Center for Non-Adversarial
              Divorce M. Arden Hauer, M.A., J.D.
(303) 526-7749

Friendly Divorce Guidebook for Colorado :
How to Plan, Negotiate, and File Your Divorce, 9th Edition

By M. Arden Hauer, M.A., J.D.

Bradford Publishing

Friendly Divorce Guidebook for Colorado
                          9th Edition by M Arden Hauer MA, JD

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The award-winning Friendly Divorce Guidebook for Colorado is a “great” how-to manual for people who want to do their own divorce together, to be fair, and to avoid the hurt, anger, and misunderstanding usually associated with the adversarial process.

The Friendly Divorce Guidebook for Colorado, by M. Arden Hauer of the Center for Non-Adversarial Divorce in Denver West and Evergreen, Colorado, helps you understand your options as well as your emotions.

It can help you through negotiations with each other, the decision-making process, separating, taking care of your children at a difficult time, paperwork, the legal process, taxes. It contains:

  • Checklists of things to gather and do
  • Examples of ways to divide your assets
  • Tax information, how to save money
  • Tips for creating your Parenting Plan and arranging child support
  • The new Maintenance Guideline and how to use it
  • Guidance for how to discuss maintenance (alimony)
  • Sample Court forms with instructions
  • Downloadable, fillable court forms are free online
  • Sample wording for writing your own Separation Agreement.


Publication of the Friendly Divorce Guidebook for Colorado

Publication of the Friendly Divorce Guidebook for Colorado, 1st edition in 1995, was a milestone in putting into ordinary lay English, the explanation of the complex legal and tax issues involved in divorce.

“You don't have to be a lawyer to understand these things,” Hauer says. “I often find that once couples understand the law and how things work and why, they are much more able and ready to make agreements. It's easy to get confused and lost, and therefore afraid, when you don't understand what's going on.”




Best of Denver

The Denver newspaper Westword awarded the Friendly Divorce Guidebook for Colorado Best of Denver for “Best Directions to Splitsville.” “Assuming both partners are still speaking to each other, it's time to pick up a copy of . . . the . . . Friendly Divorce Guidebook for Colorado . . . an invaluable aid if you're planning on filing pro se [without attorneys], but also pretty handy if you just want to understand your lawyers. Breaking up is hard to do, but this book . . . makes it easier.”


Comments and Reviews

"This is the clearest, most comprehensive and user friendly book I've ever seen about divorce."
--Diane Hartman
Director of Communications, Colorado Bar Association, The Docket

" ... (T)he Friendly Divorce Guidebook is extraordinarily complete and accurate - it's as if the reader has a lawyer, therapist, mediator and financial adviser at his or her side ..."
--Christine A. Coates, M. Ed, J.D.

"As Family Court Facilitator in the 1st Judicial District, I meet with thousands of couples each year who are going through a divorce "pro se" (without an attorney). When they ask about a helpful resource, I recommend the Friendly Divorce Guidebook by Arden Hauer. Even if they choose to retain counsel, they will benefit by being more knowledgeable "consumers" of legal services. Armed with substantial knowledge about the issues and potential resolutions to the issues, they can minimize attorney's fees.

"It is a comprehensive guide to preparing your own divorce paperwork and resolving your legal issues, and is packed with practical advice and real life examples that help bring the process to life. It is a courageous book, which takes on even the toughest and most intricate issues."
--Samuel Benson, J.D.
Former Family Court Facilitator, Jefferson District Court, Colorado


Order your copy here. You can also purchase it at the Center’s Denver West location. (Map)


Table of Contents

Friendly Divorce Guidebook for Colorado

How to Plan, Negotiate, and File Your Divorce

Table of Contents (detailed)

Chapter 1
How Do You Know if You Should Get a Divorce.
Options for the Marriage in Difficulty
Marriage Counseling
How to Find a Marriage Counselor
Marital Mediation
How to Find a Marital Mediator
Physical Separation (Trial Separation)
Physical Separation Has Both Legal and Tax Consequences
Legal Separation
Why Would You Want a Legal Separation.
Changing from Legal Separation to Divorce
Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce)
Common Law Marriage in Colorado
An Alternative to Marriage in Colorado
Your Other Divorces
Chapter 2
The Court Aspect of Divorce – an Overview
Court Case Management Procedure
Temporary Agreements and Orders
Separation Agreement
What If We Don’t Agree On Everything.
Obtaining Your Final Decree
The Court’s Continuing Jurisdiction
A Word About the Law
How Do You Want to Conduct Your Divorce.
Divorce Process Options
Do It Yourselves
Assistance for Do-It-Yourselfers
Do It Yourselves with Mediation
When to Use a Mediator
Choosing a Divorce Mediator
Fact-Finder, Special Master
Hire an Attorney
Lawyer As Consultant
Lawyer As Representative
Helping Your Lawyer Work For You
Divorce Services and Consultants
Parenting Experts and Resources
Financial Consultants
Asset Evaluators
Chapter 3
Keeping Yourself Together So You Can Work Together
How to Find a Divorce Therapist
The Emotional Divorce Sequence
Staying Sane Under Insane Conditions
Rate Your Fears
Being a Good Parent is Part of Taking Care of Yourself
How to Handle Potential Violence and Other Stressful Encounters
Automatic Temporary Injunction
Chapter 4
Moving From One Household to Two
Who Uses What and Who Pays for It
Homes (with Checklist)
Cars (with Checklist)
Other Property and Other Regular Expenses (with Checklists)
Necessary Purchases
Duplicate Items Needed "DIN" List
Your Credit and Your Divorce
How to Be a Good Parent Through the Divorce Process
Parenting-After-Divorce Classes
Who Makes What Decisions About the Children
Temporary Parenting Decisions List
Where Will the Children Stay
How to Tell the Children
Six-Week Parenting Plan and Calendar
The Budget Crunch
Tracking Your Incomes
Budgeting Your Separation
Budget Analysis and Chart
Temporary Support Between Spouses
Temporary Maintenance
Tax Considerations
Checklist of Temporary Maintenance and First year Filing Status
Temporary Child Support
The Temporary Agreement
How Formal Does Our Temporary Agreement Need to Be.
What if Your Need an Agreement About Temporary Orders and Can't Get
Temporary Teeth
Making Your Agreement Into a Court Order
Sample Wording for Temporary Agreements
Chapter 5
Who May File in Colorado
When to File
What Happens When You File Your Petition.
Where to File
To Locate Your Court
What Forms Do We Need.
Preparing Your Papers for the Court
Filing Your Petition
The Petition (Form and Instructions)
The Case Information Sheet (Form and Instructions)
Notifying Your spouse/Service of Process
The Summons (Form and Instructions)
Waiver and Acceptance of Service (Form and Instructions)
If Your Spouse is in the Military Service
Personal Service
Using a Friend to Serve Your spouse
Using the Sheriff or private process Server to Serve Your Spouse
Return of Service (Form and Instructions)
Constructive Service - Divorcing the Absent Spouse
Petitioner's Verified Motion and Order for Publication (Form and Instructions)
The Response (Form and Instructions)
Setting the Initial Status Conference
What if You and/or Your Spouse Have a Change of Heart.
Chapter 6
Information about Income
Income Chart
Your Monthly Budget
Budget (Form and Instructions)
Unsecured Debt (with Chart)
Real Estate
Motor Vehicles
Cash on Hand, Bank, Checking Savings Accounts, CDs
Life and Health Insurance
Furniture and Household Goods
Securities and/or Investment Accounts (Non-Retirement)
Pension, Profit Sharing, or Retirement Funds - Defined Contribution Plans
Other Pension or Retirement Funds - Defined Benefit Plans
Business Interests
Miscellaneous and Other Assets or Interests
Recent Transactions
Loans, Gifts and Inheritances
Property Owned Before the Marriage
Credit Report
The Sworn Financial Statement (Form and Instructions)
Supplemental Schedules (Form and Instructions)
Mandatory Disclosures
Certificate of Compliance (Form and Instructions)
About the Status Conference
Where Do We Go From Here.
One More Thing
Chapter 7
Separation Agreement – Part I
Introduction to the Separation Agreement
Assets – Marital and Separate
Brain Teaser
Our Agreed-Upon Definitions of Marital and Separate
Marital Assets and Debts Organizer
Valuing Your Assets
Kinds of Assets
Real Estate
Selling Costs
Capital Gains Taxes on Real Estate
Capital Gains Worksheet
Different Ways to "Divide" Real Estate
Cars and Other Motor Vehicles (with Checklist)
Liquid Assets: Cash, Bank Accounts and CDs (with Checklist)
Life Insurance (with Checklist)
Personal Assets (Furniture and Household Goods - with Checklist)
Mutual Funds, Options, and Other Securities (with Checklists)
Retirement, Pension, and Profit Sharing (with Checklist)
How Do We Value Our Retirements
How May We Divide Our Retirements.
Plans Divisible Directly
Plans Divisible by QDRO
Sample Language for a QDRO
Plans Divisible by Written Agreement
Plans Not Divisible At all
Kinds of Debts
Secured Debts
Unsecured Debts
Tax Debt
Debts Checklist
Divorce Expenses (with Checklist)
Dealing with Debt
Gather the Data
Debt Strategies
Bankruptcy at the Time of Your Divorce
Dividing Marital Assets and Debts
Defining Our Sense of Fairness
Division of Marital Assets and Debts Chart (with Instructions)
Finalizing Your Division
Final Division Calculation
Making Things Happen: Enforcement
Voluntary Enforcement
Involuntary Enforcement
Chapter 8
Separation Agreement – Part II
Who is a Child.
Dates We Expect Our Child to Emancipate
How to Be a Good Parent Through the Divorce Process
Parental Responsibility Law
Who Will Make the Decisions Regarding Issues that Affect the Children.
How Do We Decide.
Parental Decision-Making Questionnaire (with Interpretation)
Can We Do Mutual Decision-Making.
Parenting Qualities Chart (with Interpretation)
How To Make Mutual Decision-Making Work
List of Mutual Decisions
Avoiding Deadlock Through Good Communication
Communications Process Checklist
Long Distance Joint or Mutual Decision-Making
What If We Can't Agree On a Decision We Agreed to Make Together.
What We Will Do If We Gt Stuck
Information Exchange
Our Information Exchange List
Individual Decision-Making Responsibility
Where Will the Children Live.
Parenting Time and the Developmental Stages of Your Child
Early Infancy - Birth to 6 Months
Later Infancy - 6 to 18 Months
Toddlers - 18 Months to 3 Years
Preschoolers - 3 through 5 Years
School Age Children - 6 to 12 Years
Teenagers - 13 to 18 Years
More Than One Child
Time Sharing
Developing Your Parenting Schedule
Basic Schedule
Six-Week Calendar
Holidays and Other Special Days
How to Tell the Children
Odds and Ends
Signing for Emergency Medical Care For Your Children
Anticipating Changes
Parenting Plan Checklist
Where Do We Go From Here.
Chapter 9
Separation Agreement – Part III
The Colorado Child Support Guideline
Children's Expenses
Extraordinary Expenses of Your Children
Work/Education Related Child Care
Health Insurance Coverage for Your Children
Extraordinary Medical Expenses
Other Extraordinary Expenses
Organizing Parents' Income and Children's Expenses
Child Support Plan Questionnaire
Schedule of Basic Child Support Obligations
How to Make the Colorado Child Support Guideline work for You
Worksheet A (Form and Instructions)
Worksheet B (Form and Instructions)
Deviations: What if the Recommended Support is Too High or Too Low for You.
Post-Secondary Education (with Checklist)
Life Insurance and Other Security for Child Support
Teeth for Your Child Support Agreement
Schedule of Basic Child Support Obligations
Chapter 10
Separation Agreement - Part IV
Maintenance Guideline
Maintenance Calculation
Maintenance Guideline Schedule
Smart Maintenance
Open-Ended Maintenance
To Balance Incomes Between Spouses
To Provide Long Term Full or Supplemental Income, Based on Need
To Meet Ongoing Expenses with Tax-Deductible Dollars
Maintenance Paid from Business Income
IRS Maintenance Rules
Putting Your Maintenance Plan Together
Purpose, Amount, and Duration
Stair Steps and Modification
Tax Consequences and Amount to be Paid
Termination of Maintenance
Non-Taxable Maintenance
Life Insurance as Security for Maintenance
Teeth to Maintain Your Maintenance Agreement
Chapter 11
Separation Agreement – Part V
The Tax Effects of Divorce
Table of Tax Brackets for 2012
Tax Filing Status
IRS Form 1040
IRS Form 8332
Tax Exemptions
Tax Deductions
Tax Credits
Estimate Your Taxes
Maintenance Recapture
The Steep Stair-Step Rule
Worksheet for Recapture of Alimony
The Related Contingency Rule
Chapter 12
The Final Court Papers
Checklist of Our final Court Papers
Separation Agreement
Decree Without a Hearing
Decree With a Non-Contested Hearing
Decree With a Partially-Contested Hearing or Absent Spous
The Caption
Sample Wording for Your Separation Agreement
General Information
Assets and Debts
Family Home or Other Real Estate
Personal Property
Cars and Other Motor Vehicles
Liquid Assets: Cash and Bank Accounts
Stocks, Bonds, and Options
Life Insurance
Retirement, Pensions and Profit Sharing
Business Interests
Miscellaneous Assets
Parenting Plan
Allocation of Decision-Making Responsibilities
Shared Decision-Making
Emergency Medical Care
Day-to-Day Decisions
Parenting Time
Transportation of the Children
Additional Agreements About Children
Attendance at Teacher Conferences, Children's Sports Evens and
Future Relationships
Moving Away
Child Support
Worksheet A
Worksheet B
Medical Insurance and Expenses for Our Children
Extra Expenses for Our Children
Future Adjustments to Child Support
Tax Consequences About Children
Post-Secondary Education Expenses
Life Insurance as Security for Child Support
Enforcement of Child support
Maintenance Waiver
Maintenance General
Maintenance for a Specific Purpose
Life Insurance as Security for Maintenance
Medical Insurance
Modification of Maintenance
Enforcement of Maintenance
The Support Order (Form and Instructions)
Income Withholding for Support and Insurance (Form and Instructions)
Notice to Withhold Income for Support (Form and Instructions)
Notice to Employer to Deduct for Health Insurance (Form and Instructions)
Decree of Dissolution of Marriage or Legal Separation (Form and Instructions)
Divorce by Affidavit: Affidavit for Decree Without Appearance of Parties (Form
and Instructions)
Getting Your Case Set for a Hearing
Notice to Set (Form)
Notice of Hearing (Form)
Appearance by Telephone
Checklist of Our Papers Ready to Send to Court or to Bring to
Court for our Final Hearing
What to Do if the Court Does Not Sign Your Decree
Copies of Your Decree
Certified Copies
Conformed Copies
Send Spouse a Copy
Chapter 13
Transfers of Title
Real Estate
Quitclaim Deed
Promissory Note
Deed of Trust
Checklist of Titles We Need to Transfer
Personal Property
Motor Vehicles
Liquid Assets: Cash and Bank Accounts
Stocks, bonds, and Other Securities
Life Insurance
Medical Insurance: COBRA
Motor Vehicle Insurance
Retirement, Pensions, and Profit Sharing
Business Interests
Other Assets
Changing Your Name
Changing Your Address
Calendaring Later Events
Checking Your Credit Ratings
Converting from Legal Separation to Dissolution of Marriage
Making Things Happen: Enforcement
Internal Enforcement
Income Assignment
Enforcement Through the Court
Commissioner's Deed Enforcement of Property Transfers
Reduction to Judgment
Contempt Citation
Title IV D Federal Law Enforcement of Child support and
Maintenance, by the County Child Support Enforcement
Unit (CSE)
Federal Law Enforcement of Parenting Plans: PKPA and UCJA
Can We Change Our Agreement After the Court Approves It.
Modifying Your Property and Debt Division
Modifying Parental Responsibilities
Modifying Child Support
Modifying Maintenance
Appendix A: Forms Shown in the Book
Appendix B: Checklists
Appendix C: Examples
Appendix D: Colorado District Courts
Appendix E: Designated Beneficiary Forms



M. Arden Hauer, M.A., J.D.
Center for Non-Adversarial Divorce
(303) 526-7749

1746 Cole Boulevard, Suite 225
Golden (Denver West), CO 80401 (Map)

2942 Evergreen Parkway, Suite 400
Evergreen, CO 80439 (Map)

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At the Center for Non-Adversarial Divorce in Colorado, we provide friendly divorce mediation with property and debt division, parenting plans, child support and maintenance (alimony) plans for couples throughout the Front Range and the Denver Metro area, including communities such as Genesee, Golden, Evergreen, Arvada, Golden, Boulder, Westminster, Broomfield, Thornton, Northglenn, Louisville, Lafayette, Aurora, Highlands Ranch, Greenwood Village, the Denver Tech Center, Englewood, Littleton, Centennial, Lone Tree, Elizabeth, Parker, Conifer,Granby, Pine, Bailey, Pine Junction, Aspen Park, Idaho Springs, and countiesincluding Jefferson County, Denver County, Boulder County, Broomfield County, Arapahoe County, Douglas County, Elbert County, Park County, and Summit County.

Colorado does not certify attorneys as specialists in any field.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

Copyright © 2012 by Center for Non-Adversarial Divorce M. Arden Hauer, M.A., J.D. All rights reserved. You may reproduce materials available at this site for your own personal use and for non-commercial distribution. All copies must include this copyright statement.