How To Proceed Through A Denver Divorce Without A Lawyer
Uncontested Divorce Mediation
Posted July 18, 2018
Hiring a Denver divorce mediator to work through your divorce case might be the easiest way to move forward. However, before you consider how you will go through your divorce without a lawyer, one should understand some of the basics of the laws surrounding divorce in the state of Colorado.
What Are The Basic Laws For Divorce In Denver?
To be eligible for divorce in the city of Denver (or in any part of the state of Colorado), one of the spouses in the relationship must have resided in the state of Colorado for at least 90 days (3 months) prior to filing for the divorce. When filing the divorce forms, there will be a $230.00 fee that must be paid for the paperwork to be processed. However, for people who cannot afford to make this payment, if you file a Motion to File Without Payment and Supporting Financial Affidavit, which if approved by the judge, may allow you to avoid having to pay to file the divorce paperwork.
The only reason for divorce in Colorado is "irreversible breakdown" of the relationships and consequently the marriage. You and your spouse will have to have unresolvable conflicts in order to be able to claim sufficient grounds for a divorce. Colorado is a "no-fault" state, which means that issues like adultery or domestic violence are not a legitimate reason for a divorce to move forward.
Colorado divorces will take at least 91 days (3 months) or longer to complete. However, most cases take much longer than this as things such as hearings and the need for a mediation come up in many cases. This timeline begins with the initial filing of the paperwork till the day the divorce is made official.
How Can I Prepare For My Divorce Without A Lawyer?
Many people will choose not to use a lawyer when they are getting a divorce. It's important that when making this choice that you understand that divorces can be a complex procedure that more often than not get very complicated. It's important to prepare yourself for the process of defending your own case if you choose to go without a lawyer as you move forward in your divorce case. The good news is that there are things you can do to prepare to help you better represent yourself in court when going through a separation. One of the things you can do is to take a basic education course that will help you understand the process that will go on in court and how to react to what comes up throughout your case.
Take A Divorce Preparation Class:
There are a variety of courses that are available for you to take that will help you prepare to represent yourself in divorce court. One such course is offered by eDiscover.com which offers courses specifically tailored to the laws of Colorado. This course costs $159.00 and will provide you with information that can help you know what to do and not do on your day in court.
How Do I Initiate My Own Divorce In The State Of Colorado?
The first step to filing for your divorce is that you will have to start the process which includes submission of the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage or Legal Separation to the clerk for the county you live in. You will have to provide basic information including the aforementioned forms as well as your case information sheet, sworn financial statements, and also any forms related to child custody (if that's going to be a dispute in the case).
This paperwork will be submitted in the county in which you reside. At this time, you will also have to pay the appropriate fees to have the paperwork processed.
The next thing that you will have to do once all the paperwork is filed is to notify your spouse of the filing of paperwork to petition a divorce. You will have to have the papers served to your spouse in person by someone other than yourself who is over 18 years of age according to Colorado law. If you cannot reach your spouse, the court will often let you publish a notice if the divorce court approves such action. Once the papers are served, the process server must sign and return the Return of Service papers to be filed with the office of the County Clerk.
Your spouse will have 20 days to respond to the petition in accordance with Colorado's state laws.
Contested Versus Uncontested Divorces In Denver:
If there is no response from the spouse in the 20-day period, the court will go ahead and process the papers assuming they have given up their rights to contest the divorce at hand. The person who petitioned the divorce will likely get their way in terms of things like (there are no guarantees however it works in the favor of whoever filed the paperwork most of the time) custody, property distribution, etc. as outlined in the paperwork submitted for the case. This case will then move forward uncontested as no response was received.
Contested divorces occur when your spouse responds within the 20-day allotted period and disputes the Response to the Petition For Dissolution of the Marriage or Legal Separation. Then, the court will schedule an Initial Status Conference with your mediator that will allow everyone to discuss the issues with the terms set forth for the impending divorce. If you can figure out the differences then the situation will be resolved, if not you will proceed to a trail.
An uncontested divorce will be a situation in which neither party has an issue with the terms set forward for divorce. In this case, everyone agrees to move forward, the divorce case is considered an uncontested dissolution.
Generally speaking, the contested divorces will cost a lot more as the court fees will add up rather than an uncontested divorce, which can make the process less costly for both parties involved. If you don't have a lawyer or Denver divorce mediator on your case, you will still incur plenty of other costs that are related to the divorce including the costs of mediation services and court fees to name a couple.
Finally, the distribution of your property, assets, child custody disputes, parental allocations, etc. are also all handled in the court process if the initial meeting does not clear up disagreements and a satisfactory solution is not reached.
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