Family Lawyer Colorado
A family lawyer Colorado trusts knows that although most couples want their relationship to last, not all marriages will be destined for the happily ever after story. When a relationship ends in divorce, there is often a lot at stake. Children may now be split between each parent’s new home, the dream home may be lost, and all marital assets may be divided. Divorce is complicated and often includes blaming, shaming, and finger-pointing that can make things even more difficult. For this reason, you should have a family lawyer in Colorado on your side.
No-Fault or Fault Divorce?
A family lawyer in Colorado at Zweig Law, PC knows all too well how pointing fingers can be common during a divorce. The reasons behind the demise of the marriage may remain a secret to the world at large, but every couple knows the real story. Going through the steps required to legally split the union back into single parties may seem impossible. One of the first steps to getting through it is filing a petition asking the court to grant the divorce. In this document, the party filing for the action, the petitioner, has to give a reason, or grounds, for the fractured union.
- NO-FAULT DIVORCE
- PLACING BLAME OR FAULT
- PROVING FAULT
- HOW IS PROPERTY DIVIDED IN A DIVORCE?
- HOW LONG DOES A DIVORCE TAKE?
- HOW DOES THE COURT DETERMINE CHILD CUSTODY?
- IS IT NECESSARY TO HIRE A LAWYER?
- HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO GET A DIVORCE?
- HOW IS SPOUSAL SUPPORT DETERMINED?
- 4 WAYS A FAMILY LAWYER CAN HELP YOU
- PROTECTING YOUR BUSINESS AFTER A DIVORCE
- TYPES OF FAMILY LAW CASES
- CONTACT AN EXPERIENCE FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY
- MAKING COPIES OF ALL IMPORTANT PAPERWORK
- COMMON MYTHS ABOUT FAMILY LAW
State laws may allow a petitioner to claim that the marriage is over for a myriad of reasons. The most common reason cited is differences between the spouses that can not be overcome. A CO family lawyer can explain to you during a consultation how with no-fault divorce, the couple is stating that the union is broken beyond repair and that no one reason caused it. In this instant, both parties agree that they are not getting back together and want the court to simply restore their status back to single.
Placing Blame or Fault
In some instances, there may be a good reason for the divorce. There are six fault-based grounds for divorce. If a party chooses to name one, they must be able to prove them with help from a Colorado family lawyer. These grounds include:
- Violent or emotional abuse pattern
- Abandonment lasting at least a year
- Imprisonment for two years or longer
When one of these is mentioned as a reason for the demise of the marriage, the court must be able to grant a decree using it, or else the process starts anew.
What Factors Determine How Much Child Support You Must Pay?
As part of your divorce agreement, you must pay child support. Your family lawyer in Colorado may share that child support is a child’s right, not the parent’s, even though the support goes directly to the child’s primary caregiver. Knowing that may make paying child support easier, but Zweig Law PC also wants to help you understand factors that determine how much you must pay in support.
Usually, the most essential factor in child support is the paying parent’s income. Financial documents both parents must submit to the court to determine child support payments include W-2 tax documents, paystubs, and papers that show overtime pay or bonuses.
One parent may believe the other intentionally does not work or does not work to her or his full potential. The court may investigate these claims, and if it finds the other parent intentionally reduces her or his earnings, it could impute that parent’s income. Impute means determining what the parent would make with his or her current education and career skills and using that to determine how much the parent should pay in child support.
Courts consider how many nights a child spends in each household. This matters because while a child lives with a specific parent, that parent has financial responsibility for the child. For instance, the parent with legal and physical child custody has more financial responsibility than a parent who only sees the child for an overnight visit once a week. Alternatively, both parents may spend equal time with their son or daughter, which could mean the recipient parent does not need that much financial support.
Other than overnight visits, your family lawyer in Colorado may consider other related factors, such as child care, income and deductions. Let your legal team at Zweig Law PC know the portion of health care costs you cover for your shared child.
Child Care Expense
One of the highest expenses related to raising a child is the cost of child care. Judges factor how much parents pay caregivers, daycare and day camps. One parent may bear most of the financial burden for child care costs, which the court considers when determining child support amounts.
One parent may child support for other children or spousal support for a different ex-spouse. If so, courts include this information when calculating child support.
Health Care Costs
The parent who covers a child’s health care expenses usually receives a credit in the child support formula. The parent must show evidence of how much an employer deducts for child health care.
While some of the grounds for a fault-based divorce may be easy to demonstrate in court proceedings, others may take more work. A court record showing a prison sentence, for example, may be easy to furnish. Even if the incarcerated spouse objects to the divorce, it may be easier for the petitioner to get it granted. However, something like infidelity or humiliation may be harder to prove. Proving fault does not necessarily give the filing spouse the upper hand in the division of property or child visitation. The court may, however, consider it when deciding matters such as child support, custody, and alimony.
Whatever way you choose to go, it is best to not do it on your own. A lawyer for CO family matters may be able to help you get through the divorce process more efficiently. Do not hesitate to contact us to book your free initial consultation with a family lawyer in Colorado at Zweig Law, PC as soon as you have the time!
How Is Property Divided in a Divorce?
Property division is definitely one of the main concerns during a divorce. Colorado is an equitable distribution state, so property will be divided fairly, not necessarily equal. A judge may consider several factors before deciding how to divide up assets, such as each spouse’s contribution to the property and the financial circumstances of each spouse.
How Long Does Divorce Take?
It’s understandable that you may want to get the divorce proceedings over with as quickly as possible. However, how long your divorce takes to settle will depend on the unique circumstances of your case. Generally, the more issues you and your spouse agree upon, the faster your divorce will settle. If you and your spouse disagree on many matters and aren’t willing to make sacrifices, you can expect your divorce to take longer to finalize.
How Does the Court Determine Child Custody?
If you and your spouse have minor children together, child custody will be a major consideration in your divorce. The court will look at several different factors when deciding which parent to award custody to, such as each parent’s physical and mental health, living situation and proximity to schools. The judge will always consider the child’s best interests first.
Is It Necessary to Hire a Lawyer?
One of the most important steps you can take in your divorce is to hire a skilled family lawyer in Colorado. He or she will guide you through the entire process and ensure your rights are protected. With an experienced lawyer on your side, you have a higher chance of getting a fair settlement in your divorce. A lawyer will also provide objective insight and prevent you from making costly mistakes.
How Much Does It Cost to Get a Divorce?
Many people worry about the expenses associated with a divorce. However, it’s tricky to estimate the total cost of a divorce initially. During your initial consultation with a family lawyer, be sure to ask about fees. He or she should be able to give you a breakdown of the fee structure.
How Is Spousal Support Determined?
In Colorado, judges use several factors to determine who should pay spousal support and how much. These factors may include each spouse’s income, the length of the marriage and financial resources of each spouse. For example, if one spouse was the breadwinner while the other spouse stayed home, the breadwinner may be required to pay support.
Will Property Be Divided Equally?
Since Colorado is an equitable distribution state, assets will be divided up fairly, not necessarily equally. When deciding how to divide property, a judge will consider several factors, such as the contribution of each spouse to the property and financial circumstances of each spouse.
4 Ways a Family Lawyer Can Help You
Legal family matters can quickly become complicated, especially when children are involved or divorce is a possibility. Here are four reasons you may need to seek out a family lawyer in Colorado.
1. Filing for Divorce
Divorce is one of the most common reasons family lawyers are sought out. You can seek the counsel of an attorney from Zweig Law PC for a consultation prior to filing, and that same lawyer can guide you through the process of legal separations and annulments. Even if the divorce is uncontested, you should have a lawyer to ensure that the separation is fair and legal. Divorces are complex due to assets being tied, including children, so everything will need to be accounted for and documented. If you are filing for a reason, such as infidelity, abuse, or abandonment, a family lawyer in Colorado is absolutely necessary. You may have to provide proof to a court before a formal decision is made because it could drastically change how your assets are divided, how custody is split, and how much alimony is required.
2. Deciding Child Support
The decisions concerning child support are usually after a divorce, but child support can come beforehand as well in instances of legal separation or abandonment. With the help of a family lawyer in Colorado, you could seek compensation through child support payments so that your children are cared for. If your ex-spouse refuses to pay, there are legal ways a lawyer from Zweig Law PC can help you get those payments. A family lawyer can also help with adoption.
3. Starting a Will
If you have children under the age of eighteen, you should start a will sooner rather than later. A will can be composed of many facets, but one important piece is establishing a guardian for your children in the event of your passing. A family lawyer in Colorado can assist you with figuring out who would be an appropriate guardian to appoint while putting it in a legal document.
4. Protecting Assets
The best method of protecting your assets is through the use of a pre-nuptial agreement. However, if you’re already married, you can file a post-nuptial agreement to have some degree of protection, but this could of course be contentious with your spouse if you’re looking to divorce. A family lawyer may be able to help you with your options so that, while you’re thinking about a divorce, your most important assets are protected.
Protecting Your Business After a Divorce
Divorce is not easy, and for business owners, this can be a complicated situation. If it is not handled properly, the consequences could be disastrous.
Like a home, car, or other assets, a business is also considered to be an asset. This means the value of it can be split between you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Even if you began your business prior to your marriage, it may be possible for your ex-spouse to seek a part of it. For example, our family lawyers in Colorado know of cases in which the value of the business increased, and as such, it became marital property because this happened during the marriage.
Protecting Your Business
You might wonder whether or not you can protect your business in the event of a divorce. The following are some tips provided to you by our leading family lawyers in Colorado. If you require further advice, you may call Zweig Law, PC.
- Draft a Pre-Nuptial or Post-Nuptial Agreement – If you began your business before you were married, you may be able to protect it by asking your fiancé to sign a prenup agreement. If you fail to do this before you are married, you can draft a postnuptial agreement that affords similar, if not the same, protection for your business. You don’t have to be extremely wealthy to have these legal documents. Rather, if you want to protect your assets before you are married, you can likely benefit from a pre or post-nuptial. A family lawyer in Colorado can draft both for you.
- Let Go of Other Assets – If you have already begun the divorce process, and did not take any preventative measures, you may still be able to protect your business. Consider letting go of other valuable assets such as your retirement accounts, your house, car, or other items. By giving your spouse assets that are the same value of the business they would have received, you may be able to retain all of your business.
- Make Payments – You might be able to save your business by arranging monthly payments, or a lump sum, to your ex-spouse for their share of the business. These payments can come from the businesses’ cash flow or a bank loan.
- Evaluate Your Business – Before you give anything away, you should ask a third party to evaluate your business. This person could be court-appointed, a financial analyst, or a lawyer. By knowing the worth of your business, you can ensure your ex-spouse does not receive anything more than they deserve.
If you are a business owner and are getting a divorce, a Colorado family lawyer can help you dissolve your marriage and protect your business. Call Zweig Law, PC now.
Types of Family Law Cases
In addition to custody and guardianship decisions, family courts also deal with adoptions. A family lawyer in Colorado may help you adopt children who have either been permanently removed from their parents’ home or who have no parents at all. Family law firms, such as Zweig Law PC, can help you find and adopt children whose mothers give up their parental rights at birth or during childhood. They can also help with oversees and foster care adoptions.
Children can pursue emancipation if they are able to financially support themselves and some aspect of their home life is not healthy for them. When children are emancipated, their parents no longer have legal control over them. There are often very specific conditions, such as age, living situation, financial viability and ability to care for themselves, that must be met before emancipation is granted. Often, the parents must also consent, but a judge can rule to approve this process if necessary. At the end of the emancipation, the child is considered a legal adult.
Termination of Parental Rights
A family lawyer in Colorado can help you if you believe a child is being abused or is in an unhealthy environment. In these cases, a judge may decide to temporarily or permanently terminate parental rights. Reasons for termination may include physical, mental or emotional abuse; abandonment; neglect or drug and alcohol abuse.
Typically, the courts will grant a temporary termination and encourage the parents to get their acts together. However, if a parenting or treatment plan is not followed, the judge may grant a permanent termination. Family law firms may have a predetermined guardian, or the child may end up in foster care if emancipation is not pursued.
If you are willing to take on the financial, medical and personal responsibility of a child, you can apply for guardianship. This may also apply to adults who are unable to care for themselves, such as those with advanced Alzheimer’s disease or another physical or cognitive disorder. In these cases, family law firms, e.g., the Zweig Law PC, can help you through the court process.
If you are a victim of domestic violence and need protection, you need to work with a family lawyer in Colorado. These professionals can plead your case in front of a judge and get a protection order against the person or persons who are harming you.
The decision to get a divorce is sometimes made after a couple has been apart for a while. This may sometimes be because the couple is not completely sure that they want to end the marriage, or because the couple needs to remain married for some reason, for example, if one spouse is covered under the other spouse’s medical insurance. Spouses who are not quite ready for a divorce may decide to get legally separated instead. A Colorado family lawyer can help.
Legal separation in Colorado is a legal process through which a couple can live apart after a court makes decisions on certain issues relates to the marriage. Once a court declares a couple legally separated, they operate as though they are divorced, except the couple cannot remarry because they are still legally married.
During a legal separation, a court can make determinations regarding custody, visitation, child support, and spousal maintenance. However, the court cannot make a ruling on the division of marital property without the couple requesting the division, and without an agreement by the spouses on how the property is to be divided. The court does not have to accept the agreement if the court feels it is not a fair division of assets among the couple, or if the court feels the agreement is unconscionable.
Without a decision on marital property in a legal separation, each spouse still has access to the marital assets. Some people may worry that their spouses will misappropriate the marital assets or try to hide assets in order to avoid the assets from being given to the other spouse in a divorce. Therefore, for peace of mind, couples who file for legal separation should always consider getting an agreement together to address the division of marital assets. Your Colorado family lawyer will ensure that any agreement is a fair one.
Once a couple is legally separated, any assets accumulated by each spouse are no longer considered marital property and cannot be divided as such if the couple later goes through with the divorce. This is also true of marital debts. So legally separated spouses are no longer jointly liable for each other’s debts if the debts are incurred after the legal separation.
A legal separation does not affect the couple’s ability to get a divorce. No matter how long the spouses have been legally separated, they can file for divorce at any time.
Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney
If a divorce is not possible, either for personal or religious reasons, and your marriage has fallen apart, you can consider filing for legal separation. Instead of simply moving out of your home, getting legally separated can offer more protection during your time of separation. For more information on filing for legal separation and getting child support or spousal maintenance while legally separated, contact a Colorado family lawyer from Zweig Law, PC. for a consultation.
Handling a Family Law Motion
When you are dealing with a family court matter, you may have to, at some point, file a family law motion to ask the court to make a decision on important issues regarding the division of assets, payment of debts, child custody, child support, alimony, and so forth. A family law motion will be needed for any issues you and your ex-spouse are unable to resolve through another means or to modify an existing order. To see how our family lawyer Colorado couples trust can help, call us now.
Handling a family law motion without a family lawyer can be challenging and time-consuming. Whether you choose to take action on your own or with the assistance of a family lawyer, information on the forms and their respective time limits can greatly affect your motion.
Filing the Motion
In family law, the legal term for the person filing the motion is the moving party. The spouse, parent, or another party who is in the opposition is called the opposing party. To begin with, filing a motion at the family court, you will need to identify the correct paperwork that needs to be completed. You can ask courthouse facilitators to provide you with these forms; however, they cannot provide you with any legal advice. They are also not allowed to tell you information you should or should not include. This is one reason why many people choose to ask a CO family lawyer for help.
You should remember to mark the deadlines on your calendar and write down when you notify the opposing party. Follow all of the guidelines on the form to ensure you are able to pursue your motion.
Make Copies of All Important Paperwork
When you file your motion, you will likely need to provide copies of different documents. As a family lawyer might tell you, be sure to make multiple copies of each document. One copy will be filed with the county clerk, one will be for you, another will be for the opposing party, and there should be at least one more as an extra. A separate copy may need to be filed for the judge to use at the motion hearing. You can ask the county clerk to stamp each copy for verification purposes.
Know Your Deadlines
If you manage to make it through the documentation and filing process, you will then need to put an emphasis on the deadlines. These deadlines will be enforced by the family court and should not be broken. On the day you choose to file your motion, you can ask the court how to schedule and confirm your upcoming hearing date. Many courts require the moving party to confirm the hearing ahead of time. Failure to do so could result in a dismissal of the hearing, and you would need to start the scheduling process over. In addition to the hearing deadline, there are other deadlines for the notification, opposition response, and so forth.
The Motion Hearing
For select motions, a family court judge will make a decision without any formal hearing. To do this, the judge will review the documentation and provide information. After this, a temporary or final order will be made. In other cases, a written motion will come before a motion hearing. At this hearing, each party will be given the chance to voice their concerns to the judge. Questions may be asked to help the judge to gain a better understanding of the situation. Once the hearing is over, the judge will issue a revised or new order.
If you believe you need legal assistance with the process of filing a motion at the family court, you may want to consider speaking with a family lawyer Colorado relies on from Zweig Law, PC.
Common Myths About Family Law
If you’re planning to file for divorce, you may have a lot of questions in your head. It’s important to separate fact from fiction before you file. Here are several myths about family law a family lawyer in Colorado doesn’t want you to believe.
- If the debt is under my spouse’s name, I’m not responsible for it. Generally, any debt you or your spouse take on during your marriage is both of your responsibility. Even if your spouse created debt that you didn’t know about, you will likely be financially responsible for it.
- The mother always gets custody of the children. In many cases, judges award custody to the mother. This is because women are generally viewed as more nurturing than men. However, the mother has a history of drug abuse or mental illness, the judge will like award custody to the father instead.
- You need a good reason to get a divorce. The truth is that you don’t need a specific reason to get divorced in Colorado. The state is no-fault, meaning that you don’t need to prove fault to get your divorce approved. Even if your spouse doesn’t agree with getting a divorce, you can still obtain one.
- If you have an uncontested divorce, you don’t need a lawyer. An uncontested divorce is certainly preferred to a contested one. You and your spouse agree on the major issues in your divorce want to remain civil. However, that does not mean you shouldn’t have an experienced family lawyer in Colorado on your side. Complications can still arise during uncontested divorces, so it’s best to work with a lawyer.
- If the other parent isn’t paying child support, you don’t have to let him or her see the kids. It can indeed be frustrating if your ex hasn’t been paying child support. However, that doesn’t mean you can take his or her parenting time away. Even if your ex has not paid in months, he or she still has the legal right to see the kids. There are several legal remedies, though, to get your ex to pay child support, like writing a demand letter.
- Affording a lawyer is impossible. There’s no argument that divorce is expensive. However, that doesn’t mean you absolutely can’t afford a family lawyer in Colorado. Some lawyers offer sliding scales for clients with certain incomes and payment plans.
Other Ways Family Lawyers Can Help
Anything that has to do with children and family life is something that a family lawyer can assist you with. Adoption is included in this. When you are adding a new family member, it changes your entire dynamic. You also need to know all of your rights when adopting. For example, if you are adopting a child who has parents who are still alive, you need to know your rights once the child becomes yours. It will be important to have a lawyer on your side in case there are issues in the future. This way, you do not need to catch anyone up on what exactly is going on.
Choosing a Guardian in Case You Pass Away
Anyone who has a child should have a family lawyer they trust so that they can choose a guardian, should anything happen to themselves and their partner. This will ensure your child is cared for by someone who has the same beliefs and values as you. It is important to choose the right person to be the guardian in the case of your untimely passing so that your child has the best possible person to help them grow up into a secure adult. The guardian should have a lifestyle that is compatible with raising a child and should agree to this before you name him or her as a possible person in your will to raise your children.
Child Support and Child Custody
Since divorce is fairly common, there are also many reasons to have lawyers who specialize in helping with the children after all is said and done. Regardless of whether you are paying or receiving child support, you need to have a lawyer on your side to make sure your best interests are protected. You also want to make sure that the custody hearing goes the way you want it to. These are both too monumental, life-changing things that can affect the trajectory of the rest of your life. A lawyer will do his or her best to make sure everything is fair at the end of the day.
Dealing with child support or child custody can be difficult because it is a very emotional topic and can be life-changing for the children involved. Whether you need to make adjustments to child support payments, figure out which parents take your children on what days of the week, or anything else regarding the health and well-being of your children, a family lawyer can help.
Contact a Family Lawyer Today
No matter what you were dealing with, you need to have a family lawyer that you can trust on your side. Your lawyer will know the laws of your state and be able to make sure that you are being treated fairly. Family matters can be difficult, but having a lawyer on your team makes everything far less emotional and more logical, trying to figure out all of the logistics that will be best for your family. Contact a family lawyer, like one from Zweig Law, P.C. today to set up a consultation and learn more about how one can help you.