What is Divorce?

Divorce is the court process that dissolves marriages. In Colorado, we call this dissolution of marriage. It generally includes two things: (1) the allocation of assets and debts between the married couple and (2) the allocation of parental responsibilities for minor children of the married couple. This process can be extremely difficult emotionally and financially. Having support from an attorney can help you manage the stress of this process and achieve your goals.

What is the process for divorce?

The entire divorce process takes at least 91 days (about 3 months) from the time one party files the petition with the court. However, many divorces take several months to resolve, especially if the married couple don't agree on one or more things such as the division of their assets and debts, custody or decision-making for their children, or child and spousal support.

The first step is for you, your spouse, or both of you to file a petition for dissolution of marriage. Once you have served the other person with the necessary paperwork, you will need to schedule an initial status conference with the court to check in. Meanwhile, you must exchange financial information (disclosures) with your spouse. You should remain in communication with your spouse (or spouse's attorney) to determine whether you can come to an agreement about one or more things. Next, you will need to go to mediation to try to resolve your case. If you cannot resolve all the issues in your case, you will go to a hearing (trial) to present your case to the court and the judge will decide what happens.

What if my divorce has been decided but the other person isn't following our court order?

Unfortunately, getting a divorce is often just the first step and one of the parties may not follow the terms of the court order or agreement. There are a few different ways to enforce a court order. If the issue concerns money, you can file a motion for remedial contempt. If the issue concerns your minor children, the best way to address that is generally to file a motion concerning parenting time disputes. You can also file a motion to modify parenting time or decision-making responsibility, or a motion to restrict parenting time in extreme circumstances.

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