How Long Does the Divorce Take?

It depends.  Per law, a Court cannot divorce spouses until 91 days after the petition is served on the other party (or waiver signed by the other party).  However, it can take longer than this based on the Court’s docket and if it is contested.  Some jurisdictions have a very backed up docket and cannot get divorces finalized for up to (or over) a year if there are contested issues.  The minimum, however, is 91 days after the Court has jurisdiction over the other party through personal service or signing of a waiver.

What are grounds for a Colorado divorce?

Colorado is a no fault state.  This means that the only reason a person can obtain a divorce in Colorado is if he or she believes it is “irretrievably broken.”

What if my spouse doesn’t want the divorce?

If one person wants the divorce, the Court will grant it.  If the spouse that does not want the divorce is not cooperating or participating, the Court will still go through with the case and a default hearing may take place.

What are the basic requirements to obtaining a divorce in Colorado?

You must have been a resident in Colorado for 91 days before filing a petition for dissolution of marriage.  The other party must also live in Colorado, be served in Colorado, or consent to a Colorado divorce if he or she does not live in Colorado for the Court to have jurisdiction.  In other circumstances, the Court will have jurisdiction over the other party if he or she resided for a period of time in Colorado during the marriage and you have remained in Colorado (if these are your circumstances, you need to consult with an attorney to determine whether Colorado has proper jurisdiction).

Can I get my maiden name back through the divorce? 

Yes, you can.  You must request this in the petition or in your response.

What are the initial steps to file a divorce?

To initiate a divorce, you must file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, a Case Information Sheet, and Summons.  For the Court to have jurisdiction over the other party, you need to have him/her sign the petition as Co-Petitioner, have him/her served, or have him/her sign a waiver of service.  There are self-help forms on the Colorado Courts website for you to review all the documents necessary to filing a divorce.  Furthermore, the Courts generally provide basic information as to what other requirements are necessary at the Initial Status Conference.

What are the issues that the Court decides?

The Court enters orders regarding 5 main issues: division of property/debt, maintenance (alimony), parenting time, child support, and decision-making.  Obviously, some of these main issues can be complex and more nuanced than listed above.  However, if you are considering a divorce, you need to think about what it is you want in these areas.  You may want to consult with an attorney to determine what your rights are and whether your expectations are realistic.

Do I have to take a parenting class?

If you have minor children with your spouse, you will need to take a parenting class to obtain a divorce.  These classes generally last 4-6 hours for one day, and can be taken for a low cost.


If you have any other general questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at (720) 480-2247 to schedule a free consultation.  For tips on how to prepare for a divorce look at Divorce Tips