You have made the decision to file for divorce from your spouse. Now what? Your first question may be, “Where do I file for my divorce in Colorado?”
The legal question you are asking is, “what is the proper venue for my case to be heard?”. Venue is the county or district in which your criminal or civil case must be heard. A divorce is a civil case. In the State of Colorado, your case will be heard in a specific county in Colorado.
C.R.C.P. Rule 98
The rule on venue is found in the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure (C.R.C.P.) Rule 98. C.R.C.P. Rule 98 says that an action, or your divorce, should be tried in the county in which the defendant resides at the start of the case, or the county where the plaintiff resides when service is made on the defendant.
Simply put, you should file for divorce or dissolution of marriage in the county in which you and your spouse reside if you and your spouse live in the same county. For example, if both parties live in El Paso County, then the case will be filed in El Paso County at the El Paso County Judicial Building.
Deciding where to file can get a little more confusing if you and your spouse live in different counties in Colorado, but it still can be done. If husband and wife lived in El Paso County during the marriage, but after the separation, wife moved to Douglas County, where to file becomes a question. If wife files for divorce, as petitioner, and gets service on husband in El Paso County, then the case could be heard in El Paso County.
In some situations, both spouses may file in two different counties in Colorado. This can create complications and a hearing before the divorce even gets started. The judges in each county would talk, but generally, one of the counties (usually the county where a dissolution was filed first), will hold a hearing on venue. We caution parties about filing in two different counties as it can be costly and create unnecessary delay in a dissolution of marriage case.
Consult a Family Attorney in Colorado to Discuss Where to File for Divorce
We recommend speaking with a family law attorney before you file your divorce case. If you do not speak with a lawyer, call the courthouse in your county and ask them if your case should be filed there or in another location.
If you have questions about where you should file your Colorado divorce case, please contact the family lawyers at Springs Law Group. We are here to help you.