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How Long Does It Take to Get Divorced in Colorado?

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The Aga Khan, a 77-year-old British man who is the spiritual leader of the Ismaili Muslims, and his wife, a German princess and former pop singer, are finally divorced. All it took was 10 years, two courts (one in France and one in England), and a settlement of £50 million ($83.1 million).

There are lots of oddities in this case: a man thought to be the direct descendent of the Prophet Mohammed; enough moolah to make this one of the most expensive divorces in history; and, eventually, a secret court decision wherein the marriage “ends by consent.” The most startling element, however, may be that the marriage broke down way back in 2004””the year Facebook launched, Athens held the Olympics, and Usher’s “Yeah!” ruled the airwaves.

Although the decade-long divorce battle does occasionally occur, most cases are finalized within three to six months on average. Colorado has a mandatory waiting period of 91 days from the date divorce papers are filed, so it will take at least three months to be officially divorced even if there are no issues to resolve in court. Factors such as child custody arrangements and the partitioning of financial assets will naturally prolong the divorce process, but the number of waiting cases in each county could also delay your final hearing date — though probably not by 10 or 12 years.

One important thing to note about divorce timelines in Colorado is that judges in certain counties rotate fairly often, generally once every two years; therefore, it’s possible that a judge may not stay on for the life of your case. This could hurt or help you depending on the circumstances, so remember that it is perfectly legal to hire your own judge in the Centennial State. In Douglas County, for example, divorce hearings are being scheduled for approximately 14 months in the future, which means a private judge might be the ticket to a faster, more economical decree of dissolution.

We know it feels like sorting out all the formal details takes forever and a day once you’ve decided to end a marriage, but hopefully the Aga Khan’s saga helps put those long months in perspective. And bear in mind, he’s still got nothing on the Purpuras.