Divorce often calls to mind images of a couple arguing in court or testifying against one another in custody proceedings. Although litigated divorces are quite common, they are not the only way to end your marriage.

You can also potentially file an uncontested divorce, which requires that the courts merely approve the terms you set and finalize the dissolution of your marriage instead of hearing testimony, reviewing family documentation and then setting the terms on your behalf.

If you feel like your marriage is likely to end soon, exploring whether or not an uncontested divorce could be feasible could help you take the right steps before you ever even file for your Colorado divorce.

Uncontested divorce only works if you can agree with your ex

If you and your ex can agree that divorce is inevitable and that you would like to set your own terms regarding the division of assets, and the parental rights and responsibilities related to any children you share, then you could, in theory, file for an uncontested divorce.

Some couples are able to negotiate directly or through their lawyers to set terms and then have their individual attorneys enshrine those agreements in documents that they can present to the court.

Other times, when the couple doesn’t agree about the details and can’t work with one another, mediation could be a tool that helps them resolve their disagreement and reach compromises that will work for their family. In other words, just because you can’t agree on terms right now doesn’t mean that you have to go to court.

Situations where uncontested divorces can cause problems

Not every couple can achieve an uncontested divorce. Not even mediation can help a couple set fair terms if they have an uneven power dynamic, a history of one spouse bullying the other or a pattern of abuse.

Additionally, in circumstances where one spouse suspects that the other has hidden assets, an uncontested divorce will likely preclude them from holding their spouse accountable for unscrupulous behavior if they later find out about hidden assets. They may not have filled out a financial affidavit that creates liability for lying about their financial circumstances.

Once you know whether an uncontested divorce could work for your family, you can make more decisions about how to proceed with the dissolution of your marriage.