12 STEPS OF DIVORCE: THE BASICS – Step 1 – File for Petition of Dissolution

Each month for one year, the Andersen Law PC blog will spell out the 12 steps of divorce.

The following is a roadmap with the basics for 12 steps of a divorce proceeding. The intent is to walk you through the process a simple step at a time.

(To see the process in a more personalized, real world context, follow the blogs on the Aingel and DeVille families: the Aingels relatively soaring through the process while the DeVilles crash and burn.)

 And if you want to divorce in less than a year, feel free to call me at 720-922-3880 or email beth@andersenlawpc.com with questions specific to your situation. I am happy to walk you through your own next steps and to answer questions in your complimentary initial phone or videoconference consult.

Here is where the year will take us:

January – serving and filing a petition for dissolution

February – responding to the petition

March – sworn financial statement, disclosures, and parenting classes

April – initial status conference

May – discovery and depositions

June – professionals:  CFI, PRE, vocational evaluator, appraisals

July – motions to compel and telephone conferences

August – temporary orders

September – mediation

October – parenting plans and separation agreements

November – witnesses, pretrial deadlines and permanent orders

December – QDROs and other post decree issues

 

JANUARY: How to File a Petition for Dissolution

If you decide to file for divorce in Colorado, follow these steps. The good news is that you can find the forms online yourself at the Colorado Judicial website

Warning: Be sure you are going to the OFFICIAL STATE LINK and NOT some other law firm’s website using official-looking words and graphics in an effort to pass itself off as an official website when in fact they are trying to drive you away from free sources and into their office to post a big retainer. That is a red flag. Unfortunately, not every lawyer knows what I know: that it is good karma to free source information without a hidden agenda. Clients will hire you if they need you and will get going in the right direction if not.

STEP ONE: Complete the forms.

If you are good at following an online to-do list and filling out forms yourself then you should be able to fill out the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, Case Information Sheet and Summons/Waiver of Service yourself. Make sure you have the correct county and courthouse based on your location. papers

You are making some important choices: Are you seeking Child Support or Maintenance? What is the date of separation? Do you want a name change? Are you going to file as co-petitioners or as petitioner and respondent? You may want to run some of these questions by an attorney or attend a divorce clinic. Courts offer free clinics as do some attorneys. An attorney who offers unbundled legal services may be able to help answer these questions without an expensive retainer.

STEP TWO: File the forms.

In most cases, you will file them at the Domestic Window in the courthouse for your county.

Whenever filing court papers, bring a copy for them and one for them to stamp “filed” for your own records.

You will need the court clerk to sign the summons for you. (If you hire an attorney, your attorney can also sign the summons for you.)

STEP THREE: Serve the forms.

You cannot serve the forms on the other party yourself. You can hire the sheriff for your county or hire a private process server to serve them for you.writing-1149962_640

You can also have the other party sign a waiver of service of process.

And if you are getting along well and agree on all or most matters, you and your soon-to-be-ex spouse can file together as co-petitioners.

Call Andersen Law PC at 720-922-3880 for more information about these options.

 

Congratulations!

You have completed step one: serving the divorce papers.

Next month: Step Two: Filing a Response to a petition for dissolution (aka divorce)

If you need help getting through all the steps of your own divorce, contact Andersen Law PC today. Email beth@andersenlawpc.com or call 720-922-3880.

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One Comment

  1. Posted March 6, 2017 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Beth, I love how simple this breakdown of serving divorce papers is. I kind of feel like step one should be to call a divorce lawyer. From what I heard, divorce can be emotionally tormenting and make filing a lot harder than it is. I imagine it’s comforting to know that there’s at least one person who is on your side.

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