In order for a marriage to be dissolved in Colorado, a number of important legal steps must first take place. Decisions must be made regarding how any assets or debts acquired during the marriage will be divided. This will include the home a family has purchased as well as any credit card bills that have accumulated over the years. Even more importantly, when children are involved, plans must be developed around where the children will live, what schools they will attend, and the parenting time each parent will exercise with the children.
In an uncontested divorce, at the outset of the case both parties have come to agreement about all issues including:
- Division of property, including all assets and debts
- Maintenance, more commonly known as alimony
- Child custody issues, including parenting time, decision making, and child support.
Even in uncontested divorces, Colorado Law requires all parties to complete the following:
- Exchange Mandatory Financial disclosures:
Each party must file a Sworn Financial Statement and a Certificate of Compliance certifying that they have exchanged with the other party all legally mandated financial documentation.
- Parenting Class:
The State has an interest in ensuring parents are well equipped to Co-Parent effectively for the welfare of their children. For this reason, if children are involved in the case, each parent will need to take an approved parenting class and file a certificate of completion with the Court.
The Dissolution of Marriage process requires both parties to file specific documents with the Court. These documents detail for the Court the terms the parties have agreed upon respective to all issues. The following documents will need to be filed with the Court:
- Separation Agreement – the document that details all property division, property transfers, including car titles, home refinances, QDROs or DROs for retirement accounts, terms for maintenance (more commonly known as alimony) and the payment of outstanding debts
- Proposed Support Order – the document that details the amounts and terms for any maintenance or child support that will be paid by either party
- Proposed Decree – the document that provides for the final Dissolution of the Marriage. It must be signed by the Judge and will also detail the restoration of a prior last name, if applicable.
- Parenting Plan – the document that details everything relating to child custody, including:
- Parenting time schedule including regular, summer, holiday, and vacation time
- Decision making regarding the children’s health, education, and spiritual life
- Child support terms, amounts, and timelines
Parties often inquire about the timeline to reach a final Decree of Dissolution. No Decree can be issued until all matters of issue to the marriage have been agreed upon, and all Mandatory Financial Disclosures have been filed with the Court and exchanged between the parties.
Once all of these matters have been addressed, the earliest date that a Colorado Court can issue a Decree for Dissolution is 91 days after filing.
Who can obtain a divorce in Fort Collins, Colorado
For Colorado to have jurisdiction over a divorce, at least one of the parties must have resided in Colorado for a minimum of 90 days.
The Parties must agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken.