How to File Legal Separation in Colorado

By Marcy Brinkley

A legal separation is similar to a divorce except that the final order does not end the marriage, and the parties are not free to marry someone else. Some couples prefer to legally separate for religious reasons, while others hope to maintain health insurance coverage. In Colorado, the process for obtaining a legal separation is similar to the procedure for filing for a divorce. All lawsuits including cases involving legal separations begin with filing a petition, the document that notifies the court and the other party of what you want the judge to order. The final order will have provisions similar to those in a divorce decree, such as parenting responsibilities, alimony or maintenance, division of property, health insurance and retirement benefits.


Step 1

Discuss the legal separation with your spouse. If he agrees to it, you may both sign the paperwork. If he does not agree, you can file on your own.

Step 2

Determine where you will file the paperwork. One or both of you must have lived in Colorado for at least 90 days before filing. If you and your spouse live in two different counties, you may file in either one. If you both live in the same county or only one of you is a Colorado resident, file in that county.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Step 3

Obtain the forms needed for your case from the Colorado State Courts website. Click on the "Forms" tab, then choose "Domestic/Family" forms. Click on either "Dissolution - Legal Separation WITH Children" or "Dissolution - Legal Separation NO Children," depending on your family situation. The web page that opens will contain only the forms that you need for your type of case.

Step 4

Download the forms you need to start your case. Whether or not you have children, you need a Case Information form, a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage or Legal Separation, and a Summons for Dissolution of Marriage or Legal Separation.

Step 5

Download the forms and fill them in using black pen. Be sure to check the "legal separation" option wherever you are asked about the nature of the case. Answer all questions fully and honestly.

Step 6

Review the documents carefully to ensure that you have filled them out correctly. If you need to make any minor changes, cross out your answer, fill in the correct information and initial it.


Step 1

Sign the petition in front of a notary. If you and your spouse are filing together, he must also sign the petition in front of a notary.

Step 2

Take the original documents to the clerk at the county courthouse. Bring one copy of the petition with you also.

Step 3

Pay the filing fee. Fees may vary among the counties.

Step 4

Make a copy of the file-stamped petition. If the clerk gives you any other documents, make a copy of each of those documents as well.

Step 5

Notify your spouse that the case has been filed. If he signed it with you, simply give him a copy of the petition and ask him to file a notarized copy of the Waiver and Acceptance of Service at the courthouse. If you filed the petition by yourself, you must have your spouse served. Make arrangements with a sheriff, process-server or someone over the age of 18 not involved in the case to serve him. Your spouse must file a response within 21 days if he was served in Colorado, or within 35 days if he is served somewhere else.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
How to File for a Divorce in Colorado


Related articles

How to Serve a Divorce Summons in California

In California, after you file a Petition (form FL-100) for divorce, you provide your spouse a copy of the Petition and a Summons to appear in court. The Summons (form FL-110) notifies your spouse that you have filed for divorce, and provides 30 calendar days for your spouse to respond. The process of service requires a third-party – not a party to the divorce – to deliver the Summons and Petition to your spouse. California Courts require you to file a Proof of Service of Summons (form FL-115) with the court clerk's office, in order for the divorce to proceed.

Can Divorce Proceedings in Arizona Be Stop by the Petitioner?

If you've already filed for divorce in Arizona, but the divorce has not yet been finalized, you can stop the proceedings. However, the requirements for stopping the divorce differ, depending on how far along you are in the process.

Can a Divorce Be Stopped in Florida If the Papers Have Been Filed?

In Florida, a divorce is known as a dissolution of marriage. So long as the dissolution decree has not yet been issued in your case -- which finalizes the divorce and makes it official -- you and your spouse can stop the dissolution of your marriage at any time.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

How to File an Original Petition for Divorce in Texas

The filing of an Original Petition for Divorce is one of the first steps in the Texas legal divorce process. The ...

How to File for Divorce With Children in Georgia

The state of Georgia offers a divorce process for couples without minor children and one for couples with minor ...

How to File for Divorce in Maryland

The most difficult aspect of filing for divorce in Maryland is getting your grounds and residency requirements ...

How to Stop Divorce Proceedings in California in the First 30 Days

Married couples often reconcile their differences once a divorce has been filed. To stop the divorce process within the ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED