Colorado Divorce Laws

The dissolution of marriage is often a stressful, exhausting, and expensive process, draining your budget, time, and energy. Moreover, the divorce procedure may seem too complex, especially if you are unfamiliar with the legal standards. Indeed, divorce laws in Colorado are quite complicated at first glance, necessitating some explanations concerning the main divorce aspects.

To figure out the possible complexities of dissolutionment of marriage, we have gathered crucial information on Colorado divorce laws. In this article, we aim to answer the most pressing questions about the steps to divorce in Colorado, the state eligibility requirements, grounds for uncontested dissolution of marriage, the way disputes are settled, and some other divorce laws in Colorado.

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Colorado Divorce Requirements

Colorado divorce laws contain certain requirements that must be followed to prove your eligibility for dissolutionment of marriage in the state and to ensure that the process goes smoothly.

Here are some Colorado divorce rules you need to know:

  1. To file for dissolution of marriage in the state, you should meet Colorado divorce requirements for residency. According to Rev. Stat. § 14-10-106 (1)(a)(I), one of the spouses must have been a state resident for at least 91 days before submitting the petition.
  2. Before filing for dissolution of marriage in Colorado, gather all crucial information concerning your financial status, marital and separate property, debts, children, etc. All these details will help you see the full picture, define the type of your divorce and the steps you will need to take, and properly fill out the right dissolution of marriage forms.
  3. The spouses must disclose their financial information to each other, specifying their income, expenses, assets, and debts. For this, they should complete and exchange a Sworn Financial Statement form and provide any necessary supporting documents within 42 days after the petition was filed or served to the respondent ( R. Civ. P. 16.2(e)).
  4. If you aim for an uncontested dissolution of marriage, you should do your best to agree with your spouse on all the issues concerning child custody and support, alimony, property division, and debt allocation. All these terms and conditions should be outlined in a Property and Financial Agreement (Separation Agreement) and filed with the court (Rev.Stat. § 14-10-112).
  5. According to Colorado divorce laws, the court can start processing the case not earlier than 91 days after the couple files the petition jointly or after the summons was served on the respondent ( Rev. Stat. § 14-10-106 (1)(a)(III)).

What Are the Divorce Laws in Colorado?

The full scope of laws that govern dissolutionment of marriage in the state can be found in Title 14 of the Colorado Revised Statutes and Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure.

If you wonder, “What are the divorce laws in Colorado?”, see this short list of the most important Colorado divorce laws that will prompt you on what to expect:

  1. Colorado is a no-fault state, and the only reason for the dissolution of marriage is its irretrievable breakdown ( Rev. Stat. § 14-10-106 (1)(a)(II)).
  2. The state allows a simplified procedure in case of an uncontested dissolution of marriage. If you and your spouse make a mutual decision to divorce and agree on all the terms related to your children and property, you can submit a joint petition and omit the steps of serving the respondent or attending a hearing.
  3. In case of a contested divorce, you will need to officially notify your spouse about initiating the case by serving them with the necessary dissolution of marriage forms. If the respondent agrees to cooperate, you can give them the paperwork and ask them to sign the Waiver and Acceptance of Service within 20 days. If you know that your spouse will not accept the papers, you should ask a sheriff, a process server, or any adult person unrelated to your case to deliver them to the respondent and sign a Proof of Service. If you do not know the other party’s whereabouts, you should prove to the court that you have made all attempts to find them and request permission for service by publication ( Rev. Stat. § 14-10-107 (4)(a)).
  4. According to divorce laws in Colorado, marital property is divided based on the equitable distribution principle, which does not always mean an equal split. The separate property is typically left to the owner party. When deciding what division would be just in a specific case, the court considers the value of marital property, the change of separate property value, and each party’s financial situation and contribution to property acquisition ( Rev. Stat. § 14-10-113).
  5. If parents cannot agree on child-related issues and certify these agreements in the corresponding dissolution of marriage forms, the court will make the decisions in the children’s best interests as governed by divorce laws in Colorado. As stipulated in Rev. Stat. § 14-10-124(1.5), the court allocates parental responsibilities considering the child’s wishes, needs, physical and mental health, emotional state, and safety in the first place.

Divorce Laws in Colorado for Infidelity

Divorce laws in Colorado for infidelity do not apply.

Since Colorado is a no-fault state, the person who initiates either contested or uncontested dissolution of marriage does not need to blame the other party for the ruined union and prove their guilt. According to Colorado divorce laws, the court may grant you divorce if it finds that the marriage is irretrievably broken, spouses cannot resolve their differences, and no counseling or therapy can give any hope for reconciliation, even if one of the spouses does not agree with this fact (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 14-10-110).

The times when adultery was considered a crime are long gone, resulting in its decriminalization across the country. While it is still a legal fault-based reason for dissolutionment of marriage in some states, marital infidelity is not considered as such by divorce laws in Colorado. As outlined in Colo. Rev. Stat. § 14-10-107(5), the defenses effective before 1972, including that to condonation, are abolished. Therefore, Colorado divorce laws do not provide any regulations concerning infidelity in a marriage.


Title 14 of the Colorado Revised Statutes outlines all the details of Colorado divorce laws.

No, marital fault cannot be specified as the legal grounds for dissolution of marriage in Colorado.

In Colorado, the court considers each party’s needs, abilities, and contributions when making decisions concerning property division. Marital property acquired during the marriage is distributed equitably between the spouses, which does not mean a 50/50 split. Separate property is normally not subject to division.

Divorce laws in Colorado do not provide for any mandatory separation period before divorce.

Yes, you can get an annulment if you file a Petition for Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage. Regulations on invalidity of marriage are stipulated in Colo. Rev. Stat. § 14-10-111.