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Divorce in Washington County
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Online Divorce in Washington County
Please note: OnlineDivorce.com in Washington County, Colorado, is a divorce document preparation service, not a law firm. Online Divorce is not eligible to provide legal advice. All the information below is for informational purposes only.
A dissolution of marriage is challenging because children, property, and hurt emotions are involved. Plus, to decide on child custody and divide assets, a divorcing couple should also be aware of Family Law and local rules in the state where they live. It can become overwhelming and be difficult to do without some help. So OnlineDivorce.com is here to assist you. Use OnlineDivorce.com, and you will see that filing for divorce in Colorado has never been more comfortable or more affordable than it is now.
If you and your spouse agree to have no contest over divorce-related matters, you can have an uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce means that you have no intention to take your divorce case to trial and want to resolve child custody, alimony, and property division amicably. Besides, having an uncontested divorce in Colorado can be a Do-It-Yourself case where you handle it on your own without hiring attorneys. It is the easiest way to get a divorce, as Colorado is a no-fault state, and neither spouse is required to specify their grounds for divorce to start the proceedings. You simply fill out the paperwork and file it with the court.
Given that most people do not have legal experience and may feel somewhat intimidated by completing divorce documents, OnlineDivorce.com greatly simplifies the paperwork processes so that divorcing spouses do not need to waste their time studying laws and searching the Internet.
Based on your answers to a questionnaire, OnlineDivorce.com will select and complete the necessary forms for your divorce case. Your printable legal forms will be available within two business days. OnlineDivorce.com also gives easy-to-follow filing instructions and a self-help guide to assist you.
Using OnlineDivorce.com is the fastest way to initiate a divorce in Colorado. You can get the divorce paperwork completed from the comfort of your home and be confident that everything is done correctly. All that is left to do is file the divorce paperwork with a local courthouse. Everything can be done without a lawyer.
Before starting, get familiar with the divorce procedure and how to get a divorce in Colorado.
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Valid grounds to get divorce in Washington County
Like many other US states, Colorado does not require any fault-based grounds to finalize a divorce. It means that even in cases of adultery or misconduct, it will not affect the court’s decision on property division or maintenance.
As a purely no-fault state, Colorado only requires the person filing for divorce (referred to as petitioner) to cite the “irretrievable breakdown” of the marriage. Colorado Revised Statutes § 14-10-106 (1)(a)(II) states, “The district court shall enter a decree of dissolution of marriage” when “the court finds that the marriage is irretrievably broken.” At a final hearing, the judge will ask the petitioner and the respondent for the reasons for divorce. If the parties say that the marriage is irretrievably broken and there is no chance for reconciliation, the judge signs a decree of divorce.
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In a Colorado divorce with children, priority in custody disputes is always the child’s best interests. Colorado Revised Statutes § 14-10-124 (1) states, “it is in the best interest of all parties to encourage frequent and continuing contact between each parent and the minor children of the marriage after the parents have separated or dissolved their marriage.” That is why Colorado judges express a preference for parents to share child custody.
In Colorado, the legal term for physical custody is ‘parenting time’ and for legal custody ‘decision-making responsibilities.’ According to Colo. Rev. Stat. § 14-10-124 (1.5)(a) & (b), the court determines custody based upon the motion of each party or at its discretion.
To ensure that the determination of parenting time is in the child’s best interests and not a threat to the child’s emotional and physical development, the court considers:
the desires of the parents and the child (if the child is mature enough);
what kind of dynamics exists between the child and each parent, the child and their siblings, and the child and any other significant adult who may significantly affect the child's best interests;
how well the child has adjusted to their home, school, and community;
how physically and mentally fit all participants are (although the court won’t deny or restrict parenting time based on a parent’s disability alone);
whether each parent is cooperative and will not prevent contact between the child and the other parent; and
how involved each parent has previously been in the care of the child.
The court will also look into the living arrangements of each parent and whether the family has any history of domestic abuse. In Colorado, parenting time is shared 50/50 or 70/30. In the latter case, the parent who lives with the child the most is referred to as a custodial parent, whereas the other parent is non-custodial.
As for legal custody, decision-making responsibilities refer to day-to-day decisions and significant decisions on health care, religion, education, residence, etc. Before the court determines legal custody, it looks into whether a parent is willing to have it and whether a parent is physically and mentally able to have it.
Typically, Colorado courts prefer to divide decision-making responsibilities equally between both parents provided that it is in the best interests of the child. When deciding, the court will consider:
whether both parents can cooperate and make child-related decisions together;
whether the parents have already demonstrated cooperation and mutual support in providing a positive and nourishing relationship; and
whether either parent is discouraging the child from staying in close contact with the other parent.
Although sole legal custody of the child is rare in Colorado family courts, it can happen in case of a history of domestic violence or child abuse. However, any other types of behaviors that have no relation to the parent’s relationship with the child shall not affect the court’s determination of custody (see Colo. Rev. Stat. § 14-10-124 (1.5)(b)(2)).
After the court issues an order regarding custody, each spouse submits a parental agreement to detail how they plan to split their parenting time and decision-making responsibilities. If the spouses fail to do so or if the court does not approve their parenting plan, the judge drafts a parenting plan for the parents (see Colo. Rev. Stat. § 14-10-124 (7)).
If the court discovers that a parent has had a history of domestic violence, child abuse, or neglect, only supervised visitation is possible or no visitation at all.
The court always takes a gender-neutral approach in a custody determination. A judge will not automatically assume that the child is better off with the mother. Though mothers do get involved in the child’s care more often than fathers, ultimately, it is up to the parents to express their desires to share child custody equally and pursue it with a detailed parenting plan and involvement in the child’s care.
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Rules for child support in Washington County
When determining a monthly amount in child support, the court ensures that a dissolution of marriage will have the least impact on the child in terms of financial aid. According to Colo. Rev. Stat. § 14-10-115. Child support guidelines, the court shall “calculate child support based upon the parents' combined adjusted gross income estimated to have been allocated to the child if the parents and children were living in an intact household.”
When filing for divorce with children in Colorado, divorcing spouses also complete a Child Support Worksheet where they specify their income and other financial aspects of their lives. The disclosure of financial information allows the court to make an informed decision as to child support.
Using the Income Shares Model, Colorado courts calculate child support by considering the financial resources and needs of both the child and each parent and the standard of living the family has had.
Typically, it is the non-custodial parent who shall pay child support, but it is calculated proportionate to his or her financial resources. However, depending on the parents’ arrangement, child support can be paid by both parents.
In Colorado, child support continues until the child turns 19, graduates from high school, or enrolls in the army. If the child drops out of high school and then re-enrolls, child support continues until the child graduates or reaches 21 years of age. In the case of disability, the court may order child support beyond the age of 19.
Rules for spousal support in Washington County
Colorado Family Law does not provide an automatic right to alimony or spousal maintenance. However, if the requesting spouse specifies a lack of employment to support themselves, an intensive schedule of childcare, or any other reason for spousal maintenance, the court may award it.
Deciding the fact and the amount of the payments for spousal maintenance, the court takes into consideration the length of the marriage, state of health, employment and financial capacity, involvement in the family life, contribution to the spouse’s training and the possibility to work, and any other relevant factors.
Any changes in either spouse’s income, health, or marital status can result in changes to the amount of alimony or the termination of maintenance altogether.
Calculate approximate spousal maintenance in Colorado here.
Uncontested Washington County divorce with children
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Property division in Washington County
According to CO REV ST § 14-10-113. Disposition of Property, the court considers how much each spouse contributed to the acquisition of marital property. It can include the contribution of a spouse as homemaker, how much each spouse’s separate property value, what income and employment each spouse have, and whether the value of each spouse’s separate property has changed during the marriage. Belonging to the equitable distribution states, Colorado distinguishes between separate property and marital property.
Colorado courts typically accept a fair and equal distribution of marital assets memorialized in a marital settlement agreement. However, if the spouses are unable to agree on property division, the court uses the dual classification model to categorize separate and marital property then distributes the property between the spouses.
Mediation support in Washington County
Mediation can be of great help in a divorce done by yourself, even if the spouses cannot achieve consensus on one or more issues. In a DIY divorce, you and your spouse may stumble on some obstacles, but a skillful mediator is there to help you out without compromising your interests.
Mediation can be used at any stage of divorce proceedings by choice of the couple or by order of the court to guide the spouses in resolving their contested issues more efficiently. Mediators are skilled specialists who assist spouses in verbalizing their concerns while keeping unnecessary emotions and complications out of the picture.
Although mediators usually charge for their services, unless the court-mandated mediation within legal aid programs, the price you pay will significantly reduce the overall cost of divorce because you will avoid going to a lengthy and expensive trial.
How to file for divorce in Washington County | Step-by-Step
Check out whether you meet the residency requirements. In Colorado, either spouse must have lived in the state for at least 91 days before filing the paperwork for divorce.
Obtain and fill out the court forms. If your spouse agrees to have an uncontested divorce, you can file an “Affidavit for Decree without Appearance of Parties.” It can be done together as joint petitions or separately. In all other cases, start your divorcing process in Colorado by filing the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and other required divorce forms with a district court in your area. After you obtain and complete the court forms, sign them (and any other legal documents) in the presence of a notary. Make two copies of each document. You will file the original with the court; one copy goes to you and one for your spouse.
File the court forms. Bring the completed forms (the original and two copies) to a local district court and file them with the court’s clerk. The clerk will stamp your divorce documents and give your divorce case a number. Learn in advance how much your local district court charges for filing paperwork to ensure you can pay a filing fee for your divorce papers. When the court’s clerk accepts your paperwork, you pay the filing fee OR file a court’s fee waiver if you qualify.
Serve the spouse. If you and your spouse are co-petitioners and filed the paperwork jointly, you can skip this step. If your spouse is willing to sign a waiver of service, that form must be filed together with the other divorce papers. In all other cases, you should hire a sheriff or a process server to deliver the divorce papers to your spouse. You can also mail the documents by certified mail with notification. A final option is to ask your friend or a relative to serve your spouse. Note that your children cannot be the servers of divorce documents. If you cannot locate your spouse, you have the option of serving through publication. Ask the court clerk how to request court permission for this type of service from the judge. Whatever method of serving you choose, you must provide proof of service to the court. The individual who served the divorce papers on your spouse must complete an “Affidavit of Service,” and then you file the form with the court. After the spouse is served with the divorce paperwork, he or she has 21 days to file a response. However, a spouse who refuses to respond and cooperate will get divorced anyway because a Colorado court can enter a default judgment after the deadline for the defendant’s response. In case of service by publication, the waiting period is longer as the court allows 90 days for discovery.
Attend court hearings. The judge will decide whether a hearing is required based on the circumstances of your case. If, upon reviewing the case, everything looks satisfactory, the judge will sign a decree of dissolution of marriage, and the couple is officially divorced.
The court cannot finalize your divorce earlier than 90 days after filing the divorce paperwork. The timeline requires that the petitioner files the paperwork, serves the spouse, waits for the spouse’s response (21 days), or the spouse’s discovery (90 days), and attends a hearing.
Getting a divorce legally finalized will depend on many factors, from the caseload of the court to the spouses being cooperative. If you filed for an uncontested divorce but cannot agree with your spouse on some issues, the judge will not sign a decree of dissolution until you resolve custody, support, and property division.
On average, a Colorado divorce takes 6-9 months if children and property are involved.
Filing for divorce in Washington County | Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a divorce cost in Washington County The surefire way to reduce the cost of divorce is to have a DIY divorce. It means you compete and file the paperwork on your own. If you have an uncontested divorce, you pay only filing fees and notary fees. In Washington County, CO, the filing fee for a civil action is $230. However, you can eliminate the filing fees if you submit a Motion In Forma Pauperis form and get a judge’s approval. In more complicated cases, you can still have a cheap divorce if you manage to find a pro bono program and seek consultation from a law clinic. As for attorney fees, lawyers charge an hourly fee. If you and your spouse have no agreement on some issues, it is difficult to predict how many hours of attorney consultations you will need and how much you will pay. On the whole, mediation is cheaper, but if you have complicated financial issues, it can be best to hire experts to protect your interests in the long run.
How to file for divorce in Washington County without a lawyer? OnlineDivorce.com provides easy to follow instructions for a Do-It-Yourself divorce in Colorado. It has all the information you need to start a divorce without legal representation. Besides, each local courthouse has a self-help center and resources for pro se litigants.
What are the required forms for an uncontested divorce in Washington County? Here is a list of court forms generally required for divorces with children in Colorado.
Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
Case Information Sheet
Summons for Dissolution of Marriage
Waiver and Acceptance of Service/Return of Service
Petitioner's Verified Motion and Order for Publication
Notice of Domestic Relations Initial Status Conference
Notice of Domestic Relations Status Conference
Temporary Orders Agreement and Temporary Orders Form
Mandatory Disclosure, Form 35.1
Sworn Financial Statement, Form 35.2
Certificate of Compliance with Mandatory Financial Disclosures
Decree of Dissolution
Affidavit for Decree without the Appearance of Parties
Qualified Domestic Relations Order
Notice to Set Hearing
Notice of Hearing
Worksheet A -- Child Support Obligation: Sole Physical Care
Worksheet B -- Child Support Obligation: Shared Physical Care
Notice to Withhold Income for Support
Notice to Employer to Deduct for Health Insurance
Notice of Insurance Provider of Court-ordered Health Insurance Coverage
Can I file for legal separation in Washington County, Colorado? Yes. The procedure for legal separation is similar to that for the dissolution of marriage. The only difference is that the spouses cannot remarry as they are not divorced yet.
When is it allowed to remarry after a divorce? In Colorado, divorced people can remarry as soon as the divorce decree is processed. They do not need to wait any longer.
Divorce in Washington County online
Get your completed divorce forms and save thousands in legal fees
Here is how OnlineDivorce.com makes completing divorce papers easier:
We provide the full divorce packet required by the local court - clients do not need to drive to their local courthouse to get the blank forms or search for the right divorce forms online. In rare cases, local county forms can vary in color, paper material, size, or bar code, so they may need to be obtained directly from the county clerk's office.
We complete the necessary forms for clients based on their answers given in a simple guided online interview - clients do not need to understand family law or read through complicated instructions to figure out how to fill out the forms themselves.
We give detailed, easy to follow step-by-step instructions for filing a divorce with the court - so the client knows exactly what to do to get his/her divorce finalized.
We provide unlimited technical support - if a client needs assistance through the online process, he/she can always reach out to us via phone, email, or live chat, and we'll do our best to help.
We save our clients time and money - if divorcing spouses agree regarding the terms of their divorce, they typically don’t have to pay thousands to a lawyer to handle their divorce forms and don't need to spend hours trying to do it all by themselves.
We guarantee 100% court approval on divorce papers prepared through our website or your money back - we have 21 years of experience in completing divorce forms so clients can be sure the court will accept their documents without issues.
With a contested divorce, spouses will have to go through numerous steps before the divorce is finalized, including:
prepare, file, and serve (deliver) the divorce petition
respond to the petition
interview and hire an attorney
pre-trial legal motions and hearings
settlement proposals and negotiations between attorneys
if settlement fails, prepare for and complete a court trial
appeal, if you dispute the trial judge’s decision(s)
Prepare to pay exorbitant attorney's fees - at least $2000-3000 depending on your case’s complexity.
Hourly rates vary with different attorneys and average $250-300 per hour. In rural areas, attorneys
may charge less. However, if you live in a large city, local attorneys may charge up to $1000 per hour.
At first glance, using such sites may look like an easy way to go, but it may turn into additional
headaches for you. Some of the issues you may experience when dealing with basic online divorce
long processing times - do you like waiting?
inexperienced and poorly-trained customer support
not user-friendly technology
lack of guidance during the process
hidden fees, e.g., for any, even the simplest, revisions
outdated divorce forms causing court rejection
Did you know that some online divorce providers have virtual addresses in the US because they are
based in other countries? No wonder some clients are provided with outdated divorce forms that will
be rejected by the court. The result? Those people lose their time and money because these
unprofessional services do not keep their state forms up-to-date.
Beware of fake reviews: with no experience and lack of quality service, some sites post reviews by non-existent "customers".
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