Divorce In Colorado – A How-To Guide

divorce in colorado
Worthy Staff

By Worthy Staff | Jul 28th, 2019

The more you know about getting a divorce in Colorado, the less difficulty you will have when navigating the legal system and making your way through proceedings. Remember that divorce laws are different in every state, so it’s important to be familiar with specific ground rules for divorcing in Colorado before getting started. Let’s dive right in.

How Long Does A Colorado Divorce Take?

Like marriages, the process of divorce is different for everyone. While it is possible for a Colorado resident to obtain a divorce within 90 days from the date that the summons and petition are filed with the court, there are a number of mitigating factors that can increase the length of the divorce process.

Be careful! If you make a mistake when filing for divorce in Colorado, the entire process is likely to take longer. Couples considering divorce are encouraged to seek legal counsel. That way, with a lawyer’s help, matters are handled as quickly as possible.

What Are The Residency Requirements For Colorado?

When obtaining a divorce in Colorado, either one of the spouses must have resided in the state for 91 days before divorce procedures begin. The state’s court system will require evidence of residency, such as vehicle registration, driver’s license or other Colorado ID, or being employed in Colorado and paying state income taxes.

What Are The Grounds For Divorce In Colorado?

Colorado is a no-fault divorce state, which means that the state’s laws allow either spouse to petition for legal separation or dissolution of marriage when they feel that the marriage is irretrievably broken. There is no need to prove grounds for divorce.

Colorado Legal Separation Vs. Divorce

If you are considering divorce but aren’t certain that this is the right decision, you have the option of legal separation instead of divorce. Colorado’s legal separation process provides rules for dividing property and assigning responsibility for debt, as well as for child custody arrangements.

Individuals should file a Petition for Legal Separation in the county where they or their spouse reside. At least one spouse must be a legal resident of the state for at least 91 days before the petition is filed. Once terms have been agreed upon and the court has accepted the petition, at least 90 days must pass before a Decree of Legal Separation is finalized.

Some couples find that legal separation works indefinitely; however, the state of Colorado allows either spouse to convert the legal separation into a full divorce after a six-month waiting period passes. If a legal separation is converted to divorce, the terms of the Legal Separation Agreement are transferred to the final divorce decree. Spouses who wish to make changes to the terms may approach the court to do so.

Colorado Divorce With No Children

Colorado divorce proceedings are different for couples with children than they are for couples without children. Couples may opt to file jointly or on their own.

In either case, the couple or individual must file for divorce in the county where they or their spouse resides.

When filing for divorce on their own, individuals must have the other party served with copies of all three documents. The service must be conducted by an uninvolved third party aged 18 or older. A notarized Return of Service serves as proof that the other party was served, and must be provided to the court.

The court may require additional documents, which will be outlined in the Case Management Order (CMO):

After reviewing the documents, the court may require an initial status conference. If both parties are able to agree on all issues, the court may issue a final divorce decree on or after the 92nd day after filing.

If both parties are unable to agree on all the issues, they may be required to attend mediation. In addition, a contested hearing date may be set. Only after all issues have been settled will the court provide a final divorce decree.

The state of Colorado provides PDF files of essential divorce documents online, however, state law prohibits employees from providing legal advice. Parties with questions and concerns are encouraged to seek legal assistance. Many lawyers offer free consultations.

Getting A Colorado Divorce With Children

Couples with children may file for divorce jointly, or individuals may file for divorce on their own.

In either case, the couple or individual must file for divorce in the county where they or their spouse resides.

When filing for divorce on their own, individuals must have the other party served with copies of all three documents. The service must be conducted by an uninvolved third party aged 18 or older. A notarized Return of Service serves as proof, and must be provided to the court.

The court may require additional documents, which will be outlined in the Case Management Order (CMO):

Besides these documents, divorcing parents must complete the Colorado Child Support Worksheet. An online tool for calculating child support / maintenance helps ensure accuracy. The court may require parents to attend a status conference as well as parenting class. This requirement is assigned on a case by case basis; both spouses should check with the court to determine which procedures apply and how they should be carried out.

If both spouses agree on all issues surrounding the divorce, then they will need to attend a final hearing. The court may issue a final divorce degree and support order as soon as the 92nd day after filing.

If either party fails to agree on all issues, then mediation may be required, and the court may set a date for a Contested Hearing. All issues must be worked out before the final hearing can take place. The final divorce decree and support order may then be provided.

Child custody may be legal, physical, or both. In Colorado, child custody issues may be resolved by parents on their own. In cases where no agreement can be reached, the court will decide on arrangements that best benefit the child(ren) involved. If children are old enough, the court will allow them to provide input concerning custody arrangements.

If a parent has a history of abusing or neglecting their children, or if they have a history of domestic violence, the court may order supervised visitation only. In some cases, abusive parents are not allowed visitation with their children.

Cost Of Divorce In Colorado

Colorado divorce costs $195 to file. This basic fee does not cover additional petitions that take place during the divorce, nor does it cover the cost of legal counsel. If one party cannot afford a lawyer and complicated issues make the divorce complex, the court may order the other spouse to pay the cost of attorney’s fees.

How Property Is Divided When Couples in CO

It is possible for both parties to agree on the division of property using the Separation Agreement (JDF 1115). If an agreement cannot be reached, then it is up to the court to divide property.

Each spouse will keep “separate property” including:

Marital property will be divided as the court sees fit. Considerations for property division include:

Alimony (also known as spousal maintenance) may be paid on an individual basis.

Lower-earning or unemployed spouses are called “supported spouses” in Colorado. These individuals may be entitled to support called temporary alimony during the divorce procedures, based upon an income-based formula.

Long-term alimony is paid after a divorce is finalized. This is separate from child support, and the party receiving alimony must prove that they lack income, assets, or the wherewithal to become self-supporting and cover their living expenses. The court takes a number of factors into consideration when determining eligibility for alimony as well as the amount of alimony:

Colorado alimony is determined on a case-by-case basis. A knowledgeable lawyer is an essential resource in the event that alimony is owed or expected.

Insights From Jumping In: Dating After Divorce in 2019

In 2019, Worthy conducted a study on how divorce women approach divorce and dating in today’s world.

Age of Today’s Divorced Woman
Of the women we surveyed, 42% divorced between the ages of 35-44 and 28% between 45-54, indicating that midlife is the most common time for marriages to break up. Only 9% divorced after the age of 55 and the younger women, 34 and under, made up 22%.

Divorce Proceedings in the 21st Century
We asked our participants to share what legal processes they were familiar with for divorce. Litigation (53%) and mediation (48%) were at the top of the list but many were also familiar with alternative routes such as low-conflict collaborative divorce (25%). Services like working with a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst are much less well-known (5%).

Divorce Finances 101
When it came to the big issues, the majority of women felt sufficiently informed to make decisions. This included issues like health insurance (60%) and the marital house (56%). However, when it came to issues outside of the immediate household, such as taxes, the participants felt less informed.

Dating After Divorce
Dating is at the forefront of many divorcees’ minds. 78% of the women have already started thinking about dating by the time the divorce papers are signed. 40% of women feel confident about dating after divorce, 68% feel excited and hopeful. 59% of divorced women meet dates on online dating websites or apps.

Getting Divorced The Better Way

Divorce can be a complicated, draining and expensive process, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re looking to file for an uncontested divorce in California, do it the easy way with our friends at It’s Over Easy, the only online divorce solution that guides you through every aspect of your case, founded by celebrity divorce lawyer Laura A. Wasser. 

“After practicing Family Law for over 20 years I came to realize that people deserve a better way to get divorced. I founded It’s Over Easy to give people a high-quality, less expensive & more amicable option. Our platform takes the user through the entire dissolution process. We provide information and support along the way through our content on our Insights Blog, the Divorce Sucks! Podcast and The Index, our curated professional and lifestyle resource guide. Divorce is difficult but the legal part shouldn’t have to be.” 
–Laura A. Wasser

Divorce Lawyers in Colorado

Although you may opt to represent yourself for a simple, amicable divorce, Colorado lawyers offer insight and expertise in dealing with complicated matters and ensuring that each party receives his or her fair share of property. Here is a list of divorce lawyers in Colorado who can walk you through the process as smoothly as possible.

Selected Colorado Divorce Lawyers:

Law FirmWebsite
Todd Burnham burnhamlaw.com
Daniel Noffsinger colospringslaw.com
Halleh Omidi mcguanehogan.com
Matthew Clawson clawsonattorney.com
Douglas Cohen peaklegalllc.com

Checklist of Resources You May Need to Divorce in Colorado

Because divorces are challenging under the best of circumstances, trained professionals dedicate their careers to guiding their clients efficiently through procedures, particularly in complicated cases. You may choose to build your Colorado divorce team using the following individuals or websites:

Focus Area OrganizationWebsite

National Association of
Divorce Professionals


Certified Divorced


Association of
Financial Planners



How Worthy Can Help

Financing divorce is an expensive proposition. So, too, is rebuilding your life post-divorce. Worthy has already helped thousands of women meet their financial goals by providing the safest and most effective means possible to sell their diamond jewelry at the highest price possible in the marketplace. Why let valuable assets like your diamond engagement ring sit idle when you can put the funds from its sale to work and create a brighter future for yourself? Worthy is here when you are ready, supporting you with vital information about divorce, including personal accounts from those who have survived and thrived afterward, and, of course, bringing you with the most trusted online auction platform in the industry.

Divorce process guide for main US states

Legal Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice on any subject matter. Consult with an attorney for more information regarding your individual situation.

Worthy Staff

Worthy Staff

The Worthy Blog is a place for inspiration, insight, and advice for all things surrounding life's greatest transitions - divorce, losing a loved one, retirement, and so much more. You can find us on our blog, Instagram, and Facebook.


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