Do-It-Yourself Divorce in Colorado: Divorce, like any other serious matter, requires preparation. However, 90% of the success of quickly obtaining a final decree depends on whether the spouses want to cooperate and compromise.
According to the statistics, the divorce rate in Colorado is 3.3 per 1,000 residents. Many of these couples face challenges, such as getting a do-it-yourself (DIY) divorce in Colorado, whether the state accepts online divorce forms, and how soon partners can get a dissolution of marriage in the Centennial State.
We will try to explain these and other exciting questions in the article below.
What is a DIY Divorce?
It is the process of preparing, filing, and finalizing a divorce without an attorney. DIY divorce allows spouses to get the final court decision and represent their interests in the court independently. However, to take advantage of this type of breakup, partners should fulfill several requirements.
DIY Divorce Requirements
Before filing for divorce in Colorado, spouses first need to check if they qualify to apply in the state.
To get a divorce in Colorado, spouses must have lived in the state for at least 90 days before filing with the court. According to the Family Law, if the petitioner does not reside in the Centennial state, they can submit divorce papers at the habitation place of the respondent.
Grounds for Divorce
Colorado is a no-fault state. So what does it mean for couples on the edge of dissolution?
Spouses do not need to point out a specific reason for the marriage breakup or provide appropriate proof. The only exception is cruelty and illegal disposal of marital property when the judge decides on the issue of custody and assets division.
Since the court no longer recognizes legal reasons for divorce, such as adultery, abandonment, and insanity, partners must only identify that their marriage no longer works due to irreconcilable differences. It allows partners to reduce the cost of divorce and not answer awkward questions during court proceedings.
Completing Divorce Forms in Colorado
One of the crucial and confusing stages of the divorce process is the required form preparation. When cooperating with an attorney, the client leaves it up to the lawyer. However, in a DIY divorce, the petitioner has to deal with various legal paperwork on their own.
The spouses can choose and fill out the divorce papers in three ways: 1) stop by the court and pick up the documents; 2) download them from the Colorado Judicial Branch website or; 3) turn to online divorce companies.
Divorce over the Internet is the fastest and most affordable way to fill out paperwork from the comfort of home. Moreover, the courts accept these forms without any hassle. It is why many Colorado couples choose to use the services of online divorce platforms.
To complete the divorce paper online, the spouses need to sign up on the website of the selected service and pay a single fee. Companies specializing in divorce filings sometimes offer extra help, such as initial filing a document package with the court instead of a petitioner and serving the second spouse. But the petitioner can use it for an additional fee.
It is also worth clarifying that spouses can use web divorce only if they have agreed on an uncontested divorce. For this, they need to resolve the issue of child custody, property division and decide on alimony (spousal support).
The waiting period for legal forms using internet divorce takes no more than two business days. After that, the spouses can download and print the completed papers.
The list of primary divorce papers includes:
- Petition for Dissolution of Marriage or Legal Separation;
- Case Information Sheet;
- Sworn Financial Statement;
- Supporting Schedules;
- Summons for Dissolution of Marriage or Legal Separation.
Also, spouses attach the form “JDF 1201 Affidavit for Decree Without Appearance of Parties” only if they agree with all the breakup terms, do not wish to attend the trial hearings, and a third party represents them.
The list of required documents can change depending on the presence of minor children, common valuable assets (for example, a business).
Apply for DIY Divorce
When the divorce papers are done, the spouses need to make two copies. So, in total, the petitioner will have three packages of documents that they need to submit to the county clerk.
The county clerk will check the divorce filings, stamp, and send the case to the court for review. In the meantime, the petitioner will need to pay filing fees and serve the other spouse. If the filing spouse has a low income, they can apply for a waiver.
After the petitioner has filed the documents with the county clerk, they must immediately serve the copies to the second spouse. The spouse can deliver the divorce forms in different ways: in person, by mail, with the help of the sheriff, a private process server, or a third party over the age of 18.
If the petitioner does not know of the spouse’s whereabouts or the second spouse is in the military or overseas, the submitting part needs to notify the county clerk. The clerk will consult and help solve the problem.
Getting Final Divorce Decree
If both spouses agree to all divorce terms and have met the state’s requirements, the court may grant the case after 90 days of filing. However, this waiting period may increase, depending on the case specifics and the court workload.
The DIY divorce is a great way to save money. However, if you struggle with preparing papers or filing with the court, do not hesitate to contact the professionals. They will always help you.