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What it Means to be a "No Fault" State


Colorado is a no fault state.

What is No-Fault Divorce?

This means several things for your divorce case:

First, you no longer need to explain to the Court why you are requesting a divorce. In the past, one spouse had to prove that the other party had abandoned the family, committed adultery, or otherwise behaved badly. Today, to obtain a divorce, one or both of the parties merely needs to assert that the marriage is over.

Second, the Court will not consider either party's bad behavior when making decisions about financial matters. Property and debt will be divided in an equitable manner and maintenance will be awarded based on objective financial considerations. Even where one spouse has committed a serious offense against the other (where one has perpetrated domestic violence, for example) the Court will not use financial orders to compensate for wrongs that occurred during the marriage. (Though, there may be other legal avenues to hold individuals responsible for such actions.)

Likewise, the Court will not use decisions about parental rights and responsibilities to punish or reward either party. However, if a parent's bad behavior directly impacts the children, the Court will take that concern into account. For example, if one parent has a substance abuse problem that impairs his or her ability to provide proper care, the Court may restrict his or her parenting time to protect the children.

Adopting a no-fault approach in divorce matters is considered to be healthier for the parties involved and to lead to more fair and reasonable outcomes