Frequently Asked Questions about


Can I get a divorce in Colorado?

To file for divorce in Colorado, you or your spouse needs to have lived in Colorado for at least 91 days. If you meet this requirement, you can file for divorce in Colorado.

What is the difference between a divorce and a legal separation?

A divorce is when a marriage is legally dissolved by the Court. The two individuals are no longer legally bound. A legal separation is not a divorce but simply a separation. The two spouses are still legally married and not able to marry another person.

Do I need a reason to file for divorce?

No. All that is required is to convince a Judge that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.”

Can I get a divorce if I don't know where my spouse is?

Yes. You can dissolve your marriage even if you don’t know where your spouse is located; however, the Court may not be able to rule on aspects of the divorce like property distribution or relationships with children.

Even if you do not know where your spouse is located, you will still need to make a good-faith effort to notify your spouse that you’re filing for divorce and to provide him or her with a copy of the divorce petition. Once you’ve made a reasonable attempt to serve your spouse, you can request that the Court authorize service by publication of a summons in a local paper.

How long does it take to get a divorce in Colorado?

At a minimum, you must wait at least 91 days after your spouse is served with the petition for divorce. However, there is no way to really know how long it will take before the divorce is final.

Generally, the more the spouses work together to resolve any issues, the less time a divorce will take. Alternatively, the more the spouses argue with each other, the longer it will take.

What is marital property?

Marital property is generally the items that were bought or received during the marriage, including such things as limited partnerships, business interests, investments, and the cash value of life insurance and retirement benefits.

On the other hand, marital property doesn’t include things that are owned individually by each spouse like property owned before marriage, gifts or inheritance given to only one spouse, property excluded by a prenuptial or other legal agreement, or property acquired after legal separation.

Martial property (along with marital debts) is divided equitably by the Court during a divorce.

Is Colorado a "community property" state?

No, Colorado is considered an “equitable distribution” state. Unlike a “community property” state, which automatically divides marital property equally between the spouses, Colorado divides marital property in an equitable manner.

When the Court divides property, looks to several factors, including the contribution each spouse made to acquire property; the value of the property; the financial situation of each spouse; and how the appropriation of parental responsibility has been allocated.

Will my spouse have to pay me alimony?

Maybe, maybe not.

In Colorado, the Court uses the term “maintenance” instead of “alimony”, and whether or not you’ll receive maintenance is decided upon by the judge. Generally, maintenance is not awarded. When it is, it is often only for a temporary period of time.

There are a number of factors the Court considers when deciding whether or not maintenance is appropriate. It is best to speak to an attorney about your specific situation to see whether you would likely receive an award of maintenance.

This website includes information about legal issues. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You should contact an attorney for advice on your specific legal problems.

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