If you want to file for divorce, it’s important to speak to a divorce lawyer in Colorado promptly. A divorce is a complicated ordeal, and you don’t want to go through it all alone. A lawyer can guide you through the entire process and help you avoid making costly mistakes.
Divorce is not uncommon in the United States. Family lawyers are often well-versed in this area of law. No matter what the circumstances surrounding the divorce are, it is imperative to always have your own lawyer who will look out for your best interest. Even if the divorce is amicable and you feel like your soon-to-be ex-spouse is a reasonable person, you need to have someone on your side who will make sure the divorce process is fair. You want to feel like you can trust the person who is giving you advice and that they will have your best interest at heart. This is why you absolutely need your own divorce lawyer, rather than sharing one with your ex.
How to Get Ready for Divorce Mediation
Divorce doesn’t always have to involve drawn-out court battles. More and more divorcing couples are opting for mediation. During mediation, a neutral third party will help you and your spouse come to a fair agreement in your divorce. Here are a few tips on preparing for divorce mediation:
- Gather the necessary documents. A divorce mediation session will be more productive if you bring the appropriate documents. Some of the documents you may want to take with you include bank statements, a list of real estate owned by you and your spouse, life insurance policies, and retirement accounts.
- Have an open mind. The point of mediation is for divorcing couples to come to a mutual agreement. As such, it is critical to go into each mediation session with an open mind. Even if your spouse says something that you don’t initially agree with, take the time to listen to his or her point of view. If you yell or interrupt, you’ll get nowhere.
- Determine what you want to achieve. Before you head off to your first mediation session, sit down and figure out what you want out of your divorce. Perhaps you would like to stay in the family home. Or maybe you would like to have your kids during the holidays. Have a good idea about what matters you’re willing to compromise on and what matters you are not willing to compromise on.
- Hire a lawyer. Although mediation is more low-key than going to court, it is still in your best interest to work with a divorce lawyer in Colorado. He or she should sit in during these sessions and make sure that you understand everything.
- Leave your emotions at home. As difficult as it may be, try to put aside your emotions. While you might feel anger, hurt or resentment towards your spouse, it’s important to think rationally during mediation sessions and think about the future. If you allow your emotions to cloud your judgment, mediation may not be successful.
4 Unique Benefits of Divorce Mediation
When you and your ex-spouse choose to go through with a divorce, you may begin to feel overwhelmed at the amount of stress or potential arguments you both have may to deal with. However, using divorce mediation does come with several benefits that typically help couples who have children and want a lower-stress process.
1. More Freedom
In mediation, you typically have the control to choose a specific and unique parenting agreement for yourself or your children during the process. Unlike arguing your case in court, you have the flexibility to talk as much as you want and pick what topics you both want to discuss.
Since there are no public records of what occurred, unlike a regular divorce in court, you may feel more comfortable discussing certain topics. Involving a divorce lawyer in Colorado like Zweig Law PC may help you think about what you should say.
2. More Collaboration
Due to the nature of mediation, you typically work with your ex-spouse instead of against him or her to come to an agreement. This means you both can avoid endless arguments over small details, which can save you time and money. This sense of collaboration also helps your relationship to end on good terms, instead of with hurt feelings. Having a divorce lawyer in Colorado by your side may help you throughout this time.
3. Easier on Children
When a divorce happens, the children may feel caught between two sides. This kind of tension can leave them with feelings of lingering stress, especially as the process starts. Mediation is usually less formal and more focused on respectful dialogue. The more peaceful process allows for you and your ex-spouse to focus on your children’s needs and come to a conclusion that benefits them the most. Finding a divorce lawyer in Colorado could be a step you want to take.
4. Less Tension
Having a third party overseeing any conversations can help couples who had many disagreements and fights during their marriage to feel more comfortable speaking their minds. Instead of being in the middle of an adversarial lawsuit, mediation allows you to weigh options and discuss important topics like childcare and asset division at your own pace.
This results in less tension between you and your ex-spouse since both sides can eventually get what they want out of the process. Talking to a divorce lawyer in Colorado like Zweig Law PC can help you choose the next best step in how to approach your divorce.
Getting Divorced with Children Involved
The divorce process does become more difficult when there are children involved. Not only are you fighting for your own rights, but you also want to protect your children as well. There is child custody to figure out as well as child support issues. If one parent makes much more than the other, they will likely be ordered to pay some sort of child support. A judge will always look in the best interest of the child is, so it is crucial to have an experienced divorce lawyer on your side to help you share your case. Your lawyer will know how to best communicate with the judge and be able to tell the story of how you will be a good parent to keep custody of your children. You may share custody or, if one parent is completely unfit, get sole custody of your children. If your ex is a good parent and you want to share custody, you should still hire a lawyer to look over the paperwork involved and make sure that your interests are always protected.
Splitting Assets in a Divorce
It can sometimes be difficult to figure out how to split up the assets that you and your ex-spouse share. Every state has different rules on this, which is why it is important to hire a divorce lawyer near you to help work through everything together. It will also depend if you or your ex signed a prenuptial agreement before getting married. Sometimes this document can be void – like in the instance of infidelity – but other times it really does dictate who gets what in the divorce.
Common Myths About Divorce
If you plan on getting a divorce, it is important to know the facts. There are a lot of myths about divorce that you may have heard. Here are a few common misconceptions that you shouldn’t believe.
- Marital assets are divided in half. Too many people assume that everything will be divided in half in a divorce. This just is not true. Colorado is an equitable distribution state, so assets will be divided fairly, not necessarily evenly. A judge may consider multiple factors when deciding how to divide assets, such as each spouse’s financial situation and what each spouse contributed to the asset.
- You can tackle your divorce on your own. It is true that you’re not required to hire a lawyer to proceed with a divorce. Some people may even avoid hiring legal assistance to save on expenses. However, neglecting to hire an experienced divorce lawyer in Colorado is truly a disservice to yourself. A divorce is a complex process and you’re more likely to get taken advantage of by the other side without the help of a lawyer. Hiring a skilled divorce lawyer is completely worth the cost. He or she will guide you through the entire process and improve your chances of obtaining a fair settlement.
- The judge always grants custody to the mother. While this may have been true many years ago, it is not the case today. A judge will not automatically award the mother custody in a divorce. He or she will keep the child’s best interests in mind when determining custody. For example, if the mother has a history of mental illness, the judge may decide to award custody to the father.
- Parents who don’t pay child support can’t see their kids. While there are consequences to skipping child support payments, not seeing your kids is not one of them. If you have missed child support payments, your ex-spouse still does not have the legal right to withhold visitation from you.
- Divorce always involves heated court battles. It’s true that some divorces can be heated and drawn out. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. If you and your ex-spouse can compromise on major issues in your divorce, such as property division and child custody, you may be able to settle your divorce faster and experience less stress.
Common Divorce Mistakes to Avoid
A divorce is a stressful ordeal and can change your life in many ways. Going through a divorce can cause you to feel anger, resentment, sadness and other emotions. Unfortunately, these emotions may cloud your judgment and cause you to make poor decisions. Here are some common divorce mistakes you should avoid.
Failing to Think About Your Finances After Your Divorce
Just like many other people who have gone through a divorce, your financial situation will likely change after a divorce. Without two incomes to rely on anymore, you may not be able to live the kind of lifestyle you are used to. This is why it is important to make a financial plan as soon as possible. Since you will be living on less income, you may need to make some cuts in your budget. Although this may be difficult at first, it is a necessary thing to do.
Picking Fights with Your Spouse
It is certainly not uncommon to experience ill feelings toward a spouse during a divorce. However, you should not allow these feelings to take over your judgment. If you pick needless fights with your spouse because you’re angry, you are only prolonging the divorce process and making things more expensive for everyone.
Not Hiring a Divorce Lawyer
If you’re getting a divorce, your finances may be tight. However, that does not mean you should forgo hiring a divorce lawyer in Colorado. A divorce is a complicated process and there’s a lot at stake. A skilled divorce lawyer can help you obtain a fair settlement in your court and make sure that the other side doesn’t take advantage of you.
Not Telling Your Lawyer the Truth
It is important to tell your divorce lawyer the whole truth. Otherwise, your lawyer can’t help you to the best of his or her ability. Don’t be embarrassed to tell your lawyer details about your divorce because he or she has likely heard it before.
Talking Badly About Your Spouse in Front of Your Kids
No matter how angry you may be with your spouse, you should never badmouth him or her in front of your kids. They are already going through such a difficult time and hearing terrible things about their parent can make things worse. Remember that your spouse is still your kids’ other parent.
Why Choose Zweig Law, PC To Represent Me?
The divorce lawyers at Zweig Law, PC are sincere and diligent legal experts who stand by their clients. Headed by prestigious and award-winning lawyers with decades of experience, you can rest assured that you’re choosing the right team. To set up an appointment, call 970-986-6460 or contact us online for a free consultation.
What Are Colorado’s Marital Property Laws?
Perhaps you’ve heard of community property states. In community property states, any property that belonged to each spouse before marriages remains their separate property after they divorce. Any property that became theirs during the marriage is their community property. Community property is divided evenly between the spouses. But that doesn’t mean that each spouse gets 50/50 automatically. Rather, if one spouse is more in need than the other, that spouse is more inclined to receive more of the community property as that is seen as 50/50 in comparison to what one spouse already owns. Of course, exceptions to property that one spouse acquires during the marriage apply to gifts and inheritance. Gifts and inheritance remain separate property.
Colorado’s marital laws differ from community property state laws. Colorado is an equitable distribution law state. Equitable distribution can operate somewhat similarly to community property in that a judge looks to what’s fair. As with community property states, what’s fair isn’t necessarily or always 50/50. Instead, what’s fair may mean that the spouse will less income gets ¾ of the property or value of the property, and the spouse with higher income gets ¼ of the property or value of the property.
It’s not uncommon for a divorce court judge to make you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse sell your home and divide the proceeds, instead of granting one spouse ownership of the home. This is true for vehicles, land, etc. Of course, if children are involved then courts almost always award the primary custodial parent ownership of the marital home and possibly the car(s).
What Are Colorado’s Spousal Maintenance Laws?
Unlike child support, spousal maintenance, also known as “alimony”, is not automatic. It must be a request made before the court, and the judge and parties must agree to it. Now, there are two types of spousal maintenance a lesser-income-earning spouse may request. They are statutory maintenance and contractual, non-modifiable maintenance. The higher-income-earning spouse pays statutory maintenance before the divorce is finalized, such as during a legal separation or as you two are going through the divorce process. This type is temporary. You see, it only lasts for a certain percentage of the length of your marriage, and Colorado laws cap the length of payment at 50%.
Yet, if you’ve been married for more than 20 years, then this cap doesn’t necessarily apply, and a judge may award you or your ex a lifetime receipt of alimony. On the contrary, if you’ve been married for less than three years, a judge is not obligated to award you or your ex-maintenance. That’s not to say that a judge won’t, so you should still consult with an ambitious divorce lawyer in Colorado who’ll argue passionately and aggressively on your behalf.
Contractual, non-modifiable maintenance, however, is just what it says. Not even a judge can amend it. If you agree to pay maintenance to your ex and later lose your job, you’re still legally obligated to make the payment amount that you’re legally bound to make. On the other hand, if you get a huge pay increase, your ex cannot demand more money.
Divorce and Children who are Special Needs
Getting a divorce, in general, is very hard, but it may be even harder if you were a child with special needs or disabilities. So let’s go through and talk about some frequently asked questions when your divorce involves a child with special needs or disabilities, and what you as the parents who are getting divorced can do to make this process easier for your child according to your divorce lawyer in Colorado such as the ones available at Zweig Law, PC.
How do I tell my child about the divorce?
Having a child, any child, learn about their parents’ divorce is never an easy aspect of the process, but it is important. This is often an extremely heart-wrenching and difficult task to do, and maybe even more so challenging if the child has special needs. However, there are things you can do to make it easier for your child to understand.
When you are telling a child, you can tell the news to your child with your spouse’s help. This is going to further reassure your child that both parents are going to be part of their life. You should ensure that you inform your child about the divorce in a location that they are used to, such as the living room in your home, and be sure to keep calm because kids are going to pick up on your energy and that can cause them to be worried and anxious.
You could also consider specific therapy that will adjust the feelings about the divorce that your child has and help them process these feelings in a way that is beneficial to their needs and abilities. It is very normal for a child to experience the exacerbation of symptoms. However, this is almost always temporary, and of course, you should take into account what your child knows and what your child needs to be successful. Your child might not be like other children and that’s okay. You can tailor how you inform your child about the divorce to their needs and capabilities of understanding.
What to include in my parenting plan?
When you are deciding on your parenting plan, the more detail that you can have, the better. If you can account for every little detail, the more mishaps and miscommunications or disagreements, you will have with your spouse on the road as your divorce proceeds and is finalized. You want to avoid causing a situation where your child’s treatment is delayed because you and your spouse cannot agree. When creating a parenting plan your divorce lawyer in Colorado is going to tell you that you should include items such as the one-parent care for the child full-time, what parenting time schedule is going to best support your child, how will our standard visitation schedules in regards to what your child need if they are inappropriate what is appropriate? Are you going to share medical decision-making or one parent have the final say, what happens if your child needs full-time care, how do you accommodate and pay for your child, and more.
Contact a Divorce Lawyer Today
Schedule a consultation with a divorce lawyer in Colorado as soon as you and your ex decide that you want to split up. Call Zweig Law, PC Attorneys today. We can go over the details of your case and help determine the best way of moving forward. It is always important to have representation in your case so that you do not get taken advantage of. Even if you and your ex are on good terms, it is wise to have a knowledgeable lawyer on your team to look over your documents. Contact us today to learn more.