When it comes to getting a divorce, it's best to be over-prepared in terms of information, rather than approach the matter impromptu. In Colorado, the process of petitioning for a "dissolution of marriage" – the state's official term for divorce – is rather straightforward. You don't need to jump through any hoops to prove that the other party should take "the blame" for ruining your marriage or find yourself being accused of any wrongdoing. In short, that's what no-fault divorce entails.
What is No-Fault Divorce in Details
Colorado is one of the 17 states offering the so-called "no-fault – sole ground" divorce. This means that neither you nor your spouse can claim that there any fault-based grounds for your divorce, such as cruelty, adultery, or abandonment. It suffices to state that your marriage is beyond repair, and you do not plan to reconcile.
In the remaining states, the person seeking a divorce can choose between filing for a no-fault divorce or pursuing one based on fault grounds.
What Does The Marriage Dissolution Process Look Like
Either of the parties can file for a divorce as long as either of them had resided in Colorado for 90 days prior to that. You will need to download and fill in the required forms and file them to a local court. Afterward, you will have to wait for an additional 90 days minimum before the judge grants you the divorce.
However, the exact process of obtaining a no-fault divorce in Colorado will depend on the specific circumstances of your marriage. Here are some things that will be considered by the courts, and by your attorney:
- Whether there are minor children involved.
- Any property owned.
- Accounts, investments, and other marital assets.
- Income and debt distribution.
As part of the divorce process, you'll have to submit financial information and disclosures. You and your spouse will also have to agree on matters such as custody, parenting time, visitation, and division of property.
The more you can settle out of the courtroom, the better. However, anything that is not settled amicably or through mediation will have to be brought before a judge by your attorney with evidence to support your case. Of course, there are no guarantees that a judge will rule in your favor. Eventually, after the consensus is reached, you will receive your judgment of divorce.
Will Marital Conduct Have Any Merit in a No-Fault Divorce?
The behavior of any party during the marriage will not impact whether a divorce is granted. However, that conduct can influence how certain matters are settled. Here are some examples to illustrate this:
- An unfaithful spouse who spent shared savings on an extramarital affair could be penalized in the division of assets.
- A parent who exposed minor children to drug abuse could have their parenting time-restricted in some way.
- A parent arrested for domestic violence may have to meet specific, court-ordered requirements before their parenting time is restored.
A qualified family attorney will be able to tell you whether any of your marital conduct can be taken into account during the divorce proceedings and impact the final court ruling.
Beginning the Divorce Process in Colorado
Colorado is a no-fault state, and for most couples, this is a good thing. You won't be in the position of proving any wrongdoing or defending yourself against allegations. Instead, you focus on navigating the divorce process with your lawyer's aids to avoid any unforeseen scenarios regarding parenting time, asset division, or alimony.