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.


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. 


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. 


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


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