Spouses are understandably interested in how long a divorce will take. It’s a common question. Just how long will the process go on? Many people think a dissolution will take a mere few weeks. Some think simply filing papers means they are legally single and free. The reality is that there is no means of knowing the exact duration of a Colorado divorce process, as it is dependent on numerous elements.
Both spouses must wait through the statutory “cooling off period” of 91 days from the time the divorce is filed and the petition is served on the non-filing party. By law, a judge cannot enter an order dissolving the marriage until at least 91 days have passed since the date of the divorce filing and service on the other party.
The length of the divorce process depends, too, on the court’s calendar. There is little consideration to flexibility regarding setting hearing times and dates, and so your final hearing may depend on the volume of cases in the division you are assigned to.
Aside from legal considerations, much depends on how the divorcing couple acts out of court. The length of the divorce process largely depends on how well both parties negotiate and cooperate with each other. If both sides work well together to resolve each and every one of the pertinent issues being contested, then the case will take just a short period of time. Your attorney will merely have to draft and file a Separation Agreement with the court, supplemented by an Affidavit of Non-Appearance. You may have to show up in court for an uncontested hearing if there are children involved, but these hearings can be set quickly and are relatively short.
On the other hand, a case may take longer to resolve and cost more to litigate if the spouses have few to no agreements on important matters and have complex financial arrangements. In such a situation, the court would decide when to schedule your hearing and at that time decide on the issues in contention.
After the waiting period has expired and all the details have been worked out, the court will enter a final decree dissolving the marriage. In theory, the shortest time it may take to get a divorce or legal separation is approximately 91 days from the time the divorce action is filed with the court. In reality, however, most cases take a lot longer.