For the next several months, 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 us at 720-922-3880 or email email@example.com with questions specific to your situation. We are happy to walk you through your own next steps and to answer questions in your complimentary initial phone or videoconference consult.
Here are the 12 steps of divorce we’ll walk through:
- serving and filing a petition for dissolution
- responding to the petition
- sworn financial statement, disclosures, and parenting classes
- initial status conference
- discovery and depositions
- professionals: CFI, PRE, vocational evaluator, appraisals
- motions to compel and telephone conferences
- temporary orders
- parenting plans and separation agreements
- witnesses, pretrial deadlines and permanent orders
- QDROs and other post decree issues
Step 1: 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.
1. 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.
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.
2. 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.)
3. 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.
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.
You have completed step one: serving the divorce papers.
Next month: Step Two: Filing a Response to a petition for dissolution (aka divorce)
For a free consult on your divorce case, contact Andersen Law PC at 720-922-3880. You can also check out our related blog posts, Facebook page and YouTube videos, and sign up for our monthly newsletter. All of these are chock full of information that can help you navigate divorce and other family law issues.