Forms & Instructions: If you want to represent yourself, and not even talk with an attorney, then perhaps you should connect to the Internet, and Google Colorado Supreme Court Self Help Forms, and go to the sections that pertain to your situation. Take your time and you may be able to find the right instructions and generic forms.
- Keep in mind that more than one part of that Self-Help section may apply to your case.
- When you study the Self-Help section, you will hopefully find the forms you need, and the instructions for what you are required to do and how you must proceed under your particular circumstances.
- You can download the instructions and forms you need onto your computer. This will allows you to fill in the required information, save your document, then come back and modify and re-save each form until you are complete. This way, your work is not lost when you turn off your computer, requiring that you re-do everything all over again!
- In addition, Court Clerks in the County Courthouse for all counties in Colorado also have these forms and instructions for you to purchase. The problem is, they will not be on your computer to save and revise. Hence, it would be best to immediately get 3 or 4 copies of everything made, so you can file out and revise in drafts, and then finalize what you need on a clean copy.
Some Court Clerk offices have specific resources for people who are going to be a self-represented (called “pro se”) party in a Domestic and Family Law case. You should ask at the Clerk’s front desk or go to their website.
For Mesa County, Google http://www.mesacourt.org/selfhelp.php, which is the Website for our 21st Judicial District of Colorado, to review the Self-Help resources available to you in a Domestic and Family Law case in Mesa County.
Statutes: The statutes currently in force and effect, that were passed by our Colorado Legislature and signed into law by the Governor, are contained within the Colorado Revised Statutes, which is referred to in shorthand as “C.R.S.” or “CRS.” References to certain statutes are by a numerical system, with the first number being the Title of the particular law, the second number being the Article within that Title, and the third being the Section of the law. A single Section is sometimes indicated by a “§” character, and multiple sections by “§§.”
For example, C.R.S. 14-10-129, as amended is the statute within Title 14 Domestic Matters, Article 10 Dissolution of Marriage-Parental Responsibilities, Section 129 Modification of Parenting Time. You must pay attention to these numbers: C.R.S. 14-10-129 is an entirely different law from 14-10-129.5 Disputes Concerning Parenting Time!
For further information, please refer to the following discussion regarding the organization of Family Law Statutes in Colorado.
- Statutes are organized in outline form, yes, just as you were taught in high school. Hence, C.R.S. 14-10-129(2)(d), as amended, or “Paragraph 2 subparagraph d” addresses a modification of parenting time from the parent having majority parenting time to the other, where there is neither agreement, integration or a geographic relocation, but rather the children’s present environment endangers their physical health or significantly impairs their emotional development, and the harm likely to be caused by the change is outweighed by its advantages.
- C.R.S. Title 14 Domestic Matters, where most of Colorado’s Family Law statutes are located, is organized into the following Articles:
- Article 1. Adoption – Adults (§§ 14-1-101)
- Article 2. Marriage and Rights of Married Women (§§ 14-2-101 – 14-2-313)
- Article 4. Domestic Abuse (§§ 14-4-101 – 14-4-107)
- Article 5. Desertion and Nonsupport (§§ 14-5-101 – 14-7-105)
- Article 10. Uniform Dissolution of Marriage Act (§§ 14-10-101 – 14-10-133)
- Article 10.5. Parenting Time Enforcement Act (§§ 14-10.5-101 – 14-10.5-104)
- Article 11. Actions Originating in Other Jurisdictions (§§ 14-11-101)
- Article 12. Marriage Counseling (§§ 14-12-101 – 14-12-106)
- Article 13. Uniform Child-Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (§§ 14-13-101 – 14-13-403)
- Article 13.5. Uniform Child Abduction Prevention Act (§§ 14-13.5-101 – 14-13.5-112)
- Article 13.7. Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act (§§ 14-13.7-101 – 14-13.7-504)
- Article 14. Child Support (§§ 14-14-101 – 14-14-113)
- Article 15. Civil Unions (§§ 14-15-101 – 14-15-119)
90% of the statutes that we refer to in Family Law cases are found in Title 14, Article 10, which is organized as follows.
- § 14-10-101. Short title
- § 14-10-102. Purposes – rules of construction
- § 14-10-103. Definitions and interpretation of terms
- § 14-10-104. Uniformity of application and construction
- § 14-10-104.5. Legislative declaration
- § 14-10-105. Application of Colorado rules of civil procedure
- § 14-10-106. Dissolution of marriage – legal separation
- § 14-10-106.5. Dissolution of civil unions – legal separation – jurisdiction – applicability of article and case law
- § 14-10-107. Commencement – pleadings – abolition of existing defenses – automatic, temporary injunction – enforcement
- § 14-10-107.5. Entry of appearance to establish support
- § 14-10-107.7. Required notice of involvement with department of human services
- § 14-10-107.8. Required notice of prior restraining, civil protection, or emergency protection orders to prevent domestic abuse – petitions for dissolution of marriage or legal separation
- § 14-10-108. Temporary orders in a dissolution case
- § 14-10-109. Enforcement of protection orders
- § 14-10-110. Irretrievable breakdown
- § 14-10-111. Declaration of invalidity
- § 14-10-112. Separation agreement
- § 14-10-113. Disposition of property
- § 14-10-114. [Effective Until1/1/2014] Maintenance
- § 14-10-114. [Effective1/1/2014] Spousal maintenance – guidelines – legislative declaration – definitions
- § 14-10-115. [Effective Until1/1/2014] Child support guidelines – purpose – definitions – determination of income – schedule of basic child support obligations – adjustments to basic child support – additional guidelines – child support commission
- § 14-10-115. [Effective1/1/2014] Child support guidelines – purpose – definitions – determination of income – schedule of basic child support obligations – adjustments to basic child support – additional guidelines – child support commission
- § 14-10-116. Appointment in domestic relations cases – representation of child’s best interests – legal representative of the child – disclosure
- § 14-10-116.5. Appointment in domestic relations cases – child and family investigator – disclosure
- § 14-10-117. Payment of maintenance or child support
- § 14-10-118. Enforcement of orders
- § 14-10-119. Attorney’s fees
- § 14-10-120. Decree
- § 14-10-120.3. Dissolution of marriage or legal separation upon affidavit – requirements
- § 14-10-120.5. Petition – fee – assessment – displaced homemakers fund
- § 14-10-121. Independence of provisions of decree or temporary order
- § 14-10-122. [Effective Until1/1/2014] Modification and termination of provisions for maintenance, support, and property disposition – automatic lien
- § 14-10-122. [Effective1/1/2014] Modification and termination of provisions for maintenance, support, and property disposition – automatic lien
- § 14-10-123. Commencement of proceedings concerning allocation of parental responsibilities – jurisdiction – automatic temporary injunction – enforcement
- § 14-10-123.3. Requests for parental responsibility for a child by grandparents
- § 14-10-123.4. Rights of children in matters relating to parental responsibilities
- § 14-10-123.5. Joint custody [Repealed]
- § 14-10-123.6. Required notice of prior restraining orders to prevent domestic abuse – proceedings concerning parental responsibilities relating to a child – resources for family services
- § 14-10-123.7. Parental education – legislative declaration
- § 14-10-123.8. Access to records
- § 14-10-124. Best interests of child
- § 14-10-124.3. Stay of proceedings – criminal charges of allegations of sexual assault
- § 14-10-125. Temporary orders
- § 14-10-126. Interviews
- § 14-10-127. Evaluation and reports – disclosure
- § 14-10-128. Hearings
- § 14-10-128.1. Appointment of parenting coordinator – disclosure
- § 14-10-128.3. Appointment of decision-maker – disclosure
- § 14-10-128.5. Appointment of arbitrator – de novo hearing of award
- § 14-10-129. Modification of parenting time
- § 14-10-129.5. Disputes concerning parenting time
- § 14-10-130. Judicial supervision
- § 14-10-131. Modification of custody or decision-making responsibility
- § 14-10-131.3. [Repealed]
- § 14-10-131.5. Joint custody modification – termination [Repealed]
- § 14-10-131.7. Designation of custody for the purpose of other state and federal statutes
- § 14-10-131.8. Construction of 1999 revisions
- § 14-10-132. Affidavit practice
- § 14-10-133. Effective date – applicability
Additional Family Law statutes are located in Title 19 Children’s Code. For example, the Grandparent Visitation statutes are at C.R.S. 19-1-117 – 19-1-117.7, as amended; Dependency and Neglect statutes are at C.R.S. 19-3-100.5 – 19-3-703; Paternity Actions are in Article 4, the Uniform Parentage Act 19-4-101 – 19-4-130); and Article 5 contains the statutes for Relinquishment and Adoption (§§ 19-5-100.2 – 19-5-403).
- The Colorado State Court Rules contain the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure (referred to in shorthand by “C.R.C.P.” or “CRCP”), as well as the Colorado Rules of Evidence (“C.R.E.”) and the Colorado Rules for Magistrates (“C.R.M.”).
**The importance of these Rules governing how Family Law cases move forward or derailed are discussed in greater detail in the “Summary of Family Laws” Tab.
- The Colorado Revised Statutes & the Colorado State Court Rules, as well as other subjects, are provided to the general public by LexisNexis, which includes an advanced search engine and access to these documents. Google “Colorado Revised Statutes” or “Colorado Court Rules” to be directed to a website with LexisNexis for Colorado, and follow the instructions.