Step-By-Step Guide to Filing for Divorce
Divorce is never the goal, but sometimes it is inevitable. Lack of communication, money issues and infidelity can lead to separation, but what’s the first step you need to take to begin your divorce? While you may be able to file for divorce on your own, children, assets and angry spouses can complicate the process. For this reason, we suggest reaching out to our Longmont divorce lawyers at Jorgensen, Brownell & Pepin, P.C.
1. Residency Requirement
Before you can start filling out any divorce forms, you have to meet the residency requirement in Colorado. At least one member of a couple filing for divorce must reside in the state for a minimum of 90 consecutive days. Courts may look at your paid income taxes, your driver’s license or whether you’re registered to vote in Colorado to determine residency. An attorney can help you collect the information needed to fulfill the residency requirement.
2. Prepare Divorce Forms
If you meet the residency requirements, you can fill out the necessary divorce forms. If you and your spouse have dependent children, meaning any minors financially dependent on both of you, you will fill out additional forms. Below are the forms you need, courtesy of the Colorado Judicial Branch:
- If you don’t have children, you can download the forms here.
- If you do have children, down the forms here.
If you’re having trouble finding the right forms, a lawyer can help you with collecting and filling out forms.
3. File Divorce Forms with the Court
Filing your forms initiates the first official step in legitimizing the dissolution of your marriage with the court. Make two copies of the forms to leave you with three sets: one for you, one for your spouse and the original for the court. File the original forms in the courthouse of the county you or your spouse reside in. As of 2017, the filing fee in Colorado is $230, although you can request a fee waiver if you can’t afford it. Ask a lawyer where you need to file divorce forms.
4. Serve Divorce Forms
Once papers are filed, you must serve the papers to your spouse; they have 20 days to respond. You can either serve the papers yourself or arrange a service to deliver them on your behalf, for a small fee. An attorney can help you serve the divorce forms.
5. Disclose Finances
Each spouse is required to make certain mandatory financial disclosures. These statements, which are signed in front of a notary public, detail each spouse’s finances, including income, liabilities, assets and monthly expenses. This information is used to determine child support and alimony. A divorce lawyer can help you disclose finances properly.
Contact Us Today!
If you are thinking about filing for divorce or are currently going through the process, contact our Longmont divorce lawyers at Jorgensen, Brownell & Pepin, P.C. We are dedicated to offering the legal guidance you need to resolve matters quickly and amicably.
To arrange a consultation, please contact us online or call (720) 809-8310.