If you and your spouse have an amicable relationship and agree on all child custody and property division matters, you may want to consider filing for an uncontested divorce. Uncontested divorces are the fastest and most cost-effective kind of divorce. The state of Colorado refers to these kinds of divorces as “decrees upon affidavit.”
Do You Qualify for an Uncontested Divorce?
Before you consider an uncontested divorce, consider your relationship with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. If you know you’ll disagree on how to divide certain assets, spousal support arrangement, or child custody issues, an uncontested divorce may not provide the best solution. Those who attempt an uncontested divorce and later discover unresolvable points of contest may spend more time and money on the divorce than they would have with a contested divorce.
For those who believe they can settle matters outside of the court with or without the help of an attorney or mediator, an uncontested divorce may provide the best solution. In Colorado, you can use uncontested divorce proceedings to finalize a divorce in as little as 90 days.
To qualify for an uncontested divorce in the state, you and your spouse must meet the following conditions:
Residency. You will need to demonstrate that you or your spouse has resided in Colorado for a minimum of 90 days.
Property division. The state will only grant uncontested divorces to couples without any shared property and those who can demonstrate a fair and full division of assets via a signed separation agreement.
Agreement. You and your spouse must both agree to the divorce.
Children. You and your spouse must agree to formalized child custody terms, including visitation and child support for all minors.
While you can file for an uncontested divorce without an attorney’s support, you may want to hire an attorney to – at a minimum – review your separation agreement and child custody documentation. An experienced divorce attorney can also help you decide if an uncontested divorce makes sense in your situation and help you fill out and file all the appropriate paperwork. Many family law attorneys offer uncontested divorce services for a flat fee rather than an hourly rate. Depending on the type of service and level of support you receive, fee arrangements may vary.
Resolving Disagreements in an Uncontested Divorce
Few couples completely agree on all the terms of a divorce. Many need outside help to come to a fair property division and/or child custody arrangement. If you both want to pursue an uncontested divorce yet need outside help to resolve disagreements, mediation service may prove helpful. Mediators are neutral third parties who help individuals resolve disputes outside of the courtroom. In divorce proceedings, mediators can help spouses make fair, unbiased, and unemotional decisions about the terms of separation.
Finalizing an Uncontested Divorce
To finalize an uncontested divorce, both parties may need to appear at a final court hearing. At the hearing, a judge will evaluate the divorce paperwork and sign the separation agreement finalizing the divorce. For many couples, an uncontested divorce can eliminate the stress and costs of contested divorces. It serves as a viable form of separation in Colorado and throughout the United States. If you meet the eligibility requirements, consider an uncontested divorce as a viable alternative to a drawn out and costly contested divorce.