How Much Does a Divorce Cost in Colorado?

How much does the average divorce cost in Colorado? If you find yourself asking this question, you’re not alone.

A good understanding of how much a divorce costs can help you go through it easily and make the right decision for you and your family.

This is an image of a Colorado lake at sunset, with mountains in the background.Read on to learn about the key aspects that influence the cost of divorce proceedings in Colorado, from attorney fees to court costs, and how they compare to the flat fee approach of mediation. This guide explains the various costs you can expect, along with helpful ways to save money as you move forward.

The average cost of divorce in Colorado

The national average cost of divorce in the US is between $15,000 and $20,000 per spouse, including court and divorce lawyer costs. In many court cases, divorce attorney fees can exceed $100,000.

In comparison, the average cost of a divorce handled in mediation is $2,800 per spouse.

In Colorado, the courtroom costs associated with filing a divorce include:

  • A fee for filing a petition for divorce (find fees in your area here);
  • A fee for filing a response to a divorce petition (find fees in your area here);
  • If applicable, court-ordered parenting classes that teach parents about the divorce process, the impact on both spouses and their children, and co-parenting strategies; and
  • Other miscellaneous fees for copies, transcripts, and depositions.

The mean hourly rate for a divorce lawyer in the US is $270, and in Colorado the average is $300 – $400 per hour. This tends to increase with more experienced legal representation.

Mediation services can help save money and meet both spouses’ needs. Aurit Center Certified Mediators offer a flat-fee approach. You know exactly what you will pay from the beginning of the process. Being able to create a predictable budget helps you to plan and reduces stress.

When a divorce is mediated, spouses avoid the ever-increasing costs of a court battle. This way, they save money and avoid big divorce expenses. Mediation saves you money and time, and it also keeps you out of court.

Aurit Center Certified Mediators offer a predictable flat fee approach, with payment options of up to 12-monthly payments at 0% interest. This amounts to about $2,500–$4,000 per spouse, which is significantly less costly than the standard $15,000 to $20,000 per party seen in litigated divorces.

This is a photo of a person calculating the cost of divorce.Factors that affect the cost of divorce in Colorado

There are several common factors that can influence the cost of a Colorado divorce:

Type of divorce

Different types of divorce have different costs. Usually, uncontested divorces cost less than contested divorces.

Uncontested divorce

If both spouses agree on everything in their divorce papers, that’s called an uncontested divorce.

In mediation, spouses reach divorce agreements with the support of a third-party mediator. This helps ensure that the divorce paperwork is complete before going to court.

Mediators bring up each unresolved issue of divorce and guide a conversation that ensures each spouse is heard. This respectful process allows the spouses to reach creative agreements they both find acceptable. Having the support of a mediator ensures that a judge will accept and approve the agreements.

Contested divorce

If one or both spouses don’t agree with something in the divorce papers, they can choose to go to court over the disputed matters. The first step would be to set a court hearing with a judge to find out what they don’t agree on.

If they can’t agree, the next step, after a lengthy litigation process, would be a courtroom trial.

Whether uncontested or contested, spouses never go to court when they choose mediation. An Aurit Center Certified Mediator can help you and your spouse reach mutually beneficial agreements on all divorce-related issues. You don’t have to spend money on high attorney fees or battle out your divorce in court. There is a healthier, more affordable way.

Divorce duration

In Colorado, there’s a 91-day waiting period from the time the petition is filed to a judge granting a divorce. But, if the divorce goes to court, it usually takes longer and has additional costs because of the high levels of conflict.

Often, a court divorce can take 9 months to 1.5 years. On the other hand, mediation typically takes just 2 to 4 months.

Alimony payments

To decide the right amount of alimony, it’s crucial to look at each spouse’s financial situation, including their assets, liabilities, and income. This can take a lot of time and money, especially if one person doesn’t share all their information.

In mediation, spouses work together to agree on how much alimony, if any, should be given. The divorce mediator guides them through productive conversations to make sure both are financially secure during and after the divorce.

This is an image of a laptop on a table with a cup of coffee.

Property and asset division

The division of assets, properties, and debts can complicate the divorce process, especially if valuations and appraisals are needed.

In mediation, spouses agree to a valuation process they both find acceptable.

Ways to reduce divorce costs in Colorado

Here are several lower-cost options for divorce in the Centennial State:

  • Choose divorce mediation. One of the primary reasons spouses choose mediation is the cost. Mediation can be completed in a shorter time frame, leading to significant savings.
  • Request to waive court fees. You may file form JDF 205 or the Motion to File Without Payment of Filing Fee or Waive Other Costs Owed to the State; however, you must be 125% of the poverty line and submit a supporting financial affidavit.
  • Be organized. Have your financial documents, assets, liabilities, and other necessary paperwork organized and ready to reduce the time needed to sort through it. In mediation, your Aurit Center Certified Mediator will share a form to help you gather any information you need in a structured way.
  • Consider tax implications. Some decisions in a divorce, especially those related to marital property division and alimony, have tax implications. Awareness of those can help you avoid unexpected costs later.

Why mediation is the most practical option

Mediation is a less adversarial, less expensive, and more cooperative approach than litigation.

Forty-eight percent of mid-to high-income families who primarily use alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods to complete their divorce, such as mediation, get along with their former spouse very well or extremely well post-divorce.

Traditional divorce litigation often involves two attorneys — one representing each party — which can lead to duplicated efforts and increased fees.

In mediation, however, both spouses typically work with one professional mediator, keeping the overall costs low and helping the spouses communicate productively.

Aurit Center Certified Mediators offer a free initial consultation and a flat-fee approach that covers the mediation process from beginning to end.

This is an image of someone standing at the top of a mountain, gazing at the view.Mediation: a more harmonious and affordable approach

With the 15th-highest divorce rate in the US, the state of Colorado has multiple options for divorce — and the one you choose will influence the cost.

Traditional litigation can cause financial issues and emotional stress. Divorce does not have to be this way.

Mediation is a cost-effective approach that aims to help spouses reach agreements that are in their best interests.

Opting for divorce mediation in Colorado allows you and your spouse to shape the outcome of your divorce. Instead of depleting your resources on extensive legal battles, you can invest in a future where you find common ground.

Schedule a free consultation with an Aurit Center Certified Mediator today to learn more about your personalized mediation process and get your questions answered.

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