The duration of a divorce proceeding in Colorado varies widely depending on the circumstances of each case. However, all divorces require an initial 90-day window, which is often referred to as a “cooling off period,” before the divorce can be finalized. To begin the divorce proceedings, one spouse must file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage along with a summons, at which point the other spouse will be served. After services, the couple must wait a minimum of 90 days before the courts will grant the request for a divorce.
Why a 90-Day Waiting Period?
During this 90-day waiting period, other deadlines apply, including but not limited to a deadline to complete mandatory financial disclosures, which is a required step in the divorce process. So, while the waiting period may feel like a “stall,” steps are still being made toward finalizing the divorce during the 90-day waiting period. In some cases, a couple may be able to formally finalize a divorce through agreements reached and receive a Decree of Dissolution of Marriage in 91 days. However, this generally applies to only the simplest of proceedings that do not involve children or other matters that could extend the proceeding.
Timeline for Complex Divorce Cases
In circumstances with children or more a more complex marital estate, it often takes much longer than the required 90 days to finalize the divorce. This is not necessarily because there are contested issues or because the matter is contentious, it just takes time to complete the financial disclosures, reach an agreement on all assets and debts, and determine a full and complete plan outlining parental responsibilities. On the other hand, if you have a contentious or contested divorce wherein a hearing is required for the court to determine and rule on contested issues, you are then at the mercy of the court’s calendar, which can take months for a hearing date.
On average, a Colorado divorce takes closer to 6-12 months.
If you have questions about the issues in your divorce and how long a divorce with your circumstances would take, it is important to speak with a divorce attorney to get your questions answered. Solutions Based Family Law is here to support you. Call us at (720) 463-2232 to learn more.