How Long Does It Take To Get A Divorce In Colorado?

One of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to divorce is how much time it will take. Most of the time, the people who are wondering that question are facing this process without a clear idea of what to expect; they may not have been through divorce before, and may not have had close friends or family members who have either. Navigating divorce can be exhausting. It’s understandable that most people just want everything to be “over” as soon as possible so they can move forward with their new normal.

So how long does it take to get a divorce in Colorado? Online, you may read that the average length of divorce proceedings in our state is about 4-6 months. While that number is a decent starting point to begin planning around, your divorce may take much longer or be resolved much more quickly, depending on a variety of factors unique to your situation.

Here are some of the factors that can influence how long your divorce may take! Note that only an experienced attorney can give you a truly accurate estimate of the timetable; this blog is simply a way to explain why some divorces take longer than others and give you a better idea of when you may be “officially” divorced.

Are You And Your Spouse Colorado Residents?

This is the first big requirement for a quicker divorce; spouses who file must have resided in the state for at least 91 days. If either you or your spouse isn’t living in Colorado at the time of the divorce, you may have to wait a few months to even begin the process.

Are You Legally Separated?

If you are seeking a formal divorce after you and your spouse have already taken the steps to legally separate, then Colorado requires a minimum waiting period of 6 months from the date the separation was finalized before you can request a divorce from the Colorado court.

Do You Have Sizable Assets, A Family Business, Or Large Debts?

One of the most time-consuming aspects of divorce is dividing everything equitably between you and your spouse. When there is more to divide, it normally takes longer to do so. When there are more possessions, more wealth, more debt, or complex holdings such as a family business where both spouses have an interest (or even if just one spouse does), it could take you more months than the average couple to reach a mutually agreeable resolution.

Do You Have A Prenuptial Agreement?

If you have a prenuptial agreement with your spouse, the process of dividing your assets fairly will be much quicker, because a prenup essentially lays out how everything will be split in the event of a divorce occuring; the big decisions will have already been made ahead of time.

Do You Have Children?

If you have children, you should always expect your divorce to take longer because there are issues of custody that need to be worked out. Finding the right custody agreement, ironing out child support, and resolving other related matters can add months to your divorce. You may not know exactly what it is that you want when it comes to custody, and it’s not in your or your children’s best interest to rush into a decision just because you want your divorce to be “over” and you are feeling the pressure of time. It may take months for you to meet with a counselor, with a child psychiatrist, or with legal coaches, learn what your kids and your spouse really want, and discover what the ideal arrangement would be; it can take more months to legally work to make that arrangement a reality.

Do You And Your Spouse Agree On Most Issues/Can You Work Together Amicably?

The attitude that you and your spouse have towards each other and towards the process is perhaps the single most influential factor in how long it will take you to get divorced in Colorado. You and your spouse don’t have to love or even like each other, but if you can set any animosity aside and work together to agree on the major issues (such as custody and property division) then you are on track to a) build a better foundation for both your futures, and your children’s, and b) get divorced more quickly and less expensively.

You and your spouse can work with a mediator or with attorneys to settle the most pressing matters of your divorce, and then file a joint petition for divorce with the relevant court. Filing jointly can save you both time and money on filing fees. Then you both need to submit the Affidavit for Decree as well as a signed agreement detailing how custody, visitation, and child support will be handled. A judge may grant your divorce without a hearing and issue a decree of dissolution of marriage, but they may not sign that decree until at least 91 days have passed since the joint petition was initially filed.

This means that at minimum, your divorce can take just 91 days to be finalized. However, divorce is usually marked by heavy conflict and bitterness, and not every adult can act like one during the process. If your spouse can’t work together with you to find the best solution, your divorce may have to go to court, and could potentially take up to a year or more to resolve.

Contact New Leaf Family To Get Your Questions Answered

If how long it will take you to get a divorce in Colorado is only one of your many questions about the divorce process, reach out to New Leaf Family today. Our firm focuses on empowering families with the information and support they need to go through the process with confidence! We will take the time to get a holistic, accurate picture of your circumstances and goals so we can explain your legal options and give you an estimate of how long your divorce may take. Call us today to schedule a no-cost consultation!