Filing For Divorce in Colorado (2024 Guide)

April 11, 2024

Are you considering divorce? It's a difficult decision, and navigating the legal process can feel overwhelming. But with the proper knowledge and guidance from family law attorneys such as our team at Johnson Law Group, you can approach this transition with clarity and confidence. This blog post is a starting point for Colorado residents contemplating divorce, outlining the essential steps to file for divorce.

Financial Documents: The Cornerstone of Your Case A woman signing divorce papers with a wedding ring on the paper.

Family Law Attorney Timothy Dudley of Johnson Law Group emphasizes the importance of gathering financial documents before filing for divorce in Colorado. These disclosures are crucial for the court to make informed decisions regarding property division, spousal maintenance (alimony), and child support (if applicable).

Here's a breakdown of the critical financial documents you'll need and their value:

  • Tax Returns: You must provide the last two years of your federal and state tax returns (1040s and W-2s) to provide a snapshot of your income and financial situation. The court uses tax returns to determine each spouse's earning capacity and potential for future income. 
  • Bank Statements: Gather at least a month (recommended three months) of bank statements for all your accounts. The court analyzes bank statements to assess your standard of living and spending habits. This information determines an appropriate amount for spousal and child support (if applicable). Additionally, bank statements can help identify marital assets, such as jointly held accounts.
  • Retirement Account Statements: Did you know retirement accounts are considered marital assets in Colorado? Holdings in retirement funds, money markets, and investment funds all need to be documented through account statements. Account statements are crucial for determining the value of these assets and ensuring an equitable division during the divorce settlement.
  • Debt Records: Compile documentation of all your debts, including credit cards, loans, and your mortgage. Debt records help the court determine the total marital debt and allocate it fairly between spouses. Knowing your debt obligations allows the court to assess each spouse's financial capacity for future expenses and support payments.
  • Asset Records: Document your assets, including vehicles and other valuable possessions. Asset records ensure transparency and allow the court to accurately value and distribute these assets fairly between spouses. Additionally, the court may consider appreciating assets when calculating future financial obligations like spousal support.

Filing Your Petition and the Disclosure Process

Once you have your financial documents in order, the next step is to file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the district court in the county where you or your spouse resides. This petition officially initiates the divorce proceedings.

After filing, the court will establish a deadline for submitting your financial disclosures. This detailed disclosure process involves exchanging these documents with your spouse to ensure transparency throughout the divorce settlement.

Unveiling the Timeline: Disclosure Process in Colorado Divorce

At Johnson Law Group, we understand the decision to file for divorce is rarely a simple one. While the emotional journey may take time, having a family law attorney by your side can offer a sense of control. Now that you know about the disclosure process, let's address how long it takes.

The Initial Disclosure Deadline:

Following the filing of your Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, the Colorado court system mandates a specific timeframe for submitting your financial disclosures. This period is typically 42 days after one spouse serves the other divorce papers. This time frame allows both parties to gather the necessary documents and prepare their disclosures.

Beyond the 42-Day Mark:

While 42 days is the initial deadline, you can request an extension from the court under certain circumstances. For instance, a judge may grant an extension if you or your spouse require additional time to gather complex financial records. It's crucial to consult with your attorney regarding extensions and ensure all necessary documentation is submitted promptly to avoid potential delays in the divorce proceedings.

Serving the Other Party:

After filing the petition, you must serve your spouse a copy of the documents. Colorado law allows for various service methods, including personal service by a process server or sheriff or through certified mail with a return receipt requested. Proper service guarantees that your spouse is officially notified of the divorce proceedings.

  • Personal Service: This involves having a neutral third party, such as a process server or the sheriff's department, hand-deliver the papers directly to your spouse. This method provides the most verifiable proof of service.
  • Service by Certified Mail: You can mail the divorce papers to the other party through certified mail with a return receipt requested. This method offers some documentation of delivery, but it's not foolproof. Personal service may become necessary if the mail is undelivered or your spouse refuses to sign for it.

Considering Mediation for a Smoother Resolution

Divorce can be emotionally charged, but consider exploring mediation as an alternative to courtroom battles. Mediation is a collaborative process where a neutral third party facilitates communication and helps you and your spouse reach agreements regarding property division, child custody (if applicable), and spousal support. This approach can generally lead to a more amicable and cost-effective resolution.

When to Seek Legal Guidance from a Family Law Attorney

While this blog post provides a basic overview, every divorce is unique. Consulting with a qualified family law attorney in Colorado is essential to protecting your rights, and your best interests are represented during the process. Having a knowledgeable attorney on your side can ensure you understand the nuances of Colorado divorce law, protect your financial interests, and fiercely advocate for your rights in court if needed.

Johnson Law Group: Your Trusted Partner in Colorado Family Law

At Johnson Law Group, our experienced family law attorneys understand divorce's emotional and legal complexities. We are committed to providing empathetic and strategic counsel to Colorado residents as they face this difficult transition.

We offer comprehensive legal guidance throughout the divorce process, including:

  • A FREE initial consultation to discuss your specific situation and answer your questions.
  • Assistance with gathering and organizing financial documents.
  • Drafting and filing legal documents, including your divorce petition.
  • Negotiation of property division, spousal support, and child custody agreements (if applicable).
  • Representation in court proceedings, if necessary.

Contact Johnson Law Group today to schedule a FREE consultation and discuss your divorce case with an attorney who truly cares. We are here to help you navigate this challenging time and achieve a fair and favorable outcome. We are also available to speak on the phone at 720-445-4444

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Written by Family Law Attorney Myles S. Johnson
Divorce doesn’t have to be dramatic. For the litigants, losing your spouse is significant enough. But you can choose the way it affects your daily life. The only guarantee I can give is that the feeling that you have right now will not be the feeling you end with. This is a season in your life, and it must be approached that way.
Our experience, dedication to Colorado families, and our success in each case we represent sets us apart from the competition. We are passionate about family and estate law. Our highly-qualified team will work tirelessly to achieve the best possible results in your case.


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