The Pros & Cons Of Uncontested Divorce In Colorado

Divorce isn’t something that anyone plans on when they say “I do,” but it becomes a reality for many couples every day. A marriage is one of the most significant relationships you can have, so sorting through the legal implications of divorce while simultaneously grappling with the emotional ones can become overwhelming. 

The good news is that if you’re looking to divorce with as little complication as possible, there is an alternative method that can offer you a civil, amicable, and streamlined process - uncontested divorce. 

In this blog, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of uncontested divorce, as well as the requirements and other factors to consider when it comes to the matter in Colorado. Let’s dive in!

What Is Uncontested Divorce? 

Unlike contested divorce, which is typically a more contentious, expensive, and lengthy method of ending your marriage, uncontested divorce can offer you a simpler path to reach the same goal. Seeing as you and your spouse agree on all aspects of your divorce case, you won’t have to go to trial, and the decision-making power will stay in you and your spouse’s hands. It fosters a collaborative environment for the both of you to make decisions together, which in turn can help stabilize your relationship for life after divorce. This can be especially beneficial for couples who share children together. 

The Pros Of Uncontested Divorce

There are a myriad of benefits uncontested divorce can provide you with, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Quicker resolution

An uncontested divorce can be filed in a few weeks and approved by the court within a month, whereas a contested divorce can take anywhere from a few months to a year or longer. Resolving your divorce case more quickly can eliminate the potential for prolonged stress and financial strain.

  • Cost-effectiveness

Even in an uncontested divorce, there are legal expenses. However, these expenses are significantly less than those in a contested divorce, which involves the court at great length, more time with a lawyer, and additional resources for litigation. By agreeing on the terms of your divorce and cutting the middleman out (the court), you save yourself time (see above) which saves you more money. 

  • Reduced emotional stress

Another pro of uncontested divorce is reduced emotional stress. When you agree on how assets should be divided, custody should be arranged, and other related matters, you minimize the possibility of nasty, drawn-out legal battles. The act of ending your marriage alone is enough to deal with emotionally; opting for a divorce method that prioritizes agreement over confrontation can significantly lighten the emotional burden you’re dealing with. 

  • Greater control over the outcome

The reason that couples pursue contested divorce is because they can’t agree on what to do with their house, how to split assets and divide debts, who should have legal and physical custody, etc. Unfortunately, because they can’t decide, a judge is the one who does that for them. In an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse will be the ones to make these life-altering decisions, rather than a judge who doesn’t know you or your relationship. 

The Cons Of Uncontested Divorce 

Like most things, uncontested divorce has pros and cons. Here are some of the drawbacks:

  • Not suitable for all situations

While some couples have the desire and capability to work things out amicably, not every divorce can be civil and straightforward. There are extenuating circumstances in which an uncontested divorce isn’t appropriate. For example, if one parent has a history of substance abuse, domestic violence, neglect, or something else, it’s likely you won’t be able to agree on the various aspects of your divorce. There may also be instances of infidelity, resulting in resentment, anger and other emotions that make it difficult, if not impossible, to collaborate. 

  • Spousal and child support may not be what you expected

Whether you’re financially independent of, or dependent on your spouse, you might rashly agree on things you haven’t entirely thought through (like spousal and child support) in the midst of attempting a peaceful divorce. This can prevent you from receiving or paying a fair amount of monetary support post-divorce. 

Requirements Involved In An Uncontested Divorce In Colorado 

Even though it’s easy to see that uncontested divorce is a simpler choice, it still involves legal requirements and eligibility. In the state of Colorado, you must meet the following criteria to be eligible for an uncontested divorce:

  • You or your spouse have to have lived in Colorado for 90+ days before you file your initial divorce papers. 
  • If you have minor children with your spouse and intend to address matters like custody and child support in your divorce, the children must have lived in the state with one/both parents for at least 182 days (or since birth for any child younger than that) before filing. 
  • You must have legal grounds for divorce. Because Colorado is a no-fault divorce, the only grounds you can claim is that the marriage is irretrievably broken. In order to divorce, you and your spouse both have to agree on that. 

How New Leaf Family Can Help You

We believe in empowering our clients to make the best decisions for themselves and their families. If you believe that uncontested divorce is the right path for you, we’re prepared to guide you through every step. We know that this is a sensitive time, which is why we do all the heavy lifting by explaining your legal options, rights, and responsibilities so that you can have confidence during this transition. We’ll also make sure you understand the legal costs from the get go. There are no hidden fees, or unexpected expenses that we hit you with. You’ll know exactly what you owe so you don’t have to add financial stress into the mix of your divorce case. 

Whether you’re beginning to consider your options for divorce, or your mind is already made up, New Leaf Family is here to help. Call now to book a free consultation and discover what’s next.