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How long will my divorce take?

In very simple cases, e.g., short marriages with few assets and/or without children, it is possible for parties to reach an agreement in a short time. More typically, however, it takes about six months to a year. Of course, in marriages with complicated financial and child-related issues, it may take longer to reach a settlement or have the matter determined by a contested hearing. Longer time may be needed if assets and debts are difficult to locate, or if experts are required to evaluate business and tax issues or to perform evaluations related to child-custody (known as “allocation of parental rights and responsibilities” in Colorado.)

Sometimes, the reasons for delay can be less obvious. Often one party is less emotionally prepared to face divorce. In most cases, one party has been thinking about a separation for awhile and it may take some time for the other person to reach a level of acceptance before they can actively participate in the case. Until that time, the less-ready person may cause delays, consciously or unconsciously, in the hope the divorce will not happen.

In Colorado, there is a mandatory waiting period of 90 days from the time the time that the responding party is served with (or acknowledges receipt of service of) the summons and petition (which is filed to initiate the legal divorce). If the parties file a joint Co-Petition for divorce, the 90 days run from the date the Co-Petition is filed. This means that the Court cannot enter a judgment terminating marriage prior to expiration of the 90 day waiting period. This does not mean that the divorce will be completed in 90 days. In fact, in most cases, the process takes a longer time period based upon Court calendars, which can be congested at times, and other issues.

In Colorado, where both parties have attorney representation, a negotiated settlement can be filed and finalized with the Court without the need for the parties to ever set foot in court. As such, a negotiated settlement is almost always better than a litigated trial for both parties, and is easier to obtain with an experienced family law attorney on your side who knows Colorado divorce and paternity laws.

If you have any questions regarding divorce, alimony, child support and custody, or any other family law issue, contact our law offices immediately. We can be reached by telephone, fax, or e-mail. Lynn Landis-Brown, P.C., represents clients in the Pikes Peak area, Front Range area, and Rocky Mountain area of Colorado, including Colorado Springs, Castle Rock, Monument, Woodmoor, Broadmoor, Manitou Springs, Fort Carson, Fountain, Cimarron Hills, Black Forest, Canon City, Woodland Park, Cripple Creek, Victor, Parker, Pueblo, Peterson Air Force Base, Schriever Air Force Base, Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station; United States Northern Command (NORTHCOM), Northern American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), United States Air Force Academy (USAFA), El Paso County, Teller County, Douglas County, Adams County, Elbert County and Fremont County.