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Can a Divorce Petition Be Withdrawn?

February 27, 2021
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Yes, divorce petitions filed in Colorado can be withdrawn under specific circumstances. If it is not possible to withdraw a divorce petition, there may be alternatives, depending on what each spouse ultimately wants.

When a Colorado Divorce Petition Can Be Withdrawn

Divorce petitions filed with Colorado courts can be withdrawn or dismissed by the courts when the petitioner has not yet served the other party with a copy of the court documents. In Colorado, the petitioner will typically have 60 days from the date on which the divorce papers are filed to serve his or her spouse with a copy of the documents. That can leave up to 2 months for petitioners to withdraw divorce papers from a Colorado family court if their spouse hasn’t been served yet.

If the other spouse has been served with a copy of the divorce filing, then the petition can ONLY be dismissed by the court IF both parties agree to it.

When a Colorado Divorce Petition Can NOT Be Withdrawn

If either party still wants a divorce to happen, once the case has been opened with a divorce filing, it will proceed. Of course, at any point before a settlement is reached or a final divorce decree is issued, spouses still have the opportunity to request a dismissal if they both agree to one. In other words, divorcing parties can reconcile and file a motion for a mutual dismissal at any point before their case is finalized by the court.

Legal Separation: When to Consider this Divorce Alternative

It’s not uncommon for spouses to take action towards divorce and then have changes of minds and hearts. Sometimes, reconciliations last. Other times, they don’t. For couples who may be thinking about divorce but just aren’t ready, a legal separation can be an effective, more flexible alternative.

With a legal separation, couples can address all of the issues that would arise in a divorce and create an agreement detailing those terms. While that can be one step in testing out how divorce may work, it still preserves certain rights, benefits, and coverages—and the couple will still be legally married in the eyes of the law. That can give them the space they need to:

  • Financially separate and establish more independence
  • Test out divorce in small steps while still leaving open the option to reconcile
  • Change their mind at any point, with the options to end the legal separation or move forward with a divorce

When legal separations are the first step, a divorce that follows can be much simpler. In many cases, divorce after a legal separation is more of a formality, as the big issues have already been settled through the creation of the legal separation agreement.

How Can I Find Out More About Divorce & Legal Separation in Colorado?

Contact an experienced Fort Collins divorce lawyer at The Cossitt Law Firm, LLC for helpful answers and advice regarding your rights and options in divorce.

Call (970) 488-1887 or email our firm for a 100% confidential consultation. Phone and Skype consultations are available.

At The Cossitt Law Firm, LLC, our Colorado divorce and family lawyers are dedicated advocates who are skilled at helping people get through some of the most difficult times of their lives. We know what can be on the line when a marriage is ending, and we know how to help our clients achieve their objectives. Known for providing personal attention and practical solutions, we are the tireless, fierce attorneys you can trust when it’s time to navigate the next steps and protect what matters most in the process. From offices in Fort Collins, we represent clients throughout Larimer County and the state of Colorado.


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