Introduction Divorce proceedings in Colorado take a complex turn when they involve elements of domestic violence and coercive control. Understanding how these serious issues are addressed within the state’s legal framework is essential for parties involved in such divorces.

Part 1: Understanding Domestic Violence and Coercive Control

A. Definition and Impact

  • Domestic violence in Colorado encompasses a range of behaviors, from physical abuse to emotional and psychological control.
  • Coercive control is a pattern of behavior that seeks to dominate the victim, often involving manipulation, intimidation, and isolation.

Part 2: Colorado Law and Domestic Violence

A. Legal Framework

  • Colorado Revised Statutes § 14-10-124 addresses the allocation of parental responsibilities and specifically considers the child’s well-being in the context of domestic violence.
  • Colorado’s legal system prioritizes the safety and well-being of individuals experiencing domestic violence in divorce proceedings.

B. Protective Orders and Safety Measures

  • Under Colorado Revised Statutes § 13-14-104.5 and § 13-14-105, courts can issue protective orders, which play a significant role in divorce cases involving domestic violence.

Part 3: Divorce Proceedings in the Context of Domestic Violence

A. Impact on Custody and Visitation

  • Courts take allegations of domestic violence seriously when determining custody and visitation rights.
  • The presence of domestic violence can lead to supervised visitation or even the denial of custody to the abusive spouse.

B. Financial and Property Considerations

  • Domestic violence can impact the division of property and spousal support.
  • Victims may receive a larger portion of marital assets and may be awarded spousal support to offset the economic impact of abuse.

C. Legal Representation and Advocacy

  • Legal representation is crucial in such cases, and victims are often advised to seek attorneys experienced in handling domestic violence issues.

Part 4: Coercive Control in Divorce Proceedings

A. Recognizing Coercive Control

  • Coercive control can be more challenging to prove in court due to its psychological nature.
  • Evidence such as communication records, witness testimony, and psychological evaluations can be pivotal.

B. Addressing Coercive Control

  • Courts may consider coercive control when determining custody and visitation, as well as in financial settlements.

Part 5: Overcoming Challenges in Domestic Violence Divorces

A. The Role of Support Services

  • Victims are encouraged to seek support from local domestic violence services and advocacy groups.
  • Support services can provide counseling, legal advice, and assistance with safety planning.

B. Navigating the Legal System

  • Understanding one’s rights and the legal resources available is crucial.
  • Colorado offers various resources to help victims navigate the legal system during divorce proceedings.


Divorce proceedings in Colorado that involve domestic violence and coercive control are complex and require careful navigation. Understanding the legal provisions and seeking appropriate support and representation are crucial steps in ensuring the safety and rights of those affected are upheld.


  • Colorado Revised Statutes § 14-10-124
  • Colorado Revised Statutes § 13-14-104.5 and § 13-14-105
  • Case Law related to domestic violence and divorce in Colorado