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Can You Refuse a Divorce in Colorado?

April 6, 2021

No. A divorce case in Colorado will move forward when just one spouse wants to end the marriage. When the other party doesn’t want a divorce, however, (s)he can do things to try to delay the case. Still, the divorce will proceed, despite any additional filings or proceedings that may need to happen.

Here’s a closer look at some of the different ways spouses can try to delay or interrupt the divorce process when they don’t want to end the marriage.

What If I Can’t Find My Ex to Serve the Divorce Papers?

Eluding service can be a tactic people use to try to stymie the divorce process. If you can’t locate your ex to serve the divorce papers, you may be able to complete the service via publication. This involves publishing the divorce notice for a specific period of time in a newspaper of your choice.

In order to serve divorce papers by publication, you must:

  1. Get permission from the court: You will have to submit a request and demonstrate that you have made reasonable efforts to try to locate and serve your spouse and that those efforts have failed.

  2. Publish a copy of the divorce notice in a newspaper: This usually means paying for ad space to publish the divorce notice for the required period of time.

Once this has been done, the same rules typically apply. In other words, the other party will have a limited amount of time to file a response to the initial divorce petition. If (s)he doesn’t, the divorce will usually be granted on the terms requested in the initial divorce filing.

One potential drawback here can arise with support payments. When divorce papers are served via publication and divorce decrees are granted due to nonresponse, the court may have limited ability to order alimony, for example.

What If My Ex Fails to Respond to the Divorce Papers?

When no response is filed, the courts will usually assume that there is no disagreement about the issues and requests detailed in the initial divorce petition. Consequently, the courts will typically issue the divorce according to the terms outlined in the initial petition if an ex fails to respond to the divorce papers.

What If My Ex Refuses to Sign the Divorce Papers?

The court may still finalize the divorce and issue a final divorce decree, even if an ex refuses to sign the final divorce papers.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to an ex refusing divorce and making it harder for you to get one, the bottom line is that you CAN still proceed with the case—though you’ll likely have to go back to court more and deal with more delays in the process.

If you are the party who is fighting the divorce and your spouse wants one, it’s better to consider options like mediation or legal separation, instead of trying to thwart the process and stir up more resentment, costs, and headaches.

No matter what side of the battle you may sit on, you can benefit from the representation and support of an experienced divorce attorney.

How Can a Divorce Lawyer Help Me?

A divorce attorney at The Cossitt Law Firm, LLC can protect your rights and interests throughout divorce, helping you position your case for better outcomes. We offer confidential consultations, and we are ready to help you now.

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 divorce lawyers know how much can be on the line when it’s time to end your marriage. We also know how challenging it can be to make some of the big, tough decisions as your divorce case moves forward. That’s why we are proud to be here for those filing for divorce. We are exceptionally effective advocates known for tirelessly advancing our clients’ interests in divorce cases. Find out more about how we can help you by calling or emailing our firm today.

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Fort Collins Divorce & Child Support Attorneys

Tom Cossitt

Tom Cossitt, Esq.

Family Law
Suzanne Ewy

Suzanne Ewy, 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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