Frequently Asked Questions

Family Law Definitions:

 Legal Separation– Court Order to arrange the division of property and debts and payment of maintenance, if applicable, for the married couple to live separately.

Divorce– The final, legal ending of a marriage by a court order and is also referred to as dissolution of marriage.

Invalidity (Annulment)– A court procedure that dissolves a marriage and treats it as if it never happened.

Common Questions About Divorce:

 Where do I file my divorce?

Your case should be filed in the county where the Co-Petitioner/Respondent resides. Either party must reside in Colorado for at least 91 days prior to the filing of the Petition.

How do I get an annulment?

To obtain a declaration that your marriage is invalid, you need to prove one of the grounds set from in §14-10-111, C.R.$. Please review the statute to determine what grounds may apply to your circumstances.

What documents do I need to file for divorce?

At our Denver Law Firm, we are able to help you get together all documents you will need to file for divorce. A Case Information Sheet and a Petition must be prepared and filed. You must also prepare a Summons for service on the other spouse, unless both spouses sign the Petition.

How long do I have to live in Colorado to get a divorce?

Either party must reside in Colorado for at least 91 days prior to the filing of the Petition. There is a mandatory 91 day waiting period before the Court can enter the divorce decree. If you and your spouse sign the same petition and file as “Petitioner and Co-Petitioner”, the 91-day period begins on the date the papers are filed with the court. However, if one of you files a Petition for Dissolution or Legal Separation and then serves the other spouse with a copy, the 91-day period begins on the date the Petition is served. Your divorce will take at least 91 days, and may take longer, depending on the circumstances of your case and court schedules.

How long do I have to live in Colorado before I can file custody of my kids?

The children must reside in Colorado for a minimum of 6 months prior to the filing date or since birth if under 6 months of age.

How long do my children have to live in Colorado?

The children must reside in Colorado for a minimum of six months prior to the filing date or since birth if under 6 months of age. If this time requirement is not met at the time of the filing, issues regarding the children cannot be addressed as part of the dissolutions/legal separation case.

How do I get a copy of my divorce?

You’ll need to contact the court where the decree was entered.

How do I get grandparent rights?

A maternal or paternal grandparent of a child may seek a court order granting grandparent reasonable visitation rights when there is or has been judicial intervention into the marriage of the child’s parents, a judicial placement of the children outside their family, or death of the grandparent’s child. A maternal or paternal grandparent of a child cannot seek a court order granting grandparent reasonable visitation rights under the following circumstances, since they do not have standing to request visitation:

  1. If parental rights of the child have been terminated.
  2. If the child has been placed for adoption or the adoption has been legally finalized.
  3. If the parents of the child have not participated in a Domestic Relations, Juvenile, or Probate case.

What is FSR and how can they help me?

Family Support Registry (FSR) is Colorado’s centralized collection and disbursement unit for processing child support and maintenance payments.

If you have an order for child support or child support and maintenance, the Court can order that payments be processed through the Family Support Registry (FSR), P.O. Box 2171 Denver CO, 80201-2171.

  1. Checks paid through the registry may have to clear the bank before Family Support Registry sends the money to you. There could be an initial delay of up to two weeks before you receive your first check.
  2. The registry account can help you monitor what payments have been made, when they were made and in what form of payment
  3. If a payment is not made, the Court does not take any action; you must file an action for non-payment yourself.

If we agree on everything and sign the petition together, do we have to fill out all the other forms?

Yes, the court makes the determination if the agreement is fair to each party.

What documents do I need for allocation of parental responsibility (custody)?

A petition may be filed by a person other than a parent who has the physical care of the child(ren) for a period of 6 months or more if such actions is commenced within six months of the termination of such physical care.

A Petition may be filed by a person other than a parent for the child in the county where the child(ren) is/are permanent resident or where the children is/are found but only if the child is not in the physical care of one of the child(ren)’s parents.

What is personal service and who can serve the other party?

Select the Sheriff’s Department, a private process server, or someone you know over the age of 18 who is not involved in the case, and who knows the rules of service to serve the Respondent.

How do I get a name change if it was requested on the JDF 1101 petition?

If #20 was filled out on the Petition for Discussion of Marriage –it will be addressed when the Order/Decree is final.

What do I do if the other party is not paying child support?

There are several alternatives. You may contact the Child Support Enforcement Unit in any District Attorney or County Attorney’s offices.

You may file contempt charges against the other party.

You may reduce those payments to Judgment and try to collect that amount anywhere assets can be found.

You may have a wage assignment issued so you can garnish the wages of the other party.

How do I modify child support?

Child support is an order of court and it can only be modified by filing a motion with the court asking for a modification and explaining the reasons why it should be modified.

What is the initial status conference?

It’s a meeting of the judge and the lawyers (or unrepresented parties) to determine how the case is progressing. At the status conference, the judge may ask about whether and how the parties have tried to settle the case. Often, court rules require the parties to file paperwork before the conference answering questions about the issues to be discussed at the conference.

I have filed the petition to get a divorce but I’ve changed my mind. How do I stop it?

If after the petition is filed you change your mind about the dissolution of marriage or legal separation, you must notify the Court immediately and file a Stipulated Motion to Dismiss (JDF 1305). If all of your paperwork is filed and you do not file for dismissal, you may find yourself divorced or legally separated even though you and your spouse have reconciled.