Divorcing in Colorado Springs is quite straightforward, providing no one is contesting the divorce and you have agreed a settlement already, or could agree to one together without the need for a court trial. While the amount of paperwork involved can be off-putting, especially because the process has to be completed in a specific order, it is often a lot less stressful and expensive to file for divorce yourself, rather than involve attorneys.
Attend your local court, and ask for the divorce forms. Usually these are packaged together, so you will have all of the relevant forms.
Fill out the relevant forms. You will need to complete a JDF 100 form, which is basic information about you as a couple, that will not be released to the public. There will also be a JDF 1101, which formally asks the court to end your marriage. Both parties need to sign the bottom of this form. The JDF 1102 is a summons. Fill in the caption, and select that you are requesting a divorce. Do not sign this one. Read and sign an FCF 400 and FCF 700, both of which detail what will happen next. If you have children, complete an FCF 900, which details how the children will be parented.
Make one copy of all the forms.
Take the forms to the clerk's office. This has to be done in person for the first filing. The clerk will sign and retain all original documents and sign your copies. They will return your original summons, signed, for you to serve on your spouse.
Serve the summons to your spouse. If the divorce is amicable, ask them to sign the acceptance section of the summons.
Copy the summons for your own records.
File the summons with the court. You will also need to complete disclosure forms. Form 35.1 is mandatory disclosures, such as bank and credit card balances and tax returns. The JDF 1111 and JDF 1111ss detail your income, expenditure, assets and debts. JDF 1104 is a certificate of compliance.
Serve your spouse with the disclosure forms, and give the court a copy of the disclosure forms and the certificate of compliance.
Meet with your spouse and fill out a JDF 1115 form, which details the agreed settlement. If you have children, you'll also need to complete a JDF 1113, which is a parenting plan, and a JDF 1820E, which is a child support agreement. Fill in a JDF 1116 decree of absolution form carefully, according to instructions, and if one spouse will pay spousal support, a JDF 1117 detailing this.
Attend your initial status conference, which should be within 40 days of meeting the clerk. This will talk you through the process and check that your forms are filled in correctly.
File the above forms after 90 days has passed since the conference, if you have no children. You will receive your decree with a fortnight, and your divorce will be final. If you have children, you will need to follow the next two steps to complete your divorce.
Fill in FCF 105, which states that neither spouse is contesting the divorce. File the above documents, and the FCF 105, with the court.
Attend the hearing. You will be notified of the date and time by letter. Take copies of your documents, and expect the hearing to last around 15 minutes. You may be questioned about the arrangements in place, such as child support and visitations. The court will give you your decree when you leave the court room.
- "Filing for Divorce in Colorado (Without Children)"; Charles P. Brackney; 2002
- "Friendly Divorce Guidebook for Colorado: How to Plan, Negotiate, and File Your Divorce"; M. Arden Hauer; 2005
- Do not take your children to court with you. Try to leave them with friends or family, or if this is not possible, call ahead and check there will be someone free at the court to look after them for you.