If you are looking for an affordable alternative to an expensive divorce /family attorney who requires thousands of dollars up front in a retainer and bills hourly fees, LegaLocsXpres.com is your answer. LegalDocsXpres is a document preparation service specializing in legal document preparation for a professional, easy, affordable and less stressful dissolution of marriage. If your contemplating or in a situation where you need to file for divorce, you’ll need to understand the following:
General steps to getting a Divorce or Legal Separation in Colorado Understanding the basics:
- Decide how you will file. You will need to decide if you and your spouse will be signing the Petition jointly in front of a Notary Public or Court Clerk or if only you will be completing the forms to start the process.
- File in the County where you or your spouse reside. Either party must reside in Colorado for at least 91 days. Pay the filing fee (Differs by County but is approximately $200.00) to the County Court.
- Review the documents received from the court. You may receive a date for an Initial Status Conference. You may also receive a local Case Management Order (CMO). Read this document carefully to determine if any other documents must be provided to the court (for example pay stubs). The court may require you and your spouse to attend a Parenting class if there are children of the marriage involved.
- Complete Personal Service. In order for the Court to hear your case, your spouse must be personally served with copies of the documents plus any documents received from the court. It is important to remember that the other party must have the same documents that you have.
- Provide Proof of Service to the Court. Once you obtain proof of service (notarized Return of Service), such proof must be provided to the Court. There is a 91-day waiting period before your divorce or legal separation can be final. The 91-day waiting period begins once the documents have been served to the other party or when the Petition is filed, if filed jointly.
- Submit completed Forms. Documents must be signed before a notary by either one or both parties.
- Initial Status Conference. The Initial Status Conference is an opportunity to discuss the status of your case and exchange documents.
- Mediation. If you and the other party do not agree on all issues, the court may order mediation in order to resolve any remaining issues that you do not agree on. If you and your spouse agree on all issues mediation is not a necessary step.
- Final Hearing. If you still have any contested issues, you will need to be prepared to present evidence and testimony to the court regarding what you are contesting and requesting.
- Issuance of Decree and Order of Dissolution of Marriage. If all documents are complete, your divorce decree (and child support order if applicable) will be entered at the conclusion of your Final Hearing.
The person filing and asking the court to grant a divorce. The petitioner can dismiss the case if they change their mind.
The person against whom the legal action is being taken. The Respondent may or may not respond to the petition, but cannot stop the divorce against the Petitioners wishes.
The document the Petitioner uses to ask the court for a divorce. In the petition, the Petioner can also ask the court to determine how assets and liabilities are distributed, to order the Respondent to pay alimony, to establish a Parenting Plan, order child support and / or restore a former name.
The act of giving the Respondent the Petition. The petition must be served by a deputy sheriff or a private process server.
Service of Process
The official means by which a party is notified that a document has been filed against him/her and provided a copy of the document and a description of the person’s rights and obligations as a party to the case.
Acceptance and Waiver of Service
In some counties, if the Petitioner and the Respondent are filing together, the Respondent may waive (and therefore avoid) personal service with this form.
Once served, the Respondent has a short time span to file an Answer to respond to the requests the Petitioner has made to the court in the Petition.
This document is required if the Respondent wishes to ask the court to determine how assets and liabilities are distributed, to order the Petitioner to pay alimony, to establish a Parenting Plan, order child support and / or restore a former name. This is not required if the parties have filed a Marital Settlement Agreement.
The word “May”
“May” is defined as “optional” or can.
The word “Shall”
“Shall” is defines as “required”
Sworn Financial Statement
The true and complete document that contains what you must provide to the court about your assets, debts, and income.