Colorado Family and Marriage Law
By WILLIAM VAN HORN
Van Horn Family Law, PC
ATTORNEYS AT LAW
3773 CHERRY CREEK NORTH DRIVE, SUITE 575 n DENVER, COLORADO 80209
TELEPHONE (303) 948-8435 n FAX (303) 948-3759
Bill Van Horn’s wife died of cancer when their sons were 10, 8, and 6 years old. Bill
spent the next 5 years as a single parent. The parenting part was blessed, but the
single part of single parenting was awful. Bill remarried, and picked up two step-
children in the package deal.
In God’s eyes, marriage is to be “until death do us part”. However, divorce is one of
the realities of our fallen sin nature. Jesus said that divorce comes because of the
hardness of our hearts.
• No fault divorce. Colorado has specific laws regarding marriage and divorce.
A common term is “no-fault divorce”, meaning that a husband or a wife does not
need any reason for seeking a divorce. A more appropriate term could be
“unilateral divorce”. If one of the marriage partners wants out of the marriage,
there is nothing in Colorado law that can be done to prevent a divorce.
• Parenting decision making. If a divorce is filed, the couple needs to come to
agreements on their divorce, or a divorce judge will make the decisions on
these most important areas. Parents either share joint decision-making for their
children, or one parent gets to make these decisions.
• Parenting time. Colorado no longer uses the term custody. Now, the terms
used are decision-making and parenting time. Except in exceptional circum-
stances, each parent will receive parenting time. A divorce judge can decide
who gets parenting, whether that parenting will be supervised, and who would
do the supervision of the parenting time. There are often long and expensive
fights between a husband and wife as to how much parenting time each will re-
• Division of Assets and Debts. Either the couple decides how to divide their
assets and debts, or a divorce