Going through a divorce or a custody battle can be a messy and difficult process.
Emotions run high and wounds cut deep.
This is a time when you are at your most vulnerable. At Curtis Law Firm, our family law attorneys understand exactly what you’re going through and want to help protect you and your rights.
Having someone on your side can make all the difference in the world when faced with having to make decisions that will affect you and your family for the rest of your life.
There are divorce lawyers out there who will prey on your vulnerability during this time just to make a dollar.
They may make unrealistic promises, or worse yet, encourage you to pursue expensive litigation when a quick resolution could just as easily be reached.
At Curtis Law Firm, our clients – your family – are our priority.
Our family law attorneys will provide you the respectful, honest, and quality legal guidance you need to emerge more positive than before.
Schedule an initial consultation online or at (720) 408-7726 to discuss your family law case in Denver, Colorado with Curtis Law Firm today. Our attorneys proudly serve clients in Jefferson, Douglas, Arapahoe, and Adams Counties.
To separate from your spouse, there are a few different options. You could pursue a divorce, which will officially terminate your marriage and divide all the marital property and assets between you.
Those who are not ready for the finality of divorce, though, such as for religious or financial reasons, can turn instead to legal separation.
With legal separation, the couple will no longer live together or act as a married couple, though they will remain legally married - that is, their marriage will not be officially terminated.
As a result, the individuals may not remarry other people but will still be eligible to be on their spouses’ insurance.
He is very caring and makes sure you understand the complications that are involved in your case.Laura S.
Child custody (parental responsibility) and visitation (parenting time) is also an important topic of negotiation in Colorado family law. Custody is split into physical and legal custody, referring to where the children will reside and who has the decision-making authority, respectively.
Parents may possess either (or both) types of custody solely or share them jointly.
Keep in mind that to determine custody, the court will base its decision on the child’s best interests, addressed in Colo. Rev. Stat. § 14-10-124 (1.5)(a).
Such factors include:
- the children's wishes (if old enough and mature enough);
- the parent's wishes as to parenting time;
- the children's relationship with each parent and siblings;
- the children's adjustment to home, school, and community;
- the mental and physical health of all individuals involved;
- each parent's ability to encourage the love, affection, and contact between the child and the other parent;
- whether the parent's past involvement with the child shows values, time commitment, and mutual support;
- the physical proximity of the parent's homes to each other; and
- the ability of each parent to place the child's needs ahead of their own.
Child Support and Alimony
One important divorce issue is how you will support yourself financially in the aftermath. Child support and spousal support will be a critical point of discussion during the divorce proceedings, and Colorado already has legal guidelines in place that can help you and your spouse anticipate the negotiation.
The Colorado Child Support Guidelines are in place to help calculate the child support payments to be made. The guidelines will examine:
- monthly gross incomes of both parents (including any spousal alimony awarded to one parent);
- the financial resources of both the custodial and noncustodial parent;
- parenting time (including overnights) allocated to each parent;
- standard of living children would have enjoyed if the parents had not divorced;
- child-related expenses like health insurance, medical care, education, childcare, etc.;
- physical and emotional needs of children.
Similarly, to determine whether a parent is eligible for alimony, the court may consider the following:
- each spouse's financial resources, including potential income from separate or marital property;
- the paying spouse's ability to meet each spouse's financial needs;
- the spouse's lifestyle during the marriage; the distribution of marital property, including whether additional marital property may be awarded to reduce or alleviate the need for maintenance;
- both parties' income, employment, and employability, obtainable through reasonable diligence and additional training or education;
- whether one party has historically earned higher or lower income than the income reflected at the time of permanent orders and the duration and consistency of income from overtime or secondary employment;
- the length of the marriage;
- each parties' age and health, including whether either spouse has significant healthcare needs or uninsured or unreimbursed health care expenses;
- significant economic or noneconomic contribution to the marriage or to the economic, educational, or occupational advancement of a party, including but not limited to completing an education or job training, payment by one spouse of the other spouse’s separate debts, or enhancement of the other spouse’s personal or real property;
- whether the circumstances of the parties at the time of permanent orders warrant the award of a nominal amount of maintenance in order to preserve a claim of maintenance in the future;
- whether the maintenance is deductible for federal income tax purposes by the payor and taxable income to the recipient, and any adjustments to the amount of maintenance to equitably allocate the tax burden between the parties; and
- any other relevant factors.
The court will also examine whether the spouses fall under one of two categories – their combined gross income is $240,000 or less annually or more than $240,000 annually – to proceed with the calculations. Learn more about the specific steps for calculation on our Alimony page.
There are several methods to resolving the disputes in a divorce or separation.
One such way is divorce mediation which is the best and most affordable solution for spouses who are on amicable terms.
The spouses and their divorce attorneys will meet with a neutral mediator to resolve issues or disputes and create a divorce agreement that satisfies both parties.
Note that the divorce mediator’s role is merely to facilitate productive discussion, not make any decisions.
Alternatively, couples can turn to binding arbitration.
As with mediation, a neutral third party (the arbitrator) will hear both sides of the issue and try to help the couple come to an agreeable outcome. However, as opposed to divorce mediation, in arbitration the arbitrator has the power to make decisions, and the final agreement established by the arbitrator is legally binding.
The couple can also turn to litigation and settle their divorce in court. It is best to consult an experienced family law attorney at Curtis Law Firm to evaluate the best path for you and, if it comes to it, how to effectively build your family case for court in Colorado.
Dealing with a family law issue in Denver, Colorado? Let us help.
Our lawyers have over a decade of experience providing clients with personalized representation, and one of our main priorities as a family law firm is to treat families with respect, honor, and dignity.
Our attorneys understand that family law issues are not easy to handle, and they can present an obstructive burden.
Let our attorneys take the legal reins and guide you through your negotiation and litigation; we will do our best to protect your spousal and parental rights in every step of the family legal process to negotiate a favorable outcome.
Give us a call at (720) 408-7726 or contact us online to speak with one of our family attorneys at Curtis Law Firm for legal advice.