Colorado is a no fault divorce state, which simply means that Colorado courts do not take into account the reasons the parties want a “dissolution of marriage,” the term Colorado law uses for divorce. The only factor that matters from the court’s point of view is that at least one spouse believes that the marriage no longer works and wants to end it. Almost every divorce is a tragedy in some way, but there are a lot of details–like allocation of assets– that must be addressed before the divorce can be granted. Often the issue of fault clouds these details, and the creation of no fault divorce in Colorado has allowed courts to more speedily address these more practical issues involved with a marriage and allow the couple to get on with their lives.
The only necessary grounds for divorce in Colorado is that at least one spouse believes the marriage is, to use the legal term, “irretrievably broken.” It is not necessary that both parties agree that the marriage is broken, and the courts will not as a rule inquire into this.
It is important that those seeking a divorce be able to distinguish that the reasons for a divorce are conceptually different from the concept of fault. Common reasons for a divorce are infidelity, substance abuse, spousal abuse, and marital differences. Colorado courts will almost never take any of these into account during the divorce proceedings. It should be noted that the court in rare instances may take fault into account. For instance, when one of the spouses has taken all the money from the couple’s joint bank account without consent of the other spouse and created undue hardship for the other spouse, but these cases are uncommon.
The legal concept of no fault extends to all aspects of the divorce. Fault not only plays no role in the granting of a divorce, it also plays no role in how the court determines related issues like child custody, maintenance (“alimony”), the division of property and debt, or any of the other matters the court must address.
Finally, a no fault divorce doesn’t mean that a divorce may not be contested. A contested divorce is one in which either: one of the spouses doesn’t believe that the marriage is irretrievably broken, or that the terms of the divorce have not been agreed upon. “No fault” simply means that no reason must be produced to ask for a divorce.
The only requirement for filing for a divorce in Colorado is that one spouse must be a resident of the state for at least 90 days prior to filing. Anyone seeking a divorce may file for their divorce at the courthouse in the county where the party seeking the divorce resides Having a good Denver divorce attorney is essential when you’re getting a no fault divorce in Colorado.