. Couples who are seeking an uncontested divorce will pay less than those who require mediation or a trial. The total divorce costs will depend on the attorney’s involvement at different stages. A qualified attorney will be able to provide you with detailed information about the costs you can expect when pursuing an uncontested divorce in Colorado.