How Long Does a Divorce Take in Colorado?

The divorce timeline within the state is mostly determined by the Colorado divorce waiting period but can also depend on other circumstances.

If you have decided to terminate your marital relations and are interested in “How long does a divorce take in Colorado?”, you will learn more about the duration of the divorce process from this article. In addition, we will answer the questions, “How long do you have to be separated before divorce in Colorado?” and “What are the time frames for contested and uncontested cases?”

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How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Take in Colorado?

Answering the question, “How long does an uncontested divorce take in Colorado?”, it is worth noting that the agreed-upon marriage dissolution lasts from 3 to 6 months on average.

The divorce timeline for situations that do not entail disputed child-related or property division issues between you and your spouse is based on a mandatory waiting period. According to C.R.S.14-10-106 (1)(a)(III), it is 91 days from the moment of filing a Petition for Divorce as co-petitioners, filing a Waiver of Service by the respondent, or serving the necessary papers on them.

The duration of the divorce process in uncontested cases does not depend on the grounds for divorce since Colorado is a no-fault state. However, it may be affected by the court’s workload, the need to involve property evaluators, lawyers’ schedules, and more.

If you are interested in how long it takes to get a divorce in Colorado if your case is uncontested, but there are minor children involved, you should be prepared for a little longer period because you will most likely have to attend a court hearing and family counseling.

How Long Does a Contested Divorce Take in Colorado?

The average duration of a contested divorce process within the state ranges from 6-9 months to 1 year or more. Just like in uncontested marriage dissolution, the divorce timeline for contested cases does not depend on the grounds for divorce; the only reason for it can be the irretrievable breakdown of your marriage. Completing a separation period is also not required unless you receive a decision on legal separation before you file for divorce (C.R.S. 14-10- 120(2)).

However, if you want to know, “How long does a contested divorce take in Colorado?”, you should remember about the mandatory waiting period of 91 days after submitting the Petition to the court or serving the defendant.

In most cases, a contested divorce lasts much longer than an uncontested one due to the large number of disputes over child custody, child or spousal maintenance, and property division that need to be resolved by the spouses. Therefore, the answer to the common question, “How long does it take to get a divorce in Colorado?” will depend on which specialists you will hire for proceeding in court, how quickly you will be able to resolve your disagreements, and how many hearings you will need to attend.

How Long Does a Divorce Case Stay Open in Colorado?

A marriage dissolution case is opened when both or one of the spouses file a Petition for Divorce and is closed when the judge issues a Decree of Dissolution of Marriage.

According to state laws, the divorce process cannot last less than the mandatory Colorado divorce waiting period (C.R.S.14-10-106 (1)(a)(III)). The only exception can be the case when parties decide to preserve the marriage and inform the court about renouncing the complaint.

In situations when one party claims that their marital relations are irretrievably broken, and the other denies this statement, the judge can continue the case and postpone the hearing for a period not shorter than 35 days and not longer than 63 days (C.R.S 14-10-110 (2)(b)). Once this time expires, the case will be returned to the court schedule if spouses cannot reach reconciliation.

In contested divorces, the case usually stays open for a longer period. The divorce timeline for situations when parties cannot agree on the divorce terms may be extended due to numerous court hearings, the need to involve new specialists, the appointment of family counseling by the judge, etc.

Consequently, the fewer disputed issues spouses have, the faster the divorce case closes.

When Is a Divorce Final in Colorado?

The divorce process is typically finalized when the judge grants marriage dissolution and issues a Decree of Dissolution of Marriage.

According to С.R.S. 14-10-106 (1)(a), to get a divorce, spouses need to:

  1. be residents of the state for 91 days before filing the Petition;
  2. agree that their marriage is irretrievably broken or get this fact recognized by the court;
  3. complete the Colorado divorce waiting period, which is 91 days for both contested and uncontested cases.

The judge will not issue a Decree of Dissolution of Marriage until 91 days have passed since you submitted the Petition to the clerk’s office or served the defendant with the required papers.

If you filed for legal separation and the court ordered it, you can get a final decision on divorce no earlier than 182 days after the judge issued a Decree of Legal Separation (C.R.S. 14-10- 120(2)).

The divorce timeline may differ according to specific circumstances and can last from a minimum of 91 days to a year or more. So, if you’re wondering, “How long does it take for a divorce to be final in Colorado?”, you should first analyze whether your divorce is contested to determine its approximate time frames. However, it is impossible to predict how long the divorce will last. Sometimes, its duration is affected by the busy court schedule, so even an uncontested case can be finalized within 5-6 months.