After you decide to end your marriage, you may wonder how you can serve your ex-spouses with legal documents and how the divorce process will go. In order to start the legal separation procedure, you should complete a formal request for dissolution of marriage.
This type of paper contains all the important details about your relationship, including what happens to your children if they were born during the marriage. You must then submit these forms to the proper family law court for your divorce process to begin, usually located in the county where the requesting party resides. Contact our experienced Colorado Springs divorce lawyer today for any of your divorce and family law-related questions!
There are Different Ways to Serve Divorce Papers in Colorado
Avoid swearing an affidavit before a judge, because the document needs to be notarized. Most judges can help you find someone who does notarize documents. Be sure to ask if they require any particular forms or fees. Also, make sure that you get a copy of the signed document. A copy should also be given to your lawyer so he/she knows what was said during the hearing.
Here is What You Should Know - The Basic Facts:
- If you want to go through the divorce process you need to hire someone else to do it for you. However, if you're going through a separation, you can't personally deliver the divorce paperwork to your spouse. The initial paperwork can be a lot. Your divorce forms can be overwhelming, but with the right divorce representation, it will be easier.
- Service Timeframe – In general, the service process will usually be a period of 60 days from the day the first paperwork was filed for a court order to be issued. There will be a filing fee.
- If the ex or former spouse is going through a legal process of separation or divorce proceedings, he or she must get the court order for service. However, there is an exception to this rule. A third party may serve him or her with the divorce paperwork if they live together at the time of service.
- You can serve him or her anywhere he or she can be found, even if they're at their own house, work, public space, etc. A family law attorney will help you with this.
Serve Legal Papers by Regular Mail
Here, the divorce papers are sent via mail together with an acknowledgment form your spouse has to sign, date, then return. If this paperwork isn’t received within the given time frame, you’ll need to use another way of service. This would be personal service or service by mail.
You may choose to file for divorce yourself if you wish. However, you should know that you cannot do this without the help of an attorney. In order to get started, you'll need to gather together all of your legal paperwork, including any financial statements, tax returns, bank records, credit card bills, insurance policies, pay stubs, and any other relevant documentation.
Once you've gathered everything together, make sure that you keep track of where each piece of paper is located. You'll also need to prepare a list of witnesses who can testify about what happened during your marriage. Finally, you'll need to decide whether or not you're willing to hire an attorney to represent you in court.
Serve The Papers by Certified Mail
If you decide to serve your ex-spouses through the mail, they must sign a piece of paperwork that’ll be attached to an envelope and mailed back to you. They also need to return a “return receipt’ to you, which proves that they received the documents.
If you want to know if someone has received your letter, which is an alternative method, ask them to return a signed copy of their own green card. Once you get the signed copy, check the signature against the one on the original envelope.
You must keep both documents – the service receipt and the Proof of Service Form – as they will be needed by the courts when filing for a divorce. They will also serve as evidence that you properly served the petition.
Hand-Deliver Divorce Documents
If you're older than 18, you need to personally hand-deliver the divorce documents to your spouse. He or she needs to accept them as proof that they've received the divorce petition.
If you want to get divorced, you can also hire a private service to deliver the divorce documents. However, if you choose, you'll need to file the paperwork with the court.
If Your Spouse Cannot Currently be Found, How do You Serve Them Divorce Papers?
In Colorado, you can only file for a legal separation after your spouse has been properly notified about the proceedings. You must also provide proof that you've personally delivered the paperwork to your spouse. You'll need to get a copy of the Notice of Hearing and Proof of Delivery form. Once you've completed these forms, you'll need to take them to the courthouse along with a certified mail receipt showing delivery of the notice.
You may be able to get someone else to serve divorce papers on your ex if you're unable to locate them. However, you might need to wait up to several months before they do so.
If your husband or wife continues to avoid serving the court order, the next step is to hire a private detective to help you track them down. You can usually get a private detective through a family lawyer.
If it's not possible for you to serve your ex-spousal partner with legal documents, there are other actions that you can take. You could inform the family law courts of your situation and they might be able to help by providing solutions such as:
- Online delivery
- Notification for public use
- Mail service
After the Divorce Papers are Filed, What Would the Next Step Be?
A mandatory 90-day wait period exists between the date of the original petition and the finalization of the decree. This means that if you file for a dissolution of marriage, you must wait at least 90 days after the date of the original petition before the court may grant a final decree. You should note that this does not mean that you cannot get divorced immediately. In fact, you can do so within 30 days of the original pleading. However, once you have filed for a dissolution of marriage and waited 90 days, you must then wait another 60 days before the court can issue a final decree.
Contact The Law Office of Jeanne M. Wilson & Associates if you need to speak to a divorce attorney. To contact their divorce lawyer, call (719) 625-8886 to go over divorce laws and help with your service method. Call for divorce representation today.