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Colorado Divorce Information

The following information is to provide a basic understanding of the various aspects of divorce in the State of Colorado.

You can get more specific information regarding Colorado divorce laws using the links provided to Colorado divorce laws or at your local library.

This information is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Before taking any action you should seek the advice of an attorney familiar with the laws in the state in which you will be seeking a divorce.

Every effort has been made to assure that the information contained in these pages is accurate however, due to the ever changing nature of the law some material may be outdated or may no longer apply.

Colorado Divorce Resources

Residency Requirements 90 days
Where to File The county in which the respondent resides.
The county in which both spouses lived together prior to separation.
The county in which the petitioner resides if the respondent is a non- resident of Colorado
Grounds for Divorce Colorado is a "no fault" divorce state. "Irretrievable breakdown of marriage" is the only ground for divorce under Colorado laws.
Voluntary or required mediation Yes
Voluntary or recommended CounselingYes
Property Distribution Colorado is an "equitable distribution" state. The court has full discretion to divide the real estate and all marital property, which includes pension benefits without regard to marital misconduct, in such proportions as the court deems just after considering all relevant factors including:
  • The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition of the marital property, including the contribution of a spouse as homemaker
  • The value of the property set apart to each spouse
  • The economic circumstances of each spouse at the time the division of property is to become effective, including the desirability of awarding the family home or the right to live therein for reasonable periods to the spouse with whom any children reside the majority of the time
  • Any increases or decreases in the value of the separate property of the spouse during the marriage or the depletion of the separate property for marital purposes
Any inheritance or gifts received prior or during the marriage is not considered for distribution.
Child Custody In 1998, the Colorado legislature removed the term "custody" and replaced it with the concept of parental responsibilities, which include decision-making ability and parenting time.
Under the new law, parents have parental responsibilities and their decision-making abilities can be sole or joint.
Parental responsibilities are the sum of all the duties and responsibilities parents have to their children, including decision making ability and parenting time.

Decision-making ability is the responsibility to make decisions in a specific area for the children.

Parenting time means the actual time the children spend with one or the other parent.

In determining the best interests of the child to allocate decision-making responsibilities, in addition to the factors relevant for parenting time (see below), the court shall consider the following factors:
  • The ability of the parents to cooperate and to make decisions jointly
  • The past pattern of parental involvement with the child and whether it indicates an ability as mutual decision-makers to provide a positive and nourishing relationship with the child
  • Whether an allocation of mutual decision-making will promote more frequent or continuing contact between the child and each parent
  • Whether one of the parents has been a perpetrator of child abuse, child neglect, or spouse abuse
In determining the best interests of the child for purposes of parenting time, the court shall consider all relevant factors, including:
  • The wishes of the parents
  • The wishes of the child
  • The child's interactions and relationships with the parents, brothers, sisters and others important to the child
  • The child's adjustment to home, school, and community
  • The mental and physical health of all individuals involved
  • The ability of the parents to encourage the sharing of love, affection, and contact between the child and the other parent
  • Whether the past pattern of parental involvement with the child reflects a system of values, time commitment, and mutual support
  • The physical distance between the parents
  • Whether one of the parents has been a perpetrator of child abuse, child neglect, or spouse abuse
  • The ability of each parent to place the needs of the child ahead of his/her own needs
Child Support In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, maintenance, or child support, the court may order either or both parents owing a duty of support to a child of the marriage to pay an amount reasonable or necessary for the child's support and may order an amount determined to be reasonable under the circumstances for a time period that occurred after the date of the parties' physical separation or the filing of the petition or service upon the respondent, whichever date is latest, and prior to the entry of the support order, without regard to marital misconduct.

In determining the amount of support the court will consider all relevant factors, including:
  • The financial resources of the child
  • The financial resources of the custodial parent
  • The standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the marriage not been dissolved
  • The physical and emotional condition of the child and his or her educational needs
  • The financial resources and needs of the noncustodial parent
Spousal Support When determining if spousal support will be awarded the court will look at the following:
  • The amount of each party's gross income
  • The marital property apportioned to each party
  • The financial resources of each party, including but not limited to the actual or potential income from separate or marital property
  • Reasonable financial need as established during the marriage
  • If spousal support is to be awarded the guideline amount and term of maintenance, if applicable, is based upon the duration of the marriage and the combined gross incomes of the parties The amount of maintenance under the guidelines is equal to forty percent of the higher income party's monthly adjusted gross income less fifty percent of the lower income party's monthly adjusted gross income; except that, when added to the gross income of the recipient, shall not result in the recipient receiving in excess of forty percent of the parties' combined monthly adjusted gross income. The term of maintenance under the guidelines, calculated in whole months, for marriages of at least three years but not more than twenty years. When the legnth of the marriage is more than twenty years, the court may award maintenance for a specified term of years or for an indefinite term.
    Click her for complete spousal support statute.

Colorado Divorce Attorneys by County

Colorado Divorce Mediators by County

This information has been compiled directly from the most recently available statutes online for each state. Every effort has been made to assure that this information is correct and complete. Be aware that laws frequently change. Do not take any action based on this information without first consulting an attorney to be certain that the laws pertaining to your particular situation have not changed.

The language used in most cases on this page is legal terminology taken directly from the statutes and laws of each state. The terminology is not always easy to understand. If you are not sure of something you should consult an attorney so that you can fully understand the meaning of the laws.

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Do not take any actions based upon the information contained within this web site without first consulting an attorney or an appropriate professional depending upon the content of the information.