Colorado divorce laws

If you want to dissolve your marriage in Colorado (whether through legal separation, divorce or annulment) you will need to meet the requirements below:

  • You or your spouse must have lived in Colorado for 91 days before filing the petition
  • It has been more than 91 days since the summons was handed to the responding spouse
  • If you have children, they must have lived in Colorado for a minimum of 181 days before the petition is filed.

Below you will find all the key terms and requirements concerning the divorce laws of Colorado.

Divorce laws in Colorado

Divorce law in Colorado covers a variety of aspects. Today we will discuss the most common: property division, alimony or spousal support and infidelity.

Colorado is considered a state of ‘equal distribution’, which means that the couple’s property will be divided equally. However, according to Colorado divorce laws, division of property doesn’t mean that the property will be divided in half: it will be distributed fairly.

According to divorce law in Colorado, marital property means all the property that was acquired by either spouse throughout marriage. However, there are the exceptions:

  • Property acquired from gifts, devise, bequest or descent
  • Property that was excluded by common agreement
  • Property acquired after legal separation
  • Property that was acquired in exchange for another property before the marriage.
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Spousal support is another essential matter in Colorado common law in terms of marriage and divorce. A Colorado court can oblige one spouse to support the other financially. According to Colorado divorce law, alimony is also known as ‘spousal maintenance’.

In the State of Colorado, divorce law regulates financial support payments and other legal grounds and residency requirements for those seeking a divorce. The detailed information is presented in Colorado Revised Statutes (Title 14, Article 10), but simply put, the courts usually award alimony to the spouse who earns less and requires some financial support.

According to common divorce law in Colorado, if the couple’s combined income is lower than $75,000, temporary maintenance will be awarded to the spouse with a lower wage. However, if their combined income exceeds $75,000, alimony will be assigned only if one spouse doesn’t have any funds to cover their personal needs.

In regard to alimony amount and duration of spousal maintenance, divorce laws in Colorado cover a variety of factors, such as:

  • Marriage duration
  • Earnings of both sides
  • Standards of living during marriage.

According to Colorado divorce law, adultery will not affect alimony, child custody or child support agreements. You should know that Colorado is a ‘no-fault divorce’ state. Thus, you just need to show that your marriage is ‘hopelessly broken’ in order to get a divorce.

CO divorce laws don’t require any particular reason to dissolve a marriage. This means that neither spouse must prove any wrongdoings on the part of the other spouse. So, the marriage being ‘irretrievably broken’ will be a solid ground.

To start a Colorado common law divorce process, you just need to be sure that your marriage cannot be fixed. Note that infidelity is not an official ground for divorce in Colorado and judges will not consider proof of adultery when making a decision.

Colorado divorce process

The divorce process in Colorado is similar to divorce in other states, although it has a few specific requirements. First, you need to find the right court and prove that you or your spouse is a permanent resident of the state.

Then you need to fill out a petition and summons. Once your spouse gets the documents, he or she has 20 days to file a response. If you don’t have any disagreements, you can write a joint petition. Keep in mind that if you have minor children, you will need to fill out some extra forms.

You will also have to pay a fee for the court’s legal paperwork. If you don’t have sufficient funds, you can request a fee waiver.

States divorce law