Colorado Family Law Resources
Advice for Do-It-Yourself'ers
Colorado does a good job of providing Do-It-Yourself forms. Attempting to complete the forms prior to reading the instructions will likely overwhelm and confuse you; please start with the instructions. The instructions well organized and there is a printable flow chart to keep you on track. It is wise to read the instructions slowly and highlight items that require further clarification. Once you have read through the instructions – ideally two or three times – make a list of questions and call our Legal Helpline at 303-409-3561. You must complete the proper forms accurately and completely; not doing so will result in delays at best and may result in your paperwork being returned to you and your case being dismissed (remember the part about reading the instructions?).
Spouses or Partners without children, who are amicably ending their relationship and agree in totality on the division of debts and assets are most suited to getting a divorce or legal separation pro se (without the help of attorneys). The absence of conflict is the major measuring stick to determine whether or not filing pro se makes sense for you.
IMPORTANT: you can always stop during the process and advise the court that you have made the decision to hire an attorney to represent you. In most cases, once you tell the court that you want to seek legal counsel the court will immediately end the hearing in order to give you the opportunity to secure legal representation.
ALSO IMPORTANT: if your Spouse or Partner decides to retain an attorney, at a minimum, please consult with a Family Law attorney to determine if you too should be represented. Frequently when one party is represented by an attorney and the other party is not, the attorney will ask the court to order the unrepresented party to pay for some of the attorney's fees. That being the case, it may make more sense to pay for your own attorney rather the attorney representing your spouse.
REALLY IMPORTANT: Once the Separation Agreement is made an order of the court it cannot be re-opened unless fraud can be proven. For this reason, obtaining legal review of the content of your Separation Agreement and, if applicable, your Parenting Plan is critical.