Colorado Divorce Basics: What You Need to Know

If you are considering getting a divorce in Colorado, you will want to familiarize yourself with the terms and the process. Here is some basic information that you should know:

For starters, Colorado uses the term “Dissolution of Marriage” in place of divorce. So, if you hear DOM or dissolution, know that it’s just another word for divorce.

A legal separation is NOT a divorce. If you get legally separated, you are not divorced and you cannot remarry someone else. In other words, you are still married, but you are merely separated. If you wish to marry someone else, you will have to obtain a divorce.

If your spouse serves you divorce papers, you want to speak with a qualified divorce lawyer ASAP regarding your rights and responsibilities.

If your spouse does not change their mind about the divorce, then you and your spouse and your respective attorneys will try to reach a divorce settlement. In this agreement, you work out property and debt division, child support and custody, and alimony or spousal maintenance.

If you and your spouse cannot reach such an agreement or agree to a parenting plan, the court will have to decide on these matters for you, which is less than ideal. It’s preferable to reach an agreement on your own, since you know your family better than any judge.

If you are served divorce papers and you don’t respond, the court can move forward and make decisions about your assets and children without your input. You have been sued – be sure that you respond!

A spouse does not have to have a “good” reason to file for divorce, such as adultery or domestic violence. Meaning, the spouse who files the divorce does not have to blame the other spouse for the breakdown of the marriage. This is because Colorado is a no-fault divorce state.

As a no-fault divorce state, a judge will grant a divorce so long as one spouse wants it. All a spouse has to do is show the judge their marriage is “irretrievably broken” because that’s the only standard used in the state.

How long will it take for my divorce to be finalized? In Colorado, you can obtain a divorce in as little as 90 days from the date the divorce action was filed. This 91-day period is Colorado’s “cooling off” period. Typically, the more a couple works together to sort out their divorce issues, the shorter the case will take.

Need a Denver divorce attorney? ContactJones Law Firm, PC for a free consultation!


The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

Our team includes attorneys licensed to practice in multiple states including April D. Jones in California, Patrick G. Barkman in Texas, the Cherokee Nation, the Northern District of Texas, and the District of Colorado (United States Court of Appeals 10th and 5th Circuit).