Getting divorced in Denver

Denver, Bloomfield are blended metro-county entities

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According to the Denver County Court Web page FAQ, “Divorce matters are not handled in the Denver County Court. Instead, they are handled at the State level in Denver District Court. You will need to contact them at 720-865-8301 for assistance, or check on their web page: Colorado State Judicial Website

This is unusual; most states have provisions for statewide law but local filing and residency requirements. Accordingly, herein we will follow up on “Divorce in Colorado” with more state-court oriented information.

County boundaries can be confusing

For one thing, nearby Bloomfield is like Denver in that each has a combined municipal-county structure. Furthermore, Denver has been able to annex much land from its neighbors–because of its structure and power–such that determining county boundaries can sometimes be difficult.

According to this military-oriented site, “In the areas around Lowry and Buckley there are some very unusual lines, because for many years The City and County of Denver was able to expand by annexing land in Adams, Arapahoe and Jefferson Counties. The end result is that there are some areas that are completely surrounded by Denver which are actually in another county.”

No ‘typical’ separation agreement

The site also explains “Most couples get a separation agreement giving details about custody, division of assets or debts and financial support. Since there is no “typical” separation agreement, you need to discuss these issues with your spouse and your attorney in order to end up with an agreement that is satisfactory to all the parties and that allows for a good relationship in the future when dealing with any children.” Furthermore: “Some counties require mandatory mediation for all couples who wish to schedule a contested final orders hearing. The couple meets with a mediator–and without their lawyers–to see if they can come to an agreement.”

2005 legislation brought big changes

In fact, says a Colorado divorce mediation site, new legislation in 2005 resulted in major changes, including mediation:

For parties in adversarial litigation and with counsel, the new Colorado divorce law imposes many new process obligations and procedures beyond this article’s scope.

For parties seeking to resolve their divorce through mediation, however, the new law’s case management directives primarily change the process to require attendance at a special, informal court hearing known as a “status conference.” Although many (and most metropolitan Denver) Colorado judicial districts have required status conferences as a matter of local rule and policy for some time, they are now mandatory statewide.

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