Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce)

Divorce is the legal process to end a marriage. In Colorado, divorce is called “dissolution of marriage.” One spouse must have lived in Colorado for at least 91 days before filing for divorce.

The person who files (asks the court) for the divorce is known as Petitioner. The other person is known as the Respondent. If two spouses ask for a divorce together, they are known as Petitioner and Co-Petitioner.

In a divorce case the court can resolve different things, usually things related to property and children.  Learn more about issues related to child custody (Allocation of Parental Responsibilities) here. Property issues in a divorce involve dividing assets and debts.

Assets are things one or both parties own.  For example, a house, land, car, jewelry tools, retirement plans, insurance, and bank accounts. Debts are things one or both parties owe to someone else. For example, a mortgage, car loan, credit card debt, or medical bills.

The court can also order maintenance (which is like alimony), which are payments that are usually made from the higher earning party to the lower-earning party.  Maintenance is a complicated topic, and you should consult an attorney for more information. 

Divorce can be a difficult and stressful process.  When intimate partner abuse has happened during the marriage, victims can face safety issues in the divorce process. We strongly encourage victims of intimate partner abuse to speak with a Navigator.

More information on steps to filing a divorce.
More information on waiving filing fees.
More information on other family law issues.
List of courts by county.

If you or someone you know needs help on this topic, click here for some Denver-based and national organizationsclick here for some Denver-based and national organizations that may help you.

To see Colorado statutes on dissolution of marriage and divorce, click here.