Filing for divorce in Arapahoe County Colorado is handled through the District 18 Judicial System. You must be a Arapahoe county resident for at least 90 days to file. It is important to try to solve as many issues between the two parties prior to the final court hearing to minimize the courts involvement. If the two parties cannot mutually agree to issues in the divorce, the judge will make the decisions which is never optimal.
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Consult a divorce attorney in Arapahoe County Colorado. Find one who offers a free consultation. Even if you plan on filing by yourself, the consultation will allow you access to valuable insight into the divorce process and creates a legal connection to an expert should you require more help further into the process.
Visit the Colorado Courts website. (See Resources) Download and print the instructions for filing a divorce as well as the required forms. To initiate divorce proceedings, you will need to fill out JDF 1000, JDF 1101 and JDF 1102. Fill out all forms completely and accurately. Submit the completed documents to the Arapahoe County Courthouse and pay your filing fee.
Have your spouse served with the exact same papers you submitted to the court. He must be served by someone who is not a party in the divorce, will not be a witness and who is over 18. Once your spouse is served you must submit a notarized proof of service to the court.
Attend a parenting class if you have children resulting from the marriage. Make sure you retain the certificate for attending the class.
Prepare and submit a sworn financial statement. This will include your income and will also list your debts. Having many debts will not reduce your required child support.
Complete a parenting plan with your spouse. You will need to agree to all terms of the parenting plan and have the plan notarized if in agreement. You will also need to complete the child support worksheets. Submit the paperwork to the court.
Attend an initial status conference as set by the court. This will be set once all paperwork has been received. If you can agree on all items, your case will be moved to a final hearing and if not, you will need to attend a mediation to solve your differences.
Attend the final divorce hearing. The judge will ask a few questions to determine if you do agree to the terms in the divorce. The judge will either grant the divorce and issue a final divorce decree or will require additional steps by taken.
Divorce with an Attorney
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Contact a divorce attorney in Arapahoe County Colorado. Set up a free consult. Attend the meeting with the attorney to discuss the process.
Follow the advice and suggestions given to you by your attorney. He will handle all paperwork and arrange for proper service of your spouse.
Attend any required classes as advised by your attorney. Arapahoe County has a list of approved parenting classes if you have children from the marriage. (See Resources) Be flexible in meeting your attorney to sign paperwork or meet to discuss new developments. Your attorney will deal directly with the courts and with your spouses attorney and will need to be in communication with you.
Attend the initial status conference held at the Arapahoe County Courthouse once both parties have submitted their paperwork. Your attorney will advise you of the process and what to expect. If you and your spouse cannot agree to all issues, you will be ordered to attend mediation before the divorce can proceed.
Attend the divorce hearing held at the Arapahoe County Courthouse. If mediation has solved all issues, the divorce should be granted as you have agreed. If you and your spouse have unresolved issues, the judge will make final decisions. He will either grant your divorce or request additional items and set another court hearing.