Frequently Asked Colorado Divorce Questions Part 1
- How long does the divorce process take?
The length of time it can take to complete your divorce depends on a lot of factors. The court you are in front of can play big part. The Denver metropolitan area is made up of many different counties. Some are quicker than others. In some of the quicker counties, your case may get done in 4 to 8 months. In some of the slower counties it can take a year or more. If you agree on all issues, statute indicates you can be done 90 days from the date of filing or service, whichever comes first. The other big factor is how much there is to fight over. The fewer the issues to be argued over, the quicker your case may be done.
- What issues does the court decide?
In any divorce case, there are five major issues that may arise: property / debt division, custody, child support, and alimony. If the parties are not able to agree on these issues, the case will ultimately be heard by a judge, who will render his or her decision on each issue. It is often advantageous to get the issues you do agree set forth in writing prior to any final hearing. In such instances, the judge is only left deciding those issues on which you do not agree.
- What are the initial steps for filing divorce?
The first step for filing divorce is the filing of the Petition and Summons. These are the initial documents filed. They must also be personally served upon the opposing party. This can be done through a process server, the sheriff in the jurisdiction in which the other party, Respondent, resides, or via any person over the age of 18. We generally suggest not using a family member or someone who will be a witness. The filing fee for a divorce in Colorado is generally $234, which must be paid at the time of filing.
- When is my divorce official?
In Colorado, a divorce is "official" when the court signs what is called the "Decree of Dissolution of Marriage.” This is generally a one-page document signed off on by the judge as an order of the court, stating the specific date when the divorce is final. The divorce decree will be signed off on by the judge generally a few days after final agreements are filed with the court or the final hearing.
- How do I get my maiden name back?
In Colorado, a woman is allowed to seek restoration of her maiden or prior name as part of the final steps in finishing up her divorce. The husband has no right to object to the name change or to object to the wife keeping her married name. The actual order granting the name change is set forth in the decree. Once the name change is granted, the wife must then take steps on her own to get her name changed with the DMV, Social Security, etc. Some entities may require a certified copy of the decree, which can be obtained for a not too hefty fee from the court.
Main Divorce FAQs