Divorce, whether highly contested or uncontested, is a complex, highly emotional experience. It can have a profound effect on all aspects of your life, especially if you have children. Obtaining an uncontested divorce in Colorado, however, is a better option for divorcing couples who agree that the marriage is irreparable and can openly discuss the arrangements in a civil and fair manner.
What are the Requirements?
As a no-fault state, Colorado courts will grant a divorce if either spouse or both believe that the marriage is irretrievably broken. The court, however, can only grant an uncontested divorce if both parties agree to the dissolution and on child custody and support arrangements, property distribution, and spousal support.
If there are no children involved, the wife is not pregnant, and there is no property to divide, it’s possible to obtain an uncontested divorce by affidavit. If you’re on friendly terms with your spouse, you can file the affidavit as co-petitioners. But if you file it by yourself, you will have to serve the document on your spouse.
Ending a marriage is never simple, but an uncontested divorce is less complicated than a contested one. It’s important to consider the pros and cons before initiating the process.
- Less expensive – the cost of divorce is no secret to Colorado couples. In a contested divorce, you’ll need to pay an attorney to deal with the paperwork or litigate a final hearing, plus all the myriad options that may require filing with the court. You can skip all these with an uncontested divorce, allowing you to save more money and keep more assets.
- Peaceful – ideally, an uncontested divorce is meant to be an option for couples to end a marriage peacefully and with dignity. By remaining cordial and cooperative, a couple can make a highly complicated process a lot simpler.
- Streamlined procedure – divorces could take years if one or both parties remain uncooperative. An uncontested divorce creates the opposite result. With both spouses willing to end the marriage and deal with child custody, marital support, and other matters fairly, the court will likely issue a “decree of dissolution of marriage” as early as 90 days after the filing of the affidavit.
An uncontested divorce is not inherently disadvantageous because it seeks to ease the emotional and financial burden of ending a marriage. But it becomes disadvantageous if there’s a history of emotional abuse, domestic violence, or power disparity in the marriage. One spouse could use it as an escape, leaving the disadvantaged spouse with no choice but to agree with the other spouse.
If it’s proven that one spouse coerced the disadvantaged spouse to agree on the divorce to take a larger share of the marital assets, it’s best to move forward with a contested divorce. Other grounds include adultery, confinement in prison, desertion, and physical inability to engage in sexual intercourse (if not disclosed before marriage).
There are clearly-defined parameters that will warrant the court to rule out your divorce as uncontested to protect spouses from certain situations. For instance, if the other spouse doesn’t completely agree to the divorce or there’s a significant disparity in the division of assets, that’s already a sign that irreconcilable differences exist in the marriage.
While you can go through an uncontested divorce on your own, it’s still wise to seek legal assistance.
Using a lawyer means you’re aware of your rights and the legal procedures involved, and you don’t need to go through all the paperwork on your own. Contact the Law Office of Michael A. Hug for help in filing an uncontested divorce in Colorado.