By: Johanna E. Blumenthal
Many people are reluctant, nervous, or even fearful of going to court. This is understandable because most people have never been to court and find the formal setting uncomfortable. Additionally going to court can be inconvenient to people who live far away from the courthouse (sometimes even out of state) or for people who have to take time off of work during the court’s business hours. Given the inconvenience of going to court, people often ask if they can just “file the papers.” In essence, what they want to know is whether it is possible to get divorced without going to court.
In Colorado, you CAN get a divorce decree without ever stepping foot inside the courthouse. If this is your goal, the most reliable way to ensure that you avoid ever going to court (and, in some cases, the only way) is for you and your spouse to consult with and work with attorneys. Even if all necessary documents are filed and full agreement has been reached, the parties will still need to attend a quick, final hearing unless they have submitted what is a called an “affidavit for decree without appearance of parties.” This document basically lets the court know that everything has been filed and asks the court to enter the divorce decree without anyone having to physically appear. This Affidavit can only be used as a means to avoid court altogether if there are no minor children of the marriage or, if there are kids, both parties have attorneys representing them in the divorce. Continue reading