Ending a marriage is never easy and can become even more complicated when children, joint property, and other shared assets are involved. However, uncontested divorce is possible when both parties can agree on the divorce terms.
Having a knowledgeable and experienced divorce lawyer can make the process much smoother and less stressful.
At Lewis Matthews, P.C, we have years of experience helping people through uncontested divorces. We understand the Colorado divorce laws and can help you create a fair and equitable agreement for both parties involved.
What Is an Uncontested Divorce?
An uncontested divorce is a dissolution of marriage where both parties agree on all terms of the divorce outside of court. Once the agreement is made, the couple files for a divorce with the court, and a judge reviews the agreement to ensure it is fair and legal.
The requirement for uncontested divorce varies per state. Below are the Colorado requirements:
- At least one party must have lived in Colorado for the past 91 days.
- The couple must file a joint divorce petition.
- Both parties must sign a separation agreement that outlines the terms of the divorce, such as child custody, property division, and alimony.
- You and your partner have no minor children (and neither of you is pregnant). If you have minors, you must have a signed Parenting Plan in place covering child custody, visitation, and child support. There must also be a representation by attorneys on both sides.
While an uncontested divorce is typically quicker and less expensive than a contested divorce, it’s not always easy to agree with your spouse. That’s why it’s crucial to hire an experienced divorce attorney who can help you navigate the process and ensure that your rights are protected.
What Are the Benefits of an Uncontested Divorce?
There are many benefits of an uncontested divorce, both for the couple and any children involved. Some of these benefits include:
- Faster Processing Time: Uncontested divorces are typically processed much faster than contested divorces, which can take months or even years to resolve.
- Lower Cost: Uncontested divorces tend to be less expensive than their counterparts since they generally require fewer court appearances and less time spent with attorneys.
- Less Stressful: Since everything has been agreed upon, both parties can avoid the stress and anxiety of a lengthy and contentious court battle.
How It Works
If you and your spouse are considering an uncontested divorce, there are a few things you need to do to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible.
1. Accomplish and submit the divorce papers
The first step for filing an uncontested divorce in Colorado is to submit a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage to the court.
You can find the forms at the county’s district court, where you or your spouse reside. Documents cannot be filed online – you must personally deliver the papers to the court.
2. Serve the Papers to Your Spouse
This step is not necessary if you file as co-petitioners. If you file alone, you can either hire a professional process server, or have the county sheriff serve the papers to your spouse. Another option is to sign a Waiver of Service acknowledging receipt of the divorce paperwork.
The person serving the papers must fill out and sign a Proof of Service, which must then be filed with the court.
Your spouse has 21 days to respond in Colorado, 35 days if out of state. If they do not respond within this timeframe, you can proceed with the divorce without their input.
3. Create a Separation Agreement and Parenting Plan
Once you have filed the divorce papers and served them to your spouse (if applicable), you need to create a separation agreement outlining the divorce terms, such as property division and alimony.
If you have minor children, you will also need to create a Parenting Plan covering child custody, visitation rights, and child support. Both you and your spouse must sign the agreement and parenting plan. It no longer has to be notarized, just verified by the parties as correct.
4. File a Decree by Affidavit
This step applies to couples who have no minor children. A Decree by Affidavit verifies that both parties have agreed upon all the divorce terms and that no contested issue needs to be resolved by a judge.
Uncontested Divorce FAQs
How long do uncontested divorce proceedings last?
In Colorado, the average uncontested divorce proceeding takes 4-6 months from start to finish. If you have minor children, the process may take longer as the court will need to review and approve your Parenting Plan.
How much does an uncontested divorce cost?
The cost of an uncontested divorce in Colorado varies depending on the county in which you file and the complexity of your case. Generally you can expect to pay filing fees and court costs.
Do I need to hire a lawyer for an uncontested divorce?
You are not required to have an attorney when filing for an uncontested divorce in Colorado. However, it is always a good idea to at least consult with an attorney to ensure you are protected throughout the process, especially if you have children.
When does an uncontested divorce become contested?
An uncontested divorce can become contested at any time during the proceedings if either party disagrees with the terms of the divorce. If this happens, you will need to hire an attorney and resolve the issues through the court system.
Why Choose Lewis & Matthews, P.C.
At Lewis & Matthews, P.C., we understand that not every couple can reach an agreement on all terms of their divorce. However, we believe that an uncontested divorce is always worth pursuing as it can save you time, money, and stress in the long run.
We have a team of experienced divorce attorneys who can help you through every step of the process, from filing the initial paperwork to negotiating a separation agreement that is fair to both parties.
If you’re considering an uncontested divorce in Colorado, contact us today to schedule a consultation. We will review your case and help you determine if this is the best option for you.
Hear from our clients!
Meet the Team
Get to know the legal team that will help win your case.
Jennifer Lewis – Managing partner Jennifer Lewis obtained her legal license in 1988. Since then, she has worked in both state and federal courts in Kansas, Missouri, and Colorado
Ms. Lewis has a long record of legal expertise in family law, estate planning and probate proceedings, criminal law, personal injury and medical malpractice claims, general civil litigation, and zoning and land use planning.
She acquired the firm from Ken and Leslie Matthews in 2015. Her straightforward, patient, and sympathetic approach to family law issues has helped the company develop a solid reputation among our customers.
Amanda Huber – As a legal assistant, Amanda helps with the daily tasks of sending legal correspondence and documents, preparing court filings, and scheduling, among other tasks. Amanda joined the firm in 2022 and has helped clients in all phases of their divorce.
Prior to joining Lewis & Matthews, Amanda worked at an upscale country club in San Diego, where she was born and raised.
Outside of work you can find Amanda wine tasting, gardening, and spending time with her beloved cat, Waffles.
Jackie Flanagan – For the past five years, Jackie Flanagan has served as the office manager at Lewis & Matthews, P.C., ensuring that the business’s day-to-day needs are taken care of. Living in Colorado her whole life has given her a unique perspective on how to best assist local clients.
Counties We Serve
When it comes to Colorado family law, we are your dependable allies – whether you’re going through divorce negotiations, child custody battles, child support issues, or any other legal problem. We can assist you with legal advice in any of the following locations:
Address: 1325 S Colorado Blvd, Suite 503, Denver, CO 80222
Summit County, Eagle County, Grand County, and Clear Creek County
Address: 114 Village Place, Suite 206, Dillon, CO 80435
Phone Number: (970) 468-0240