All the Steps to Complete Your Divorce with Children

All the Steps to Complete Your Divorce with Children

Below is a roadmap for getting divorced in Colorado when there are children involved. If a specific document must be completed and filed with the court, the name of the document is listed under its associated step along with a link to where you can download the version provided by the Courts. Try to help the Court by typing out your forms, rather than handwriting them.

Keep in mind that while this roadmap is not inclusive of everything you need to know and do, it provides a good starting point and illustrates the process.

  1. File for divorce in the county where you or your spouse reside
    1. Note: At least one party must have lived in CO for 91 days prior to filing
    2. File the Case Information Sheet
    3. File the Petition
    4. File the Summons, if not filing jointly
    5. Pay the filing fee
  2. Complete personal service, if not filing jointly
    1. Service must be completed by someone who is 18 years or older and not a party to the case
    2. The other party must be served with the Petition and Summons. It’s also a good idea to serve them with the Case Management Order (if received from the Court) and the Notice of Initial Status Conference (if received from the Court).
  3. Review documents received by the Court
    1. You will receive a Case Management Order, which will give you instructions for the entire divorce proceeding and what steps you need to take. Read this and follow it!
    2. You may also receive a notice of the date and time of the Initial Status Conference
  4. Provide proof of service to the Court, if not filing jointly
    1. File a Return of Service, signed by the person who completed service and notarized
    2. The mandatory 91-day waiting period begins once the other party is served
  5. Complete the required forms
    1. File a notarized Sworn Financial Statement and the Supporting Schedule
    2. File a Certificate of Compliance
    3. Send the other party copies of your supporting financial documents (a list can be found in the Certificate of Compliance)
  6. Attend the Initial Status Conference
    1. Follow the instructions given by the Court or the Family Court Facilitator
  7. Attend Parenting Class
    1. File proof of attendance prior to the final hearing date
  8. Prepare Documents
    1. Prepare a notarized proposed Separation Agreement
    2. Prepare a notarized proposed Parenting Plan
    3. Prepare Child Support Worksheet A or Worksheet B, depending on the parenting plan
  9. Participate in Mediation, if you and your spouse do not agree on all issues
    1. File a Certificate of Mediation
  10. Prepare for Permanent Orders Hearing
    1. If you and your spouse do not agree on all issues, be prepared to present evidence and testimony to support your position
    2. File a proposed Support Order
    3. File a Pretrial Statement, if you and your spouse do not agree on all issues
    4. File a proposed Decree of Dissolution of Marriage with only the caption filled out
  11. Attend the Permanent Orders Hearing
    1. If all documents have been completed and filed with the Court, the Court will enter a Decree and Support Order at the conclusion of the Permanent Orders Hearing

If you want to get divorced in Colorado but don’t want to go through this process on your own, consider working with an affordable attorney. An attorney can help guide you through the process and ensure you are meeting all the requirements. To help keep costs manageable and predictable, consider working with an attorney who offers flat-fee rates or unbundled legal services.

You can view our affordable, flat rates here.

If you’re ready to get started, schedule a consultation today.


This website includes information about legal issues and legal developments. 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 specific legal problems.

Lauren Lester is an affordable family law, estate planning, and probate lawyer licensed in Colorado.