Divorce Process in Colorado: What to Expect?

Wishing to end their marriage officially in Colorado, couples may feel confused when the legal procedure for divorce starts. They should stick to different regulations, prepare multiple forms, file them, and navigate a complicated Colorado divorce process they may know nothing about. While some people hire attorneys to assist them at various stages of the divorce process in Colorado, others decide to handle the task themselves.

Understanding possible difficulties spouses are likely to face in the process of divorce, we decided to describe all the divorce steps in detail. In this article, you can find a brief overview of the process of divorce in Colorado, a package of documents required by the court, filing fees, approximate timelines, and specifics of an online divorce process. While every case is unique, this article can help you understand the basics of the Colorado process of divorce.

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.

If you register on our platform and complete an online questionnaire, we will gladly help you with dissolution of marriage forms. For a moderate flat fee, you will get the full package of case-specific ready-to-file documents and comprehensive instructions on the filing process.

How to Begin a Divorce Process in Colorado?

To get the answer to the question, “What is the process of divorce?”, you should look into the Colorado Revised Statutes. Title 14 contains all the laws you may need to know about the procedure for divorce.

So, how to start a divorce process in Colorado? In fact, before you begin filling out documents and filing them with a clerk, you need to ensure that you are eligible to do so. According to the state divorce laws, either you or your spouse must have been living in the state for 91 days before you initiate a process of divorce in Colorado.

There is also an additional requirement for couples with kids. Minor children must have been domiciled in the state for at least 182 days uninterruptedly before either parent can start a divorce process. Otherwise, the court won’t be able to issue any orders pertaining to parental responsibilities.

As for grounds for divorce, Colorado is a no-fault divorce state. Therefore, a petitioner doesn’t have to indicate any partner’s wrongdoing as the reason for seeking marriage dissolution. If either spouse states that the marriage is irretrievably broken with no possibility for reconciliation, they can begin the Colorado divorce process.

If you comply with such requirements, you can get down to paperwork, starting the divorce process. The paperwork completion will be easier if you prepare the following data beforehand:

  • Your and your spouse’s full names, addresses, and contact information;
  • Both parties’ Social Security numbers and birth dates;
  • Date and place of marriage registration;
  • Information about any prior marriages of either party;
  • Full names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers of all minor children;
  • Information about child custody, visitation, and support arrangements if made;
  • A comprehensive list of marital assets (real estate, bank accounts, vehicles, etc.) as well as personal assets;
  • Information on marital debts;
  • Both parties’ income and expenses details;
  • A copy of the prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, if any.

This information is necessary no matter if you start a traditional procedure for divorce or are interested in an online divorce process.

Step-by-Step Divorce Process in Colorado

If you wonder what is the process of divorce, you should know that it consists of several stages that must be followed precisely. Moreover, the same steps are applied in an online divorce process.

Although the type of the case influences the specifics and duration of a Colorado divorce process, the general layout is the same. These are common divorce steps to take when applying for marriage dissolution:

At the initial stage of the divorce process in Colorado, you need to fill out divorce forms. You can learn which documents are required by visiting the court website. Typically, a petitioner has to complete a Petition for Divorce, a Case Information Sheet, and some other case-specific forms.

Once done, head to the local courthouse and file your papers to officially begin the divorce process in Colorado. At this point, you need to pay a filing fee. It is approximately $230 but may vary across the counties. If you can’t afford to pay this sum and can prove your poverty status, you should notify the court about your financial problems. In the state, some individuals automatically qualify for a fee waiver, while others need to request it. In the second case, you have to fill out and submit a request to waive fees.

You need to deliver copies of documents to the other party. You can ask a person over 18 unrelated to the case to hand-deliver them or hire a sheriff or personal process server for the task. A person serving your spouse must give you an Affidavit of Service as proof that a defendant has received papers and is aware of an initiated process of divorce. Spouses that apply for divorce jointly can avoid this step by signing a Notice of Service. Besides, if you opt for an online divorce process, you can serve the other party electronically. Remember that you have 60 days to deliver copies of divorce forms. A defendant has 21 days to prepare a response.

A waiting period is an integral part of the process of divorce in Colorado. It lasts 91 days and starts right after the court receives a petitioner’s claim and the defendant’s response. Within 42 days after filing or receiving the Petition, each spouse must file a Sworn Financial Statement and Certificate of Compliance. Besides, during a waiting period, a couple may attend mediation sessions and will need to go to the court for an Initial Status Conference.

Spouses with all divorce-related matters settled outside the court may not be obliged to visit a hearing. Those with disputes on child custody, referred to as the allocation of parental responsibilities in Colorado, and support, property and debt division, etc., will have to present their claims to the judge.

When the agreement is finally reached, the judge will sign a Final Decree of Dissolution of Marriage, thus legally declaring the end of your marriage and finalizing the process of divorce in Colorado.

Mutual Divorce Process in Colorado

When both spouses agree on all the crucial terms and issues related to their marriage termination, they can greatly speed up the divorce process in Colorado by applying for mutual divorce. It means they will jointly work on the required divorce documents, including the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, a Separation Agreement, and a Parenting Plan (if applicable). Besides, they will file for divorce together, being referred to as a petitioner and a co-petitioner.

So, what is the process of divorce if parties have made a mutual decision to end their marriage and agree on all the terms and conditions? In such a case, the general procedure for divorce is mostly the same, but you will skip a few divorce steps, like serving the spouse or attending a hearing (if you do not have kids).

While this type of marriage dissolution is advantageous in terms of the process of divorce in Colorado duration, several other benefits also prompt couples to choose it:

  • Participating in the mutual divorce process in Colorado, couples may experience less emotional stress compared to conflictual contested divorces.
  • Since there is less legal work involved, legal fees are usually lower than in contested cases.
  • Mutual divorce expenses are reduced to filing fees only, as spouses don’t need to involve attorneys for task-based assistance or full-scope representation.
  • Spouses have more control over divorce outcomes as all major points are defined in their settlement agreement. Typically, the judge issues a divorce decree based on the specified decisions in the contract.
  • If a couple has minor children and selects a mutual process of divorce, they can create a more stable environment for them, collaborating on custody and visitation arrangements.


A divorce process in Colorado is a legal procedure when either one spouse or both parties jointly seek termination of their marriage. The divorce steps they have to take include paperwork completion, filing the documents with the court, serving the papers on the respondent, attending a hearing, and obtaining the Final Decree.

To begin a divorce process in Colorado, you need to ensure that you comply with residency requirements. If so, you can start filling out divorce forms and filing them with a clerk.