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How Can I Get a Quick Divorce in Colorado?

To achieve a quick divorce in Colorado, both spouses must be able to come to mutual agreements on all pertinent legal issues without the need for court intervention. This approach not only speeds up the process but also reduces the emotional and financial strain often associated with divorce proceedings. Below are the most common scenarios where couples can effectively manage their divorce outside of court:

Do-It-Yourself Divorce (Pro Se Divorce):

In this scenario, you and your spouse handle the divorce proceedings yourselves. This includes obtaining the necessary legal forms from your local courthouse, completing them, and filing them without the help of an attorney. A DIY divorce is particularly feasible for couples with minimal assets, no children, and agreement on all separation terms. However, it’s important to be thorough as mistakes in paperwork or misunderstanding legal rights can lead to long-term consequences.

Uncontested Divorce:

For a quick divorce in Colorado, an uncontested divorce may be right for you. An uncontested divorce occurs when both parties agree on all major issues like property division, child custody, child support, and alimony, but employ an attorney to draft the final paperwork. This type of divorce ensures that all legal bases are covered while still expediting the process. The attorney may also help negotiate any lingering minor disputes and ensure that the agreement complies with Colorado law.

Mediated Divorce:

In mediated divorces, spouses hire a neutral third party, a trained mediator, who helps them negotiate and agree on all aspects of their divorce together. The mediator doesn’t make decisions but helps guide the discussion and ensure that the agreement is fair and fulfills legal requirements. Once an agreement is reached, your attorney can draft the necessary paperwork. Mediation can be faster than a traditional divorce and is often less costly and contentious, making it a good option to get a quick divorce in Colorado.

Colorado’s Mandatory Waiting Period:

It’s important to remember that even if you and your spouse agree on everything and are ready to proceed, Colorado law requires a mandatory waiting period of 91 days from the filing of the initial petition before the divorce can be finalized. This waiting period is in place regardless of the chosen method for handling the divorce.


Risks of the DIY Quick Divorce

Opting to manage your divorce proceedings on your own can appear cheaper initially, especially when considering the short-term savings on attorney fees. However, the complexities of divorce, such as calculating alimony, often show the importance of professional legal assistance for avoiding costly mistakes that can impact you long-term.

Understanding Alimony in Colorado

In Colorado, the duration for which alimony is paid is generally half the length of the marriage beginning at 12 and a half years. This means, if you were married for 12 and a half years, you’d typically pay alimony for 6 years and a quarter. However, once your marriage hits the 12-and-a-half-year mark, the alimony term becomes half the length of the marriage. So, if you were married for 30 years, you might pay or receive alimony for 15 years.

An attorney retainer may sound high at first, but once you consider the Colorado-recommended alimony formula below, the cost of an attorney is worth it. Let’s say Spouse A earns $150,000 gross income per year, and Spouse B earns $30,000. Here’s what alimony could potentially look like.

Alimony Formula

(40% gross income of higher earner – 50% gross income of lower earner)/12 = potential monthly payments

  • 40% of $150,000 is $60,000 and 50% of $30,000 is $15,000

($60,000 – $15,000)/12 = potential monthly payments

($45,000)/12 = potential monthly payments

$3,750 = potential monthly payments

For a marriage lasting 16 years, this formula would suggest a total alimony payout of $360,000 over 8 years. This figure only addresses alimony without considering other essential elements like property division, child support, and retirement planning, which could significantly affect the overall financial stability of both parties post-divorce.

The Value of Legal Advice

The complexity of calculating alimony illustrates the potential pitfalls of a DIY divorce approach. Missteps in any financial estimations can lead to unfair settlements or prolonged legal disputes later. Having an experienced divorce attorney can not only help you navigate these intricate issues but also ensure that all agreements are legally sound and financially equitable.

No matter which side of the divorce you are on, securing legal representation can provide peace of mind and safeguard your interests, leading to outcomes that are more favorable and just.

Qualifications for a Quick Divorce in Colorado

Deciding whether a quick divorce in Colorado is suitable for you involves understanding both the legal qualifications and assessing your personal circumstances. A quick divorce in Colorado can be the most straightforward path to moving forward separately, but it’s not suitable for everyone. Here are some factors to consider when determining if you can and should pursue a quick divorce in Colorado.

Residency Requirements:

To file for a quick divorce in Colorado, at least one spouse must have lived in the state for more than 90 days prior to filing. Additionally, you must file in the county where either you or your spouse resides.

Agreement on Divorce Terms:

The most streamlined divorces occur when both parties agree on all major aspects of the divorce, including alimony, child custody, child support, and the division of property and debts. A quick divorce in Colorado is more feasible when there are no contested issues requiring court intervention.

Disclosure of Financial Information:

Both parties are required to fully disclose their financial situations. This transparency allows for a fair division of assets and liabilities, which is crucial for achieving a quick divorce in Colorado.

Is a Quick Divorce in Colorado the Right Choice for You?

Simplicity and Speed: If you and your spouse agree on all terms and want to avoid the emotional and financial cost of a lengthy court battle, a quick divorce in Colorado can be a practical option.

Complex Financial Situations: For couples with complex financial situations or significant assets, rushing through a divorce may not be advisable. It’s important to take the time needed to ensure a fair and thorough division of property.

Family Considerations: If there are minor children involved, the decision to pursue a quick divorce should consider the children’s best interests. Quick decisions can sometimes overlook the nuanced needs of children in custody arrangements.

Emotional Readiness: Both parties need to be emotionally ready to handle the quick legal process. Divorce can be a significant life change, and quick decisions might lead to regrets if not thoughtfully considered.

A quick divorce in Colorado offers a path to a new beginning with less conflict and expense, but it requires careful consideration and mutual agreement. Consult with an experienced attorney to understand fully how the qualifications apply to your specific situation and to explore whether this route truly aligns with your needs and goals.

FAQs About Quick Divorce in Colorado

Can we still get a quick divorce if we have children?

Yes, you can still pursue a quick divorce in Colorado if you have children, but it requires careful consideration and mutual agreement on several crucial aspects. If you have minor children, you and your spouse must have a signed Parenting Plan covering child custody, visitation, and child support , and it is highly advised that you are both represented by an attorney.

Agreement on Custody Arrangements

For a quick divorce in Colorado, both parents must agree on the type of custody each will have—whether joint, sole, or a combination that suits the family’s specific needs. This includes deciding who the children will live with primarily and how parenting time will be shared. It’s essential to outline a clear and detailed parenting schedule that accommodates the children’s routine, educational commitments and social life.

Child Support Formula

Colorado uses a formula to determine the appropriate amount of child support based on these factors:

  • Gross income (before taxes) of both parents
  • The child’s income (if any)
  • Number of overnights the child spends with each parent
  • Expenses, including health insurance and daycare

In other child support orders, financial support is given to children the parent may have with another partner, and any alimony that may be due or received.

Addressing Children’s Best Interests

The most important aspect of negotiating a quick divorce with children involved is ensuring that all agreements prioritize the children’s best interests. This means considering their emotional and physical welfare, stability, and ongoing relationship with both parents. It may be beneficial to involve a child psychologist or family counselor to provide guidance on how to handle the transition in a way that minimally impacts the children.

Creating a Comprehensive Parenting Plan

A well-crafted parenting plan is vital for a quick divorce in Colorado. This plan should detail all aspects of child-rearing, including holidays, medical care, education, and methods for resolving future disagreements regarding the children. The more comprehensive and clear the plan, the less chance there is for conflicts or misunderstandings in the future.

How can we ensure our quick divorce is processed smoothly?

Ensure all agreements are clear and documented, all financial disclosures are complete, and consider hiring a mediator or attorney to review all documents and agreements to achieve a quick divorce in Colorado. Staying organized and maintaining open, cooperative communication between both parties also helps streamline the process.

What if we agree on everything except one issue?

If there is only one sticking point, mediation might be a good option to resolve the issue without delaying the overall process of the divorce. This can help maintain the speed and low cost of a quick divorce while settling the dispute.

How do we handle the division of property in a quick divorce?

In Colorado, property acquired during the marriage is considered marital property and should be divided equitably. If both spouses agree on how to divide property and debts, they can outline their agreement in the divorce paperwork, streamlining the process.

Hiring a Colorado Divorce Attorney

The lawyer you select can affect the rest of your life. Colorado Legal Group’s team of Denver divorce lawyers and family law attorneys are highly skilled in developing a strategy that will get you through your case in the best way possible, and with the best outcomes, lowest cost, and least amount of emotional stress. Let us guide you through a divorce without the drama, without costing you a fortune, and without ruining your family.

If you’re concerned about your divorce rights, submit a free case evaluation to our attorneys or give us a call at 720.784.5474

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