Jurisdiction in a Colorado Divorce
Jurisdiction in Colorado Divorce
In order to obtain a divorce or legal separation in Colorado, certain jurisdictional requirements must be met. The Court must have both subject matter jurisdiction over the marriage and personal jurisdiction over the parties. Each state has its own jurisdictional requirements.
Subject Matter Jurisdiction
Either the husband or the wife can file for a divorce or legal separation in Colorado provided the parties are living in Colorado or have lived in Colorado as a married couple at one time.
Colorado Revised Statutes § 14-10-106 requires at least one of the spouses to be domiciled in the state for at least 91 days prior to the commencement of the action.
Thus, assuming that the parties are living in Colorado, or at some point in time lived in Colorado, either the husband or the wife can file for a divorce or legal separation provided that one of them is currently domiciled in the state of Colorado and has been so domiciled for at least 91 days prior to the commencement of the proceeding.
Domicile vs. Residency
A person can have multiple residences, but only one domiciliary. A domicile is the location in which a person intends to permanently reside.
For example, an individual can have a winter home in Florida and a summer home in Michigan, but live permanently in the state of Colorado. Thus, Colorado is the domicile of the individual.
Similarly, a person in the military may be temporarily stationed in Iraq or Afghanistan, and have a home in Colorado. Colorado is the person’s domicile because that is where the person intends to permanently reside.
The requirement is absolute. You may not waive the domicile requirement. The purpose of this requirement is to prevent non-residents from establishing a temporary residence in Colorado for the purpose of obtaining a divorce.
A divorce is filed in a District Court of the State of Colorado. C.R.C.P. 98. Venue, governs the county where an action may be filed.
Pursuant to C.R.C.P. 98, a person must file an action in the county where the Respondent resides or where the Petitioner resides if the Respondent is served in that county.
For example, if you and your wife presently live in Jefferson County, you must file in the First Judicial District. If you have separated and she has moved to Denver, however, you must file there unless she can be properly served, pursuant to Rule 4, in Jefferson County.
If you have questions regarding jurisdiction or venue, it is best to speak to a lawyer. At , our Denver-based attorneys assist men with divorce matters in the Denver area, including Douglas County, Arapahoe County, Jefferson County and the communities of Littleton, Englewood, Centennial, Castle Rock, Cherry Hills, Cherry Hills Village, Greenwood Village, Lakewood, Golden and Arvada. We also represent men throughout the state of Colorado. Contact us today at to schedule a consultation.
The information on this website is provided for general information purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice for any situation. Legal counsel can only be given after an attorney-client relationship has been formally established. The decision to hire a divorce lawyer in Denver is critical and should not be made based solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite your inquiries into our qualifications and record, as well as any further question you may have.
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