Colorado Divorce Law

Laura E. Shapiro -

If you and your spouse have decided it’s time to go your separate ways, you probably have questions and concerns about what to expect throughout the divorce process.

Who will have custody of the children?

How will you split your property fairly?

Will you have to pay alimony?

Colorado divorce law is complex. Here, you’ll find answers to your questions about divorce in our state.

Gavel and wedding rings

Divorce in Colorado Explained

Here’s what you need to know about family law and divorce in Colorado.

Grounds for Divorce

Colorado is a no-fault state, which means you can file for divorce for any reason.

You do not need to cite infidelity or desertion as grounds for divorce in Colorado.

Residency Requirement

How long do you need to live in Colorado to file for divorce?

If you don’t have children, you can file for divorce after you’ve lived in the state for at least 91 days.

If you do have children, the children must have lived in Colorado with a parent for at least 182 days.

Children younger than six months must have lived in the state since birth.

Child Custody

Unlike other states, Colorado doesn’t use the terms sole or joint custody.

Rather, Colorado uses the term “allocation of parental responsibility“.

This means parents can divide responsibility for decisions, share all decisions, or one parent can have sole decision-making.

Colorado courts generally favor joint parental responsibility.

Still, the court will consider the child’s interests when deciding who will have a majority of the responsibility.

For instance, if the child has a better relationship with one parent over the other, the court may award majority responsibility to them.

Child Support

It’s possible to work out child support issues on your own without intervention from the court.

But if you and your former spouse can’t agree on who pays what, the court will step in and determine child support for you.

In order for an agreement to be enforceable, it must be approved as an order of the court.

There is a formula used to determine child support based upon combined joint income and the number of overnights with the child(ren).

Property Division

Colorado divorce law follows equitable division rules when deciding how to split property between spouses.

The court will attempt to divide property and assets fairly, but it may not award an even 50-50 split.

For example, if one spouse supported the other by quitting their job to take care of the kids, a judge may award them a higher percentage of assets.

If you or your spouse hold assets from before the marriage, divorce laws allow you to keep them.

You can also keep inheritances and gifts given during the marriage.


It’s common to wonder how you’ll pay for things like housing, bills, and groceries after a divorce.

Colorado may award alimony, also called spousal support, if a spouse can’t afford to provide for themselves even after property division.

Colorado courts typically only award alimony for marriages that lasted three years or longer.

Contact Shapiro Family Law for Help with Your Colorado Divorce

If you’re going through a divorce in Colorado, call Shapiro Family Law at 303-695-0200 and speak with a Denver Divorce Lawyer today.

We’ll help you understand Colorado divorce law so you’ll know what to expect every step of the way.

Laura E. Shapiro

Laura Shapiro is an award-winning Family Law Attorney with 40+ years of experience. Laura practices Family Law exclusively with her primary focus being divorce and child custody matters.

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