For people in Colorado whose marriage has run its course, with a decision that it is preferable to part ways, a best-case scenario is that they will agree on most or all issues related to the marriage, have amicable negotiations for child support, child custody, spousal support and property division, and move on. The reason this is referred to as a "best" case scenario in a mostly negative situation is that it happens so infrequently. Oftentimes, there is contentious disagreement over some or all issues in the marriage. This can include children, property, division of assets, asset distribution and more. Understanding the components of a divorce proceeding can be key for adequate preparation and be beneficial as the case proceeds.
When there is a divorce, it will generally begin with a petition to start the legal process. Next will be the summons and response, as the spouse who is intending to divorce the other spouse will issue the summons and the other spouse can acknowledge that decision with a response. Motions are when there is a request for the court to issue orders pretrial. An example might be when there is a need for temporary support or there are protective orders needed in cases in which there has been domestic abuse.
Discovery is a term that people who watch courtroom dramas might recognize, but it is imperative to know how it will impact them in the real world of a divorce. The sides will accrue information to support legal contentions. This discovery is critical, especially when the case is contested and there is a chance that one of the spouses has hidden assets. There will be depositions and questioning.
Hearings will be held to decide on temporary matters, such as who can stay in the family residence and where the children will be. A trial is relatively self-explanatory, with the parties and their legal representation presenting their case. This can include witnesses and experts to testify. Finally, there is the judgment. Some might think it is a "verdict." It is not. It is a statement from the judge as to why certain decisions are made to settle the case and conclude the divorce.