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Uncontested Divorce Lawyer

What is an Uncontested Divorce in Colorado?

If you’re considering divorce, or if your spouse has already filed for divorce, your attorney will most likely encourage you to reach agreements with your spouse on your own rather than taking him or her to court. That’s because litigation is costly and time-consuming. When you force the judge in your case to reach a decision without your agreeing to it first, you’re more likely to feel like you “lost.”

Understanding What Is a Colorado Uncontested Divorce

When you and your spouse agree on all the major issues in your divorce without going to court, you may be eligible for what’s called an uncontested divorce. State law refers to an uncontested divorce in Colorado as decree upon affidavit, which means a judge can sign your divorce paperwork without your having to argue over the details in court.

If you are interested in discussing the possibility of getting a no-contest divorce, please call The Cossitt Law Firm at 970-488-1887. Talk to our uncontested divorce lawyer about your situation to learn how we can help you

Difference Between an Uncontested Divorce and a Contested One

Uncontested divorces are typically simpler and more cost-effective than contested divorces. However, when couples can’t agree, they need to hash out the details in court. That’s a contested divorce.

In a contested divorce, a judge must examine all the evidence, which can include extensive financial records or expert testimony from psychologists and other professionals. One spouse may try to bring up the couple’s “dirty laundry,” alleging infidelity or otherwise trying to discredit the other spouse.

Court battles like these can be incredibly difficult for all parties. Contested divorces usually cost quite a bit more money, because you’re each paying your attorney to research, to put together legal documents as evidence, and to represent you in the courtroom. Even worse, they take more time. You have to wait to get on the court’s calendar; and if something goes wrong at one hearing, you’ll have to schedule another.

The Cossitt Law Firm is Ready to Help with Your No Contest Divorce

When you are wondering about an uncontested divorce in Colorado and whether it will fit your situation, count on the team at The Cossitt Law Firm to have your best interests in mind. Once you hire us, our team is ready to answer any questions you may have. We will thoroughly explore all of your options in your divorce settlement, and we will give you advice on how we think you should proceed. The final decision in the case always rests with you, though.

For a consultation about your divorce case, please call The Cossitt Law Firm today at 970-488-1887.

How Does an Uncontested Divorce Work?

An uncontested divorce still requires you to go through a legal process, but it’s generally a lot easier than the process that a contested divorce requires. You don’t have to go to court, but your attorney must still file your divorce paperwork with the court and arrange for someone to serve papers on your spouse. The judge will then decide whether you need to attend a hearing.

Filing Your Divorce Paperwork

Your lawyer will file an affidavit with the court in the county where you live. (If your spouse has already filed for divorce, you’ll need to talk to your attorney about the next steps for you.)

Serving Your Spouse

You need to serve papers on your spouse only if you file the affidavit singly. If you file it jointly with your spouse, you don’t have to deliver a copy to him or her.

Attending a Hearing

The judge assigned to your case will decide whether or not you need a hearing. If you don’t, the judge will sign your decree, which legally dissolves your marriage. If you do, your attorney will go to court with you. Sometimes judges just want to ask questions or address a separation agreement to ensure it is fair.

Requirements for an Uncontested Divorce in Colorado

So how does a no contest divorce work in Colorado? First, understand that not everyone can make an uncontested divorce work. Couples who can’t agree on items like parenting plans and how to divide their property won’t be able to use this process. They’ll have to show up in court.

These are the requirements for an uncontested divorce in Colorado:

  • You or your spouse must have lived in Colorado for at least the past 90 days.
  • You and your spouse must not have property to divide, or you must have signed a property separation agreement that is fair to both of you.
  • You and your spouse must agree that your marriage is irreparable.
  • You and your spouse must not have any minor children, and the wife must not be pregnant.
  • If you do have children, you and your spouse must sign a separation agreement that shows agreement on child custody and visitation, as well as child support, if applicable.

If you’re not sure whether your situation fits the definition of what is an uncontested divorce in Colorado, it’s a good idea to talk to our Fort Collins divorce attorney, who can give you case-specific advice.

Steps Involved in a Colorado Uncontested Divorce

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:

Even in uncontested divorces, Colorado Law requires all parties to complete the following:

  • 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 with respect 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.

Timeline of an Uncontested Divorce

Parties often inquire about the timeline to reach a final Decree of Dissolution. No Decree can be issued until all matters relating 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.

Uncontested Divorce in Colorado FAQ

Here are some of the most common questions we hear from clients wondering how a no-contest divorce works in Colorado.

To start the process of filing for an uncontested divorce in Colorado, you will need to file a divorce petition with your local county district court. If you and your spouse agree to file the paperwork together as co-petitioners, there’s no need to serve your spouse with the divorce papers. If you file the paperwork alone, you will have to serve your spouse, as spelled out in Colo. Rev. Stat. § 14-10-107 (4)(a). You then will have to file an affidavit that asks the court to issue the divorce decree without your needing to appear. The court will review the paperwork and determine whether it is legal without requiring appearances from the two parties or whether you and your spouse need to appear in court for a hearing. Depending on your situation, you may need to file other paperwork with the court, including a:

  • Parenting plan
  • Proposed decree
  • Proposed support order
  • Separation agreement.

A typical contested divorce proceeding in Colorado will take up to nine months. However, when wondering how long it takes to receive an uncontested divorce in Colorado, the length of time will be closer to three to six months. The longer it takes you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse to file your affidavits, the longer it will take to finalize the divorce. The legal system requires that at least 91 days pass from the filing of the affidavits before a judge can finalize the uncontested divorce.

No, you do not. You and your spouse can go through the process of filing for a contested divorce instead. However, you cannot stop the divorce from happening by simply refusing to go along with your spouse’s request for an uncontested divorce. Your spouse can divorce you with or without your consent.

For Colorado to have jurisdiction over a divorce, the marriage must be irretrievably broken and at least one of the parties must have resided in Colorado for a minimum of 90 days.

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About an Uncontested Divorce?

At The Cossitt Law Firm we know that your case is personal and multifaceted. We tailor our representation to your family and individual needs because we understand that all relationships and families are unique.

We offer consultations to discuss your concerns and how the law can protect your well-being. Contact us today to learn how we can support you. We’ll answer all your questions and explain spousal maintenance, property division, child custody and other aspects of divorce so you can get the peace of mind you deserve.

If you’re thinking about pursuing an uncontested divorce, we can help you. Call us at 970-488-1887 for a consultation with an experienced divorce attorney in Fort Collins right now.

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Fort Collins Divorce & Child Support Attorneys

Tom Cossitt

Tom Cossitt, Esq.

Family Law
Carla Jaquess

Carla Jaquess, Esq.

Family Law

Russell W. Sinnett, Esq.

General Counsel and Family Law
Jenna Hardesty

Jenna Hardesty, Paralegal

Family Law

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