You are finally going through with your divorce, and you couldn’t be more relieved at the thought of it. At the same time, you feel apprehensive about going through the process. After all, you have never been through it before.
The divorce process is multifaceted and can therefore can seem overwhelming to navigate. To make things a little easier, here is a glimpse at what the marital breakup process entails step by step in Colorado.
Putting together your divorce petition
Starting out, if you are the one initiating the divorce, you can get an attorney to help you complete your petition for the dissolution of your marriage. This legal document explains why you would like a divorce as well as how you would like to settle issues such as custody and finances. Your attorney will then file this petition with the family law court.
Serving the divorce petition
Your attorney will ensure that your soon-to-be ex-spouse receives the divorce petition — a process known as serving the petition on the other party. In addition to receiving the petition, your future ex will receive a summons requiring him or her to respond.
The other party must answer the petition within a specified timeframe. In the response, the other party will state whether he or she agrees with your divorce petition. This party can also explain his or her desires for addressing the divorce issues mentioned in the petition. If your future ex fails to respond to it, the court will assume that he or she is in agreement with your petition’s terms.
Addressing divorce issues
If your spouse responds to the divorce petition and is not fully in agreement with its terms, you will have the chance to work together to figure out how to handle your marital dissolution issues. For instance, you can exchange information and documents on income and property and then voluntarily try to resolve these issues through settlement or mediation.
If you cannot find common ground outside of court, you and the other party will have to take your matters to trial where a judge will determine the outcome after hearing both your side and the other party’s side. Then, the judge officially grants the divorce. Acquiring experienced legal counsel during this challenging time can give you a much better understanding of every facet involved during the dissolution of your marriage and can provide you with someone to rigorously advocate for your future best interests in court, should your divorce proceed to trial.