Divorce Process in Denver

How is divorce different in Colorado?

Colorado state law allows a married couple to file for divorce when the marriage is "irretrievably broken." No other grounds are necessary. In fact no other grounds – such as adultery, domestic violence or abandonment – are available, since Colorado is entirely a no-fault divorce state.

Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce

The first step in getting a dissolution of marriage is to determine whether you will be filing jointly or singly. The former is an option if you and your spouse are in agreement about getting the dissolution of marriage and want to work together to achieve an uncontested divorce, whereas the latter is more frequently used in cases of contested divorce during which the spouses will engage in adversarial litigation or where the other spouse has abandoned the other and must be served with a summons.

Petition and Response

If you will be filing on your own, your Denver divorce lawyer will meet with you to draft a petition which includes the terms which you demand for child custody and visitation, division of property and the payment of spousal support. The petition and summons will then be formally served on your spouse, who must then file a response in which he or she may either accept or dispute your terms. If your spouse does not submit a response soon enough, you may be able to file for a default judgment which grants your terms without any further contest. If, on the other hand, your spouse chooses to contest the terms, the judge may order the two of you to attend mediation as an attempt at alternative dispute resolution in order to avoid a trial.

What does mediation involve?

It may be advisable for you and your spouse to pursue mediation whether it is ordered by the court or if you are hoping to pursue an uncontested divorce.

Some things to know about mediation:

  • You and your spouse will meet with a trained mediator.
  • The mediator does not represent either party, but serves to guide the negotiation process and help you and your spouse work out a settlement agreement on matters of custody and visitation, asset and debt division, alimony and child support.
  • At the end of successful mediation, you and your husband or wife will have established an agreement which you can then bring before the judge for your final hearing.
  • At the final hearing, the judge will review the document to ensure that it is legally valid and then issue a set of final orders.

Divorce Trial

In the event that mediation is unsuccessful in resolving the issues involved in your divorce, it will be necessary to go to a contested hearing. In such a case, your divorce will be decided at trial, during which both parties will have the opportunity to introduce witnesses and evidence to support their arguments and to advocate for their side.

In preparation of the case, your Colorado family attorney may engage in legal discovery, filing motions to compel your spouse to disclose financial information, as well as taking sworn deposition of testimony from witnesses whose statements may have the power to influence the outcome of your divorce. Whether your divorce is contested or uncontested, the end result will be a set of court orders concerning parental and property rights, and you and your spouse will then be required to abide by these orders unless you can later petition for a modification.

Let a Denver family lawyer guide you. Call Jones Law Firm, PC today!

Before you take any further steps toward filing for divorce, contact Jones Law Firm, PC for an initial consultation with a family lawyer from our team. You have too much at stake in this situation to take any chances with the final outcome of your case, and you owe it to yourself to hire an experienced advocate to guide you through the process and to defend your personal interests. Call or visit us now to take action!

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