Generally speaking, the divorce process is similar throughout the United States, though each state has slightly different ways of dissolving marriages. When it comes to Denver couples, getting a divorce may be affected by the specific Colorado laws concerning how married couples separate and divide assets. Learning the specifics will better help you in preparing for the reality of divorce, beyond the emotional turmoil that the situation will likely evoke.
From Beginning To End, Divorce Is A Legal Matter
Certainly, the circumstances that brought you and your spouse together were steeped in love and affection for one another, but marriage is more about entering into a contract than it is an expression of love. When a marriage fails, therefore, the law views it as a breach of contract and, just as is the case with any business partnership, dissolving the association entails plenty of paperwork.
The forms you and your spouse will be required to complete will vary, depending on the facts of your situation, including the custody of any minor children. While you can and should complete the forms on your own, being as thorough and honest as possible, the forms should not be signed until you’re in the presence of an official witness. Either a court clerk or an officially licensed notary will suffice.
Once the petitioner (the individual initiating the divorce) has completed the forms, they should be submitted to the court as soon as possible. The spouse should then be served the papers immediately following the filing to give him or her adequate time to prepare.
When it comes to Denver divorce proceedings, an uncontested divorce can simplify matters greatly, allowing for an expedited process. In order for this to occur, both parties would have agreed to settlement and custody terms without having to go through a trial. Additionally, the petitioner and defendant will have to submit a signed affidavit of facts, along with the petition and a settlement agreement. Per Colorado law, every divorce must submit the following documents to the court:
- A Decree
This is the most important document, as it ends the marriage.
- A Separation Agreement
Referenced by the Decree, this document absolves the parties’ responsibilities for one another and establishes the division of property and/or minor child custody parameters.
- A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO)
This document transfers retirement interests from one spouse to another in conjunction with property settlements.
- Notice to Set and Notice of Hearing
Notifies a spouse (Respondent) of the final divorce hearing.
Additionally, custody matters and allowances for child support require completed forms that include a worksheet for child support for either shared or sole custody. Support Orders, Parenting plan forms, a Notice to Withhold Income for Support, Notice to Employer to Deduct for Health Insurance, Notice to Insurance Provider of Court-ordered Health Insurance Coverage may also be required, depending on the arrangements made between the parents/spouses.
Each case is different, but the one thing that makes every Colorado divorce similar is its dependency upon accurate and complete information. While the completion of the aforementioned forms may be exhaustive, the information will help the court settle your divorce as efficiently and quickly as possible.