Legal separation can be a preliminary step before divorce, allowing couples to separate their finances without officially ending their marriage. However, when couples decide that they are ready to convert their legal separation into a divorce, here is what will need to be done.
4 Steps to Converting a Legal Separation to a Divorce in Colorado
Step 1 – Figure out when you can file your paperwork with the court.
In Colorado, you have to wait a minimum of 182 days after the date on which your legal separation was finalized (i.e., the date on which the Decree of Legal Separation was entered) before you can file the necessary paperwork to convert the separation into a divorce.
Step 2 – Determine where the paperwork should be filed.
Specifically, the paperwork should be filed with the same court that issued the Decree of Legal Separation.
Step 3 – Complete the necessary forms and provide a copy of them to your former partner.
In particular, the forms that will need to be completed will include:
- The Motion to Convert Decree of Legal Separation to Decree of Dissolution of Marriage (JDF 1321)
- The Order to Convert Decree of Legal Separation to Decree of Dissolution of Marriage (JDF 1322)
- The Decree of Dissolution of Marriage or Legal Separation (JDF 1116).
Here, it’s also important to note that the roles of petitioner and respondent will remain the same as they were in the legal separation; in other words, if you were the petitioner in the legal separation filings, you will remain the petitioner when converting the legal separation into a divorce case.
Step 4 – File the forms with the court.
Once the above forms have been completely and appropriately filled out, they should all be filed with the clerk of the court, at which time you will also have to pay the appropriate filing fees. Fee waivers are available for those who qualify (and form JDF 205 will need to be completed for those requesting a fee waiver).
Littleton Divorce Attorney at Bahr & Kreidle
Are you ready to move forward with a divorce? If so, it’s time to contact the trusted attorneys at Bahr & Kreidle. Since 1983, our Littleton divorce attorney have been fighting on behalf of our clients, aggressively advocating their rights and interests in any legal setting.
Our lawyers know how serious and devastating the impacts of divorce can be, and we know that achieving a favorable resolution can be pivotal to helping people move on with their lives. That’s why we are committed to providing our clients with exceptional personal service and the highest quality legal representation.
To find out more about how we can help you, let’s meet for a free, no obligations initial consultation. To set up a meeting, call us at (303) 794-7422 or email us using the form on this page.
From our law offices in Littleton, we represent clients throughout Colorado, including in the Denver Metro Area, Arapahoe County, Adams County, Jefferson County and the cities of Lakewood, Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Castle Rock, Westminster, Centennial and Aurora.