In Colorado family law, divorce cases are either “pre-decree” or “post-decree.” The “decree” is the formal legal document that the Court issues to divorce two parties. If your case is “pre-decree,” you’re not divorced yet. If your case is “post-decree,” that means you divorced, but issues arise from past Court orders (either financial or Allocation of Parental Responsibilities-related). Pre-decree means the case is new and needs initial orders. Post-decree means an order was previously issued, and new issues have come up.
Cases are handled differently by the Courts, depending on this status. For example, some counties assign “post-decree” cases to magistrates (instead of district court judges). Post-decree matters may also not qualify for things that pre-decree matters do, such as a temporary orders hearing or certain financial disclosures.
Cases involving the Allocation of Parental Responsibilities of non-married couples work similarly. In informal talk, clerks, lawyers, and judges may sometimes refer to these cases as “pre-decree” or “post-decree,” too. In these cases, the “decree” is the initial custody (APR) order. Either way, it’s a good idea to know whether you’re at in your case.
This page is informational and should not substitute legal advice on your family law matter. Contact us today to discuss options for mediation with our award-winning legal services.