How long a divorce will take depends upon many factors, including your state of residence. In Colorado, the initial phase of divorce proceedings takes a minimum of ninety days; the ninety-first day is the soonest you can have a Colorado court look at granting a legal divorce. Some form of this “cooling off” period is fairly typical of current divorce law in most states. On the rare occasion that things go smoothly and both parties are in amicable agreement, the divorce may be finalized on that ninety-first day. That being said, the actual length of the entire process tends to vary by quite a bit. There are a few key elements, particular to Colorado divorce law, which must be taken into consideration.
Whatever course the particular divorce may follow over the time it is in process, all start with at least the filing of a summons and a petition to the court, whether together or separately, followed by either formal service (or waiver of service) of the divorce papers where one party is unilaterally filing for divorce.
After the initial filing for divorce in Colorado, each party has a set amount of time to submit financial disclosures to each other and to the court for consideration. If an extension is required, or if one party has not submitted financial disclosures at all even after the grace period has expired, the entire process can be delayed.
One of the major aspects of any divorce in Colorado is child custody. How long a Colorado divorce takes will depend quite heavily upon the amicability of the two parties with regard to the custody of any children from the marriage. Even if the rest of the divorce proceedings go smoothly, which cannot be assured in advance, child custody battles can lengthen the overall process considerably. This is especially true when expert child investigators are involved, i.e., the child and family investigator (“CFI”) or the parental responsibilities evaluator (“PRE”). Divorce cases with durations of six to twelve months are not uncommon at all. Longer than a year, though, is considered a lengthy divorce process.
Considerations of the Colorado Court System
There are several issues which the Colorado courts take into account when determining the outcome of a divorce filing. It is worth noting that, as a no-fault state, Colorado will not assign blame to either party for the failure of a marriage, and that either party may request a divorce in Colorado without a specific reason.
- Financial concerns; will there be child support? Will there be alimony payments? What happens to shared property? Property that is sought to be treated as “separate”?
- Child custody, and responsibility for major child-centric decisions, will be allocated by the court. A child’s best interests are considered, ahead of the wishes of either or both parents (which are a factor, but only one of many).
For additional information, including answers to commonly asked questions regarding each step of a Colorado divorce proceeding, visit ColoradoLegalServices.org.
The information in this post is not legal advice—it is only legal information. To obtain legal advice by hiring the attorneys of Broxterman Alicks McFarlane PC as your counsel, please contact the firm at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-331-6432.