in collaboration with the Colorado Supreme Court

Hearing & Final Decision



1st - Know the Terms

  • Permanent Orders - This will be the Court's final decision. 


2nd - The Paperwork

Forms Kit

  • This kit has all the forms for this step in one document.

Individual Forms

  1. Pretrial Statement - JDF 1129
  2. Sworn Financial Statement - JDF 1111
  3. Witness List
  4. Exhibit List
  5. Subpoena - JDF 80 & 80.1
  6. Motion for Absentee Testimony - JDF 1309 & 1310.

Learn More: Filling Out Court Forms.


3rd - Plan for the Hearing

Why do This?

At the hearing, you will report what you want and why.

Outline  

Use this draft outline to help plan your report. 

  • Issues - Know what is left for the Court to decide.
  • Law - Know what the Court considers when giving answers.
  • Facts -  Know which facts the Court can use to apply the law. 

Witnesses  

A witness gives facts to the Court by answering your questions.

  • Select which people have facts the Court needs.
  • Write questions you want to ask each witness. 
  • Prepare the witness by reviewing with them the questions you will ask.
  • A witness can volunteer to come to the hearing. 
  • Or, you can require them to come. 

Exhibits

A witness can talk about the documents you provide. 

  • Select which documents contain facts the Court needs to know. 
  • Organize each document. Label it with
  • Know which witness can talk about that document.

Learn More:  Evidence  |  Witnesses  |  Exhibits.

Learn More:  Custody Issues & Law.


4th - Pretrial Statement

What is It? 

This form outlines the remaining problems the Judge will need to decide. 

It will also include:

  • A list of people you want to talk at the hearing. 
    • Witness List
    • These are your witnesses.
  • A list of the documents you will present at the hearing. 
  • A copy of all the exhibits.
  • An updated money summary.

Who Files This?

  • If neither parent has a lawyer:
    • Then you will both file a statement.
  • If one parent has a lawyer:
    • Then that lawyer will file a statement for both of you.
    • Send your portions to the lawyer 14 days before the form is due.

When is This Due?

  • Seven days before the hearing. 


5th - Go to the Hearing

Give Your Position

  • Presenting facts. 
    • Focus on facts that will help the Judge to decide the issues. 
    • Ask questions to your witnesses.
      • This is called Direct Examination.
    • Ask witnesses about your exhibits.
  • Tell your story
    • Let the Court know your position and why.

Respectfully Oppose Other Positions

  • Ask questions of their witnesses. 
    • This is called cross-examination.
  • Or, you may present exhibits that show that a witness is not telling the truth. 
    • This is called rebuttal evidence.
    • The hearing is your one chance to show that a witness is lying. 

Learn More:  Flow Chart & Tips for the Hearing.


6th - The Decision

What  Will the Court Do?

The Court will set the:

  • Parenting plan and 
  • Child support payment.

How Does the Court Decide?

The Court will:

  • Look at the facts by 
    • Listening to the testimony, and 
    • Reviewing the exhibits.  
  • Determine the Truth by
    • Deciding which witnesses are more believable, and
    • Deciding which exhibits are more believable.
    • This is called a credibility determination. 
  • Resolve any conflicting facts by:
    • Deciding which fact is more likely to be true. 
    • These, along with the undisputed facts, are called the findings of fact. 
  • Apply the law by
    • Taking the findings of fact, and 
    • Deciding what the law requires.

When Will the Decision Come?

  • Sometimes, it's the same day as the hearing. Or, 
  • The Court may take a few weeks. 
  • Either way, written orders will be mailed to you.

Manage your Disappointment

  • Know that you won't get everything you want. 
    • The Court has a hard job in making these tough decisions. 
    • The Court is trying to do what's best for the children.
  • Know that strong emotions make it hard to recognize reasonable decisions. 
  • You will be a parent with the other party forever. 
    • Your kid needs both of you. 
    • Now is the time to start building a positive relationship for the benefit of your child. 

Case Closed

 

You have reached the end of the custody process.


Next Steps



Confused?

I'm confused or stuck, and I want additional materials or resources.

I Need More Information

Have a question about a specific legal topic?

Click on the below button to access information, forms, and instructions on specific legal issues, such as how to sue in small claims court, file for divorce, etc.

Go to topics

Need to talk to a person?

Sometimes there is no substitute for contacting a live person. Quickly locate courts, self-help centers, legal aid services, legal assistance clinics, legal information events, and public libraries.

Contact Options