Requirements to Legally End a Marriage in Colorado
Even if you and your spouse part amicably, divorce can be a challenging process. But the sooner you contact an experienced divorce attorney, the sooner you can close this chapter of your life and move on.
The experienced legal team at Halligan LLC understands how overwhelming the divorce process can be for families. When you choose our firm to handle your divorce, we will strive to achieve a fair resolution while protecting your rights. Contact us today at (720) 608-2361 to schedule a consultation at our Denver office.
Getting a Divorce in Colorado: The Basics
To legally end a marriage in Colorado, you must meet the following requirements:
- Residency: At least one spouse must have lived in Colorado for a minimum of 91 days before initiating the divorce. If the case involves a minor child, the child must have lived in the state for at least 181 days before initiating the divorce.
- File a Petition: The spouse initiating the divorce must file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, which is the official document that begins the divorce proceedings. You can also file a divorce petition jointly with your spouse.
- Response and Waiting Period: The Respondent, which is the non-filing spouse, has 21 days after being served the Petition to file a Response to the Petition.
If at least 91 days have passed since the summons was served on the responding spouse, then the court can officially enter a Decree for Dissolution of Marriage. This Decree legally ends the marriage. If the divorce is contested, the process can be much longer, as the case may proceed to mediation and possibly trial.
Requirements for Personal Jurisdiction in Colorado
When considering a divorce in Colorado, it’s important to understand personal jurisdiction. If you and your spouse need the court to legally divide assets, order child support and/or maintenance (spousal support), Colorado must have personal jurisdiction over the responding spouse.
If your spouse is not served in Colorado, does not sign a waiver, or does not own real property in the state, you might have a personal jurisdiction issue, and you should speak with an attorney right away.
Legal Grounds for Divorce in Colorado
Colorado is a “no-fault state.” What this means is that the court will not assign fault to either party in a divorce. The main requirement for getting a divorce in Colorado is that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” In other words, if you and your spouse no longer get along, this is reason enough for the court to legally terminate your marriage.
While issues of domestic violence and/or addiction may be considered for determining child custody, they are not taken into consideration for the actual divorce and dissolution of the marriage.
What Else Can the Court Decide During a Divorce?
Filing for a divorce isn’t just a way to legally terminate your marriage. In a divorce, the court can also legally divide assets and debts, enter orders for spousal and/or child support, determine child custody, and more.
If the court has jurisdiction, it has the power to:
- Allocate marital debts
- Order child support and Maintenance/Spousal Support (formerly alimony)
- Divide all marital assets and debts
- Determine child custody and visitation
Do I Need a Denver Divorce Lawyer?
An experienced divorce lawyer in Denver can help protect your legal and financial rights when facing a divorce. Even if you don’t anticipate the divorce will be contested, it’s important to hire an attorney who understands the nuances of Colorado family law.
At Halligan LLC, our goal is to guide you to the best outcome - for you, your spouse, and any children you may have. We understand that taking the first step toward divorce was likely hard, and we’re here to make the process easier for you.
Contact us today at (720) 608-2361 to schedule a consultation at our Denver office.