Colorado: Filing for Divorce on Your Own vs. Jointly?
Divorce is a challenging process that requires careful consideration of the legal procedures involved. One crucial decision couples have to make is whether to file for divorce jointly as co-petitioners or individually. In this article, we will explore the key differences between co-petitioners and individual filing and discuss the factors to consider when making this important choice.
Understanding Co-Petitioners and Individual Filing
When a couple decides to initiate the divorce process together, they are considered co-petitioners. This means that both spouses mutually agree to end their marriage and file the necessary paperwork jointly.
On the other hand, individual filing occurs when only one spouse initiates the divorce process. The initiating spouse is known as the petitioner, while the other party is the respondent.
The Equality of Co-Petitioners and Individual Filing
It’s essential to understand that the court does not show any inherent prejudice or favoritism towards either co-petitioners or individual filers. Both options are treated fairly, and there is no advantage in being one or the other.
Benefits of Co-Petitioners
Shared Filing Costs
One significant advantage of filing jointly as co-petitioners is the cost-saving aspect. Couples can save money on filing fees when they choose to end their marriage together.
Expedited Divorce Process
When filing jointly, the soonest a divorce will be officially decreed is three months, which is the mandatory waiting period set by the court. This period starts from the date of filing the divorce petition.
Co-petitioners are required to file only two documents: JDF 1000 (Case Information) and JDF 1101 (Petition). This streamlined paperwork process can be more convenient for couples seeking an amicable split.
Benefits of Individual Filing
Flexibility in Timing
When one spouse files for divorce individually and serves the other spouse with a copy of the petition, the 91-day waiting period begins from the date of service. This option provides more control over the timing of the process.
Filing for divorce individually allows each spouse to tailor the paperwork according to their specific situation. This personalization can be advantageous when dealing with unique circumstances.
Independence in Decision-Making
Individual filing gives the initiating spouse the autonomy to make decisions independently throughout the divorce process.
Making the Right Choice
Deciding whether to file as co-petitioners or individually depends on the couple’s ability to work together and the complexity of their situation. While co-petitioners benefit from shared costs and simplified paperwork, individual filing offers more flexibility and personalized decision-making.
It is crucial to carefully consider the level of cooperation between spouses, financial considerations, and the emotional impact of the divorce process when making this choice.
In conclusion, the decision to file for divorce jointly as co-petitioners or individually should be based on the unique circumstances of each couple. There is no inherent advantage or prejudice in either option, and it all comes down to what best suits the needs and goals of the individuals involved.
Q1: How long does it take to finalize a divorce when filing jointly?
A1: When filing jointly, the soonest a divorce can be officially decreed is three months, considering the mandatory 91-day waiting period.
Q2: Can we still work together if we file individually?
A2: Yes, even if one spouse files individually, they can still work together to reach agreements on various aspects of the divorce.
Q3: Are co-petitioners required to attend court hearings together?
A3: Yes, typically, both co-petitioners are expected to attend court hearings together.
Q4: What is the advantage of filing individually?
A4: Filing individually allows for more personalized decision-making and flexibility in timing.
Q5: Can we change from individual filing to co-petitioners during the process?
A5: In some jurisdictions, it may be possible to change the filing status, but it is essential to consult with a legal professional to understand the rules and requirements.