Once you and/or your spouse determine that your marriage has ended and reconciliation isn’t possible, it’s time to start taking the necessary legal steps to begin your new journey forward. The first step in a divorce is filing the divorce petition. Getting divorced is never a simple process, either emotionally or legally.
By moving forward into a Denver divorce with a clear understanding of the process, beginning with where to file the divorce papers, you can streamline the process, understand the timeline, and know all of your options.
Prerequisites for a Denver Divorce
Before you file divorce papers in Denver, at least one spouse must have been a Colorado resident for at least 91 days in order for the courts to have jurisdiction over the case. The court will dismiss the case if you file without meeting this requirement. You also have to have grounds for a divorce. In Colorado, you need only file on the grounds that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” No one has to be at fault in a Colorado divorce.
Complete the Divorce Petition
An experienced divorce attorney in Denver can help you obtain and fill out the divorce petition if you are the petitioner in the divorce rather than the respondent. The petition for the dissolution of marriage requires basic essential information about the marriage, the marital assets, and the children of the marriage. The petition includes your desired outcomes for property division, child custody, and child support.
Once you’ve completed the divorce petition, you must arrange for your spouse to receive a copy of the petition as the respondent in the divorce. Rather than delivering the paperwork yourself, it’s best to arrange a process server delivery.
In Colorado, a respondent has 21 days to respond to the petition if they reside in Colorado and 35 days to respond if they live out of state.
Figuring Out Where to File Divorce Papers in Colorado
Taking the next step in the divorce process requires filing the divorce petition in the county where at least one spouse has resided for 90 or more days. If you live in Denver, you must file in the filing department of the district court. The filing department is room 256 of the City and County Building. The address of this building is:
- 1437 Bannock Street
Denver, Co 80202
In order to file the petition, you’ll have to pay a filing fee of $230, the current fee for filing for a dissolution of marriage. Respondents must pay $116 to file their response to the petition.
Following the Filing of Divorce Papers in Denver
Once you’ve filed the divorce petition at the City and County Building in Denver, your attorney may request a Temporary Orders Hearing to address any immediate concerns for child support, spousal support, occupation of the marital home, and child custody. These orders are temporary and may change during the final hearing. A final hearing typically takes place 42 days after the initial filing.
During that time, most divorcing spouses make attempts to resolve major issues during negotiations with their attorneys. They may seek the help of a professional mediator who offers workable solutions for the distribution of marital assets, parenting time, child support, and spousal support. If both spouses are unable to reach a settlement agreement addressing each of these issues, a judge will hear testimony from both sides, review evidence, and make a decision on each contested matter in a final divorce judgment.