For most, an overwhelming sense of stress and confusion can accompany the early stages of a divorce. No one realizes how complicated dissolving a marriage is until one must endure the experience. Almost every aspect of both parties’ lives is placed under a legal microscope. This is not just to make legal agreements official and formal, but also to ensure that the agreement is fair for everyone involved.
If you wish to end your marriage, there are so many things that you should discuss with an experienced Denver attorney; issues that might not have occurred to you when you made your decision to file these documents.
You might be ready to go back to being single, but are you certain that you’re ready to move forward? Preplanning your separation and undergoing coaching to help you make sound decisions while in the process of hammering out a final resolution is critical. The transition phase from being married to becoming divorced and your life thereafter should be taken very seriously and with adequate preparation.
Your financial situation is one major aspect to cover. The court will determine both parties’ income potential, which is why, in some cases, you may need to seek spousal support, or “maintenance” as it’s called, to continue your source of income after your separation. This is common, especially if one party has been outside of the workforce during the marriage. Child support is another critical issue that must be accounted for to ensure that the children’s financial needs are met after the dissolution of the marriage.
The separation process is not the same for every couple. For instance, couples married under common law are considered legally married without actually going through the traditional marriage process. The court looks to a three-prong test to determine if you and your spouse are married under this law. Thus, you are faced with the additional burden of presenting evidence to prove your common law union.
You need an experienced divorce attorney in Denver, CO to represent you and fight for your interests.
At Lewis & Matthews, it is our priority to ensure that your questions are answered and that you are able to fully grasp the separation process. Below is a compilation of some of the most common questions that I have heard from people who have recently started navigating through a separation. Because it is impossible to list every question that you may have relating to your case, consider calling and speaking with an attorney at (303)329-3802.
Deciding whom to represent you throughout your divorce can be a difficult choice. The partners that founded Lewis & Matthews have experienced what you are going through and it is that personal experience that sets them apart from the rest. It is because of their experiences that they set out to provide divorce services that go above and beyond the typical Colorado divorce lawyer.
There are several things a client can ask a divorce lawyer, but people always seem to be at a loss for words when they finally get an opportunity to talk an attorney about their legal issues. It may be because they don’t know how to phrase their questions properly, or they’re not sure whether they’re asking the right questions. But there are definite mental barriers that keep people from seeking the answers they need for the problems they’re facing.
Married couples may file for dissolution of marriage if they face serious problems and want to live separately. Divorce means the marriage is over and the couples may legally pursue other relationships. In a no-fault divorce state like Colorado, a spouse can file for a divorce without the consent of the other spouse.
In Colorado, the timeline for obtaining a divorce is 90 days, but it may take up to a year. Complex cases may take over a year to finalize. Watch as Jennifer Lewis explains in detail the factors that affect the length of time a divorce in Colorado will take:
Sometimes people are not ready to move forward with a divorce but they have reached a place where they need help with clarifying their issues and understanding what would happen if they did choose to move forward with a divorce. Our Divorce Assessment, Pre-Planning, and Coaching practice is designed to give people who are contemplating divorce the information, education and coaching they need to:
Under Colorado statute, marital properties will be divided between the parties. The court will make the decision of who gets what based on the following factors:
- Each spouse’s contribution to obtaining the property
- The value of each spouse’s share
- Each party’s economic situation at the time of divorce
Marital properties are all the properties acquired by either spouse during the marriage. Gifts and inheritances are not considered marital property, however the interest accrued during the marriage may be. It is advisable to consult with a divorce attorney from Lewis & Matthews to make certain that the agreement for the division of property is reasonable. We will help you understand the process and determine which assets are marital and which ones are not.
The courts in Colorado determine the allocation of parental responsibilities, which include parenting time and decision-making. The court will make a decision based on what is in the best interests of the children. It will take into account the wishes of the parents and the children when it comes to parenting time, but it will not grant either parent’s wishes if they are not in the children’s best interests. The court will look into numerous factors before deciding on which wishes to grant.
Depending on not only your situation but also outside factors, the court may assign the decision-making responsibility to one parent only or to both parents. Each parent may also gain responsibility for specific issues or areas that will determine the child’s welfare and future.
According to the Colorado Judicial Branch’s website, a “temporary or permanent civil protection order may be issued against an adult or a juvenile who is ten years of age or older for any of the following purposes: To prevent stalking, domestic abuse, sexual assault, physical assault and threatened bodily harm; and to prevent emotional abuse of the elderly or an at-risk adult.”
It often depends on the discrepancies in income between husband and wife. Initially, judges will often formulate a Temporary Order before permanent spousal support can be decided. As far as the Permanent Order goes, the judge will take a number of things into account, including: how long you were married, what the standard of living was during the marriage, and the financial state of both parties—including income potential.
Assets must be deemed either “marital property” or “separate property”. If property is agreed to be “marital”, it will be equitably (not the same as “equally”) divided according to Colorado’s statutes. Property obtained prior to the marriage is “separate,” but any increase in value during the marriage is marital property. For example, if one spouse purchased a home in 1995 (before the marriage) for $80,000, but wants to sell it in 2008 (after the divorce) for $150,000, then the increase in value($70,000) is considered “marital” property.
Individuals may wonder what power they have to enforce their maintenance agreement once their divorce is final?
Your maintenance agreement is part of the Court order that finalizes your divorce. When a Court order is not followed, the Court has broad powers to enforce that order. Given the circumstances of your case there are a number of options to assure that maintenance is paid in accordance with the Court order.