Spouses planning to end their marriage in Colorado obviously prefer to finish the divorce process as quickly as possible. However, certain circumstances may affect how long it will take for spouses to finalize the dissolution of marriage.
Keep reading to find out what determines the length of Colorado divorce and what you can do to speed up the process.
The average length of divorce in Colorado
91 days is the minimum time that it needs to pass for you to be single again formally. It is the obligatory waiting period for spouses, after which the court can issue a decree. This period starts from the date of filing for divorce if both spouses sign the petition. If the documents need to be served to the respondent, the waiting period begins once the petition is served.
However, as we already mentioned in coloradoonlinedivorce.com, it’s the minimum time. Typically, only couples filing for an uncontested divorce can get their decree in three months.
Those who don’t want to cooperate and file for a contested divorce should expect their case to take longer. The average period is 6-12 months. However, it can be even longer in complicated cases because solving family matters, like domestic disputes and property division, delay the proceedings.
Timeframe of a Colorado Divorce
The divorce consists of several standard procedures.
Before spouses can file for a divorce in Colorado, one of them must have been a resident of Colorado for at least 91 days.
To initiate the process, the petitioner must file a divorce petition with the court. The petition can also be signed by both spouses. In this case, they both act as co-petitioner. Spouses can file with the court in the county where either side resides.
If the petition is signed only by the filing spouse, the divorce papers must be served to the second party, called the respondent.
During the 91-day window that starts either after submitting documents to the court or after service, spouses must complete some mandatory steps.
You and your spouse are granted a window of 42-days for submitting your financial information to the court. With the court’s permission, the deadline may be extended.
Initial status conference
Similarly, within a window of 42-days, you and your spouse should attend the ISC, which is the Initial Status Conference. It’s a meeting to evaluate where each spouse is and what agreements have been or have not been reached.
The court may also issue some temporary orders within the 91-day waiting period. These orders can cover issues like spousal support, using the marital home temporarily, child support, or any other relevant issues associated with the divorce process.
Efforts towards settlement
After you file your case, you and your spouse can use the waiting period to resolve your issues and make your divorce uncontested. If you agree on property division, child custody, alimony, and other issues, you may get your divorce decree during the final hearing.
You can reach an agreement by negotiating with your spouse yourself or through mediation. Spouses need to sign a stipulated agreement that will describe all the solutions they have found.
In addition, if you have kids in common, you need to attend a parenting class.
Sometimes, the spouses discover they can’t resolve their disputes, making their divorce contested. It means they need to hire lawyers to help them and get ready for several court hearings. The number of hearings depends on how many disputes the spouses need to resolve.
The court may schedule your final hearing 91-days after you file for a divorce. But, it may also schedule the hearing for a later point in time because of case peculiarities and court workload. During this final hearing, the judge can issue a divorce decree.
If spouses are cooperative, the divorce has a greater chance of not being time-consuming. An uncontested divorce can be finalized during the final hearing after the waiting period, while a contested case takes longer. It can also be highly emotional and stressful, especially if spouses can’t find common ground.
The most disputed family matters are alimony, parenting time, and shared assets. Working out these issues can be complicated and time-consuming. However, postnuptial or prenuptial agreements outlining prior agreements can partially help.
Another critical factor affecting the length of divorce in Colorado is preparing legal paperwork associated with the process. Spouses need to select and fill out a lot of forms, following state requirements. It may be difficult and time-consuming if you don’t know local laws and don’t understand the legal terminology.
Top ways to expedite a divorce
Overall, there are numerous ways in which a divorce process can be prolonged. But, the divorcing couple can take steps to ensure that the proceedings stay smooth and easy.
Here are the top steps that the spouses can take to expedite a divorce.
- Try to solve all the issues outside the courtroom. Try alternate dispute resolution methods.
- Don’t let your emotions get in the way. It can negatively affect negotiations with your spouse.
- Use online divorce tools to complete your divorce papers. It’s a quick, affordable, and straightforward way to prepare forms for uncontested cases. You only need to fill out the questionnaire, and the divorce company will generate all the documents for you, saving you time and money.
If you are looking for a fast way to get a divorce in Colorado, you should go for an uncontested divorce and agree on all divorce-related issues with your spouse. This type of proceeding allows spouses to proceed without an attorney and use internet divorce platforms to prepare their application for divorce online from the comfort of home.
You can even act as co-petitioners and save time on servicing your spouse. If you make your breakup as peaceful as possible, you can get a divorce decree in as little as 3 months.