Colorado Divorce Forms & Process Changes Approved!
first posted on: 10/1/2004
Colorado Divorce UPDATE!
Effective March 1, 2006, a simpler more streamlined Sworn Financial Statement replaces the former comprehensive 2005 form of the “Affidavit With Respect to Financial Affairs” (described below) in all Colorado divorce and related family / paternity law cases.
The former affidavit form detailed below may be used in Colorado courts until Aug. 1, 2006.
A revision of Colorado Rule of Civil Procedure (Rule 16.2) makes substantial changes to Colorado’s family and divorce law process and forms. These changes were initially adopted and approved by the Colorado Supreme Court in September 2004, and take effect January 1, 2005. The following article was authored before final consideration by the Colorado Supreme Court and details the broad outlines of these divorce process changes, as originally proposed.
Use of the new form of the “Affidavit With Respect to Financial Affairs” is now required in all Colorado divorce and related family / paternity law cases. This single new form (in three versions) and the list of documents required to be disclosed in all Colorado divorce cases appears on the revised and updated Tools & Forms page of our website.
Generally these changes seek to provide a new uniform approach to the Colorado divorce courts’ management of divorce and domestic relations cases with the end of reducing the negative impact of adversarial litigation. (Of course, mediation shares this goal.)
The following article describes the new form of Financial Affidavit in some detail and may be helpful in understanding the changes, but this article should no longer be relied on to access forms. (The earlier forms of alternative financial affidavit are no longer appropriate for use in Colorado divorce and family law cases!)
New Affidavit With Respect To Financial Affairs
The Colorado Standing Committee on Family Issues has released a proposed new form of the standard “Affidavit With Respect to Financial Affairs.”
Also known simply as “the Financial Affidavit,” this Colorado divorce form is a sworn statement of your financial circumstances (including income, expenses, debts and assets). The Colorado Financial Affidavit creates a snapshot of marital income and property, formalizes both parties’ disclosures to the other, and permits a Colorado divorce judge or magistrate to review the parties’ marital property division and support agreements for fairness.
Both parties must prepare and submit a version of this standard form in most Colorado divorces. (A Simplified form presently may be used in Colorado divorces in which there are no dependent children, and no spousal support or “maintenance” payable.)
Advantages of the New Colorado Financial Affidavit
Although not yet formally approved by the Colorado Supreme Court and thus not widely available, this new version of the standard Financial Affidavit (“the new Colorado Affidavit form”) may be downloaded from our website. The new Colorado Affidavit form offers several advantages to Colorado divorcing couples, over the previous form Colorado Financial Affidavit (“the previous Affidavit form”).
The new Colorado Financial Affidavit form is “screen-fillable,” meaning that you can conveniently complete this form using your computer, by simply typing information into the form’s displayed fields and printing it, as completed and shown in your browser.
The new Colorado Financial Affidavit form has built-in math functions. As you complete the form and enter income and expenses, or assets and debts, the displayed number fields update automatically to calculate subtotals and totals!
The new Colorado Financial Affidavit form can track adjustments to expenses, to reflect likely changes in your after-separation or post-divorce living circumstances and needs. (Some controversy exists regarding whether to show present expenses orprojected, post-divorce expenses. The previous Affidavit form did not allow entry of information relating to both scenarios.)
The new Colorado Financial Affidavit form is comprehensive with respect to property disclosures. This version of the Financial Affidavit has much greater detail than the previous Affidavit form. It highlights and requires review of many possible marital assets and liabilities not referenced in the previous Affidavit form, a feature especially helpful for couples without lawyers or other formal professional divorce assistance.
(A final divorce agreement, known in Colorado as the “Separation Agreement,” or mediated “Memorandum of Understanding” must set forth the division and assignment of all marital property and debts, and disclose all separate property assets and liabilities, of course.)
To Access All Forms Of The Colorado Financial Affidavit
Select from three forms of Colorado Financial Affidavit. (Only Adobe Acrobat versions are accessible here; for the MS Word versions of the latter two, please see our main Colorado divorce forms page.)
For couples without dependent children and without orders or agreements for spousal support (“maintenance,” or “alimony” as it is called in the federal Tax Code), a much simpler and abbreviated “Financial Affidavit – Simplified Version” may be used.Click to download and access this Simplified Financial Affidavit .
Click for complete instructions for accessing, completing, saving and printing these Colorado divorce forms in Adobe Acrobat®, especially the fillable features with the new form of Financial Affidavit.
Background And Other Changes Coming To The Colorado Divorce Law Process
The Colorado Standing Committee on Family Issues was created in October of 2002 by Colorado Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey, to implement the recommendations of the Commission on Families in the Colorado Courts, and to monitor and improve the ways in which Colorado courts serve families.
The proposed new affidavit form is expected formally to replace the previous affidavit form, effective January 2005. (Prior to that date, The Civil Rules Committee and the Colorado Supreme Court will consider public comments and suggested revisions to this Colorado divorce form as part of the review process.)
The new Colorado Financial Affidavit form accompanies other significant changes coming to the Colorado divorce process. Among these are new procedures and rules regarding:
A mandatory “status conference” (to monitor divorce cases’ compliance with procedural requirements), with an opt-out procedure
A new more comprehensive “mandatory disclosures” list, requiring an exchange of more complete documentation of the parties’ financial circumstances (including the new Affidavit form)
An official financial authorization form (to allow divorcing parties to obtain relevant financial information from third parties)
A new set of so-called “pattern” or standard financial disclosure questions and document request tools (lawyers call these “interrogatories” and “requests for production of documents”)
A public hearing on these changes to forms and the court process is scheduled for Sept. 17, 2004.
Update: A simpler, more streamlined version of this basic income | debts | assets form, called now the “Sworn Financial Statement” replaces all earlier versions of Financial Affidavits, effective March 1, 2006.