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How to Serve Divorce Papers in Colorado

How to Serve Divorce Papers in Colorado

Going through a divorce can be a challenging and emotional process, and one of the first steps is serving divorce papers to your spouse. This article will guide you through the process of serving divorce papers in Colorado, ensuring that you follow the proper legal procedures. It will also address some frequently asked questions regarding serving divorce papers in the state.

Serving Divorce Papers in Colorado: Step by Step

1. Obtain the necessary forms: In Colorado, you can obtain the required forms for divorce from your local courthouse or online. The most essential forms include the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and the Summons.

2. Complete the forms: Fill out all the necessary information on the forms, ensuring accuracy and completeness. It is advisable to seek legal advice or assistance when completing these forms to ensure all required information is included.

3. Make copies: Once you have completed the forms, make several copies. You will need one for your records, one for your spouse, and potentially additional copies for other parties involved, such as the court or your attorney.

4. File the forms: Take the completed forms to the courthouse and file them with the clerk. You may be required to pay a filing fee, so be prepared for that expense.

5. Serve the papers: After filing the forms, you must serve the divorce papers to your spouse. Colorado law requires personal service, meaning the papers must be delivered directly to your spouse by someone other than yourself. There are several methods of service available:

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a. Sheriff or process server: You can hire a sheriff or process server to deliver the papers to your spouse. This is the most common and recommended method as it ensures proper documentation and legal compliance.

b. Certified mail: If your spouse is cooperative, you can send the papers via certified mail with a return receipt requested. This method provides proof of delivery but is only valid if your spouse signs and accepts the envelope.

c. Waiver of service: In some cases, your spouse may voluntarily sign a Waiver of Service form, acknowledging receipt of the divorce papers. This option eliminates the need for formal service.

6. Complete the Proof of Service: Once the papers have been served, the person who served them must complete a Proof of Service form, which should be filed with the court. This form serves as evidence that the papers were properly served to your spouse.


Q: Can I serve the divorce papers myself?
A: No, Colorado law requires personal service, meaning someone other than yourself must serve the papers to your spouse.

Q: What happens if my spouse refuses to accept the papers?
A: If your spouse refuses to accept the papers, you may need to hire a sheriff or process server to ensure proper service. If all attempts fail, you may be required to request alternative methods of service from the court.

Q: Do I need an attorney to serve divorce papers?
A: While it is not mandatory to have an attorney, seeking legal advice or assistance is highly recommended to ensure all legal procedures are followed correctly.

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Q: Can I serve the papers via email or social media?
A: No, personal service requires physical delivery of the papers to your spouse. Email or social media service is not considered valid in Colorado.

Q: How long does my spouse have to respond after being served?
A: Your spouse has 21 days from the date of service to respond to the divorce papers. If they fail to respond within this timeframe, you may proceed with the divorce process.

In conclusion, serving divorce papers in Colorado involves obtaining the necessary forms, completing them accurately, filing them with the court, and serving them to your spouse through a qualified method. It is crucial to follow all legal procedures to ensure a smooth and valid service. Seek legal advice if you are uncertain about any aspect of serving divorce papers in Colorado.

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