The Initial Filing of a Divorce Case

A dissolution of marriage is initiated in Colorado by the filing of a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and a Case Information Sheet. Both of these documents contain statistical information about the parties’ marriage, their contact information, and the children of the parties, if any exist.

Parties in a divorce case can file together. In such a case one party is the “Petitioner”, and the other party is the “Co-Petitioner”.

In many cases, only one party files for divorce against the other party, and in such a case the filing party is the “Petitioner” and the other party is the “Respondent.” The Petitioner will also need to file a document called a Summons. The Summons and the Petition for Dissolution if Marriage will both need to be personally served on the Respondent, or the Respondent can avoid that by signing a waiver of service.

The law does not provide any specific advantage to parties filing jointly versus one party filing separately, although the total filing fees may be lower for a joint filing.  In many jurisdictions, including Douglas County, Arapahoe County, and Jefferson County, the court will immediately set the case for a court date, called an Initial Status Conference, when the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is filed.

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