The decision to begin the divorce process is not an easy one. People often imagine the sky-high cost of divorce due to lawyers and numerous court hearings. It can be stressful before you even start, but it does not always have to be like that.
Everything depends on your situation – if certain conditions are met, you can go for an “online divorce.” This article will be helpful to anyone considering going through a divorce by themselves in Colorado.
General Information You Should Know
Colorado is a “no-fault” state. It means that the only ground for divorce under local law is an “irretrievably broken marriage.” Any partner can initiate the divorce this way.
The state of Colorado does not recognize fault-based divorces, meaning that factors such as adultery, cruelty, etc., have been fully abolished. However, evidence of misconduct can matter if spouses are trying to get child custody.
There are some residency requirements that future divorcees have to meet before filing for divorce. At least one spouse must be a resident of Colorado for a minimum of 91 days before filing. If there are children in marriage, this period is extended to 181 days.
Let’s Talk About Online Divorce
There is often a misconception regarding the term. When people hear about an online divorce, they can usually think of it as an opportunity to go through the whole ordeal by sitting at a laptop from their home. In fact, the term means that partners can complete divorce paperwork online without hiring a lawyer.
There Are Some Requirements
The primary requirement for a do-it-yourself scenario – is that it is an uncontested divorce. This means that spouses agree on every term, including distribution of debt, allocation of assets, spousal support, child custody, etc.
If partners can’t reach a full agreement on these matters, their divorce becomes contested, thus, more complicated. Such cases automatically involve a judge who has to solve the disputes. In addition, divorcees have to hire lawyers to represent their interests, which increases the cost of the process.
Course of Action
One way to do forms online is to look them up at Colorado Court’s official website. It sounds pretty easy, but people who do not have specific legal knowledge or education may find it confusing. Such a reaction is normal as filling out the papers correctly is crucial. If you don’t know how to do it, you’ll most likely end up with your forms rejected by the clerk.
The other way is to use the services of an online divorce paperwork assistance company. These professional platforms are created so users can easily and quickly fill out and generate divorce papers. Usually, the website requires going through a simple survey to determine the individual specifics of one’s case to determine the necessary paperwork. Upon receiving the completed paperwork, the user also receives a step-by-step filing guide.
After filling out your papers online using one of the methods described above, it is possible to proceed with other legal requirements. Getting a divorce in Colorado is not that complicated if you do it right.
Begin Filing Your Papers
After preparing all the papers, you can file them with the local county court in person. Once you do it, the process will officially start.
Serve the Papers
If spouses agree to file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage as co-petitioners, this step can be skipped. However, if you filed alone, you must serve the respondent.
You can hire your county sheriff to deliver copies of the documents to your partner or acquire a “waiver of service” from the court and ask your partner to sign it in person.
Separation Agreement and Parenting Plan
An essential aspect of an uncontested divorce in Colorado is the separation agreement. It is a testimony that spouses have settled their issues. This document addresses spousal support, property division, debt allocation, and all other critical issues.
If partners have minor children, they need to file an additional document called Parenting Plan. This paper needs to have details regarding child custody, support, and visitation schedules.
The court reviews the Separation Agreement and determines whether it is reasonable. If not, spouses may be asked to review and revise it. The same goes for the parenting plan. Partners with children have to be represented by counsel; otherwise, the court will require them to appear at the hearing.
Decree of Affidavit
If you have the Separation Agreement and no children or have children and created a Parenting Plan, it is possible to finish the process with the Decree of Affidavit. This document allows the court to finalize the divorce without the appearance of parties for a hearing. This important paper is proof that you meet the requirements for an uncontested divorce.
The state of Colorado has some interesting aspects to its family law. However, as you can see, going through a divorce without an attorney is manageable and potentially inexpensive. After filling out all the necessary forms, the process is pretty straightforward. If you don’t know how to do the papers, you can always hire a web divorce company and generate them for an affordable price with little to no effort.