Sometimes, both spouses agree that divorce is necessary. Even if they disagree about matters like who gets the house or how to split custody, they both accept the end of the relationship.
Other times, one spouse wants to move on, but the other wants to work on the relationship. If your spouse does not want to get divorced, they might do their best to fight you every step of the way. Can they force you to stay married if they avoid service of or refuse to respond to your filing?
You can divorce a spouse that you can’t locate
When you file for divorce, you can have a process server hand paperwork to your spouse in person after you file the initial papers with the courts. You can also choose to send the notice to their legal address.
If you don’t know where they currently are or if they have refused to answer the door for process servers and return mailed notices unopened, you may need to publish notice to move forward with the divorce.
What if you serve them but they don’t respond?
If your spouse received notice of your divorce filing but has not answered it, you may be on your way to a default divorce. Your initial paperwork likely included your proposed property division, child custody and support terms. If your spouse doesn’t respond to challenge those terms within 21 days of their service, then the courts will approve them in a divorce by default.
It only requires the approval and intention of one spouse to successfully divorce in Colorado. Knowing the laws that govern Colorado divorces will help you feel more confident about filing.