What are the first steps in getting a divorce in Colorado?

The basic summarized steps are as follows:

1) Initial Filing
2) Case Management
3) Discovery and Financial Disclosure
4) Negotiations, Mediation, and Hearings
5) Legal Dissolution of Marriage.

Steps 2, 3, and 4 are the complicated parts — but rest assured, that this is what we do here at Hinds and Hinds Family Law! We can help you through this process every step of the way. And believe us, it can be a lot of steps! To get more acclimated and read up on more basic information on divorce and family law as it pertains to Colorado, click here for the Judicial branch’s FAQ categories.

With Step 2, Case Management, this is where initial hearings and court dates are filed. This also allows time to gather the initial information (discovery) while these dates are set by the courts. Deadlines for when all Disclosures and requests for temporary orders, other documentation, or expert reports (3rd parties) including appraisals or evaluations are set. This is when the process is “framed” and scheduled, though of course things may change during its course as necessary. This step is when temporary orders are also set, which lay out any immediate needs for the couple or family at this time.

For Step 3, Discovery (and Financial Disclosure), this requires detail financial documentation and affidavits that include appraisals, reports, statements, investment accounts, and anything related to each parties’ financial status. Any lack of disclosure can mean that future orders by the Colorado courts may become invalidated, so this is an important slew of paperwork and accurate documentation to have in hand! Debts and liabilities are important during this time, as well as other expenses and obligations from each party — especially expenses and expectations when there are children involved.

Step 4 can include mediation sessions, negotiations when it comes to assets and parenting time, and hearings that will determine an equitable distribution of the disclosed assets, property, and time spent with children. These can become detailed and highly contested issues, and it is important to employ an experienced attorney on your side. There is usually more than just one session for these cases, but every case is different and depends on the level of contestation between the parties.

If you live in Colorado, give us a call at (303) 224-9000 during business hours M-F (8:30AM – 5:00PM MST) to get started with your case.

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