No one enjoys getting divorced. The end of your marriage may have caught you by surprise, or it could have been a long time coming. However, once divorce becomes inevitable, most people want to get it over with as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, state laws, legal procedures, and the negotiation process may slow you down on the road to newfound singledom. Find out how long a typical divorce usually takes in Denver and what to avoid if you are looking for a speedy divorce.
How Long Does a Divorce Take? Denver Divorce Laws
The timeline for divorce varies significantly from state to state. Most states have residency requirements which determine how long a person must live within its borders before the state will grant jurisdiction over his or her divorce. In Colorado, at least one spouse must have been domiciled in state for at least 90 days before they can file for divorce.
Colorado state law also requires a 90-day waiting period from the time the divorce petition is filed before the court can finalize a divorce order. At minimum, a simple, uncontested divorce will take about three months. Spouses can forego the waiting period if they have been legally separated for at least six months.
Once the initial divorce filing and summons have been submitted, both spouses have 20 days to submit their financial disclosures, although this may be extended to 40 days if a response is not received from the non-filing spouse. Couples with children will also need to take a parenting course. If all required paperwork is submitted and an agreeable divorce settlement has been reached before the 90-day waiting period is complete, a final divorce decree can be entered and signed by the judge.
The Divorce Court Process in Denver
If you have children, significant assets to disclose, or want to pursue alimony, the divorce process can take much longer than 90 days. An average divorce timeline in Denver is about six to twelve months.
Contested divorces, especially those involving child custody and visitation, may require multiple hearings and/or temporary orders. These courtroom procedures extend the length of your divorce process. If your divorce goes to trial, you can expect the entire process to take one to two years.
Negotiating a Divorce Settlement
The good news is most divorces will reach a settlement before they ever go to trial. The negotiation process can still go on for quite a while, especially if the spouses are very far apart in terms of agreement. The easiest way to speed up the negotiations process is to work amicably with your spouse and be willing to compromise. Negotiations move faster when both spouses are cooperative and motivated. Consider using alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation, to reach a mutually agreeable settlement.
Denver Colorado Divorce Lawyers
If you are considering divorce, it is important to consult a qualified Denver divorce lawyer as soon as possible. Divorce Matters is a Denver-based law firm exclusively dedicated to divorce and family law matters. Contact us today to schedule a consultation in our Greenwood Village or Lakewood locations.