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Colorado Springs Family Law Blog

Should alimony continue from ex-spouse's estate after death?

When a Colorado couple goes through a divorce, there may be certain assumptions made regarding how long alimony and other payments will last. A recent case highlights the importance of clarifying how either individual's death will impact payment arrangements.

When one couple got married in the late 1980's, they had a prenuptial agreement stating that the husband would make regular payments to the wife if they divorced. They payments would last until she died or remarried. The couple did divorce after eight years of marriage, agreed upon the monthly amount (just over $4,300) and payments began.

Emotional preparation can help as you go through a divorce

Getting ready for a divorce takes planning, which is only possible if you know that the petition is going to be filed soon. Many people focus on the physical ways that they can prepare, such as gathering documents, but it is also important that you prepare emotionally for what is to come.

Even if you want the divorce to happen, you will still likely feel some mixed emotions when you are going through the process. Here are some tips to help you feel more in control of what is going on emotionally.

Helping you obtain a favorable child support order

Anyone who has had a child understands that it is expensive to raise kids. As a child ages, their needs and wants change. This can significantly alter how much parents spend on a child each year. When parents in Colorado and elsewhere divorce, these financial needs to not change for the child. However, divorced parents need to carefully assess and address the issue of child support.

In any divorce matter that involves children, child support and child custody tend to go hand in hand. In other words, the amount of physical care a parent provides could alter how much support he or she pays or receives. In cases of joint or shared custody, this amount could be minimal or nothing at all. However, when a parent has primary or sole custody of a child, he or she could receive a significant payment each month to cover the financial needs of the child.

Assistance with same-sex family matters

Although the right to marry applies to all couples in the state of Colorado, same-sex marriages still carry some unique legal difficulties. These types of situations are stressful and uncertain no matter the type of relationship, but same-sex couples often face a different set of challenges regarding child custody and asset division.

Because of these difficulties, seeking the assistance of an experienced attorney is extremely helpful. At Mary Kay Kramer, P.C., we handle each case of same-sex family matters with the compassion, focus, and skill it deserves. We tailor our approach to each case based on the unique elements of the relationship and aim to achieve an optimal result.

How does a protective order work in a divorce?

As discussed previously, Colorado Springs couples considering ending their marriage have options if they are willing and able to work together towards a resolution of all the issues involved. But that is not the reality for many in a divorce. In fact, sometimes it becomes necessary for one spouse to take legal measures to protect him or herself -- or the children -- from the other spouse. What can Colorado Springs residents do with a protective order in such a situation?

First, let's quickly look at the different uses for protective orders. The most common one, with which our readers will be familiar, is to force one person to keep away from the other at all times. The actual distance is something the court will decide. That person could be a spouse or partner, but it could also be someone with no relation -- a stalker, for example.

Divorce options can save our clients time, money, heartache

Last week on our Colorado Springs family law blog, we ended our discussion of gray divorce by noting that these couples may not need to go through the traditional process of a litigated divorce. When spouses generally agree that a marriage is over and they are ready to go their separate ways -- and are able to work together honestly and openly towards that end -- Mary Kay Kramer, P.C. is able to help with alternatives tailored to their needs.

One option we may look at together is called mediation. In mediation, spouses do not retain separate legal counsel the way they do in a litigated divorce. Instead, they agree to both work with one individual -- a mediator -- who is trained to help them negotiate an agreement together that covers all of the details that would otherwise be fought over in court. Not only is this is far less stressful than the adversarial legal proceeding, but it typically costs less too.

Tips to make joint custody work

With holidays right around the corner, it may seem like an impossible task to work out a schedule with your future ex-husband. Will the kids spend half the day with you on Thanksgiving and the other half with him? What will you do about their winter break? Will you have to try to manage a continuous shuffle back and forth between your house in Colorado Springs and their father's?

Working out a shared custody arrangement can seem difficult, but there are ways to reduce the stress and make it work. In general, it starts with you and your ex keeping your emotions under control and working together to put the children first. For some tips to make joint custody successful, read further.

The link between retirement and divorce

The end of a marriage is often thought of in terms of a courtroom battle, with raw emotions and fighting over everything from the family home down to the last scrap of silverware. To be sure, some spouses need to fight hard to protect what is theirs in a divorce. For others, however, a marriage may end with the realization that it is time to move on in separate directions.

Take, for example, the case of the gray divorce, or a divorce between couples in their fifties or older. The gray divorce rate has spiked significantly in past decades compared to the rates for other age groups, for which it has actually declined. This may take our Colorado Springs readers by surprise: after all, aren't the golden years of retirement supposed to be free from the stress of working and parenting that typically lead to so many irreconcilable conflicts?

Preparing for Divorce: What documents should I gather?

Deciding to pursue a divorce is one of the most difficult decisions that a person can make, and once the decision is made, preparing for the divorce can be challenging, too. Fortunately, there are a few steps that can be taken to mitigate the complexities of a divorce. The first step is to gather the proper paperwork and documents. Thankfully, while every divorce is unique, the paperwork needed is relatively universal.

The first set of paperwork that a person should obtain are all tax-related documents relevant to income. Individual income tax returns for the past three years are useful and somewhat easy to collect, but the divorcee will need to make sure they have the federal, state, and local income tax return sheets. If the person owns a business, then he or she should collect the business income tax return for the past five years. Along these lines, it will also help to have proof of income for both parties, whether those are tax returns or even paystubs.

An overview of the adoption process for same-sex couples

Since our institutions have begun to recognize same-sex marriages, old and new same-sex families have considered parenting and expanding their family. A common way of pursuing child rearing is through adoption. However, the same-sex family may be wondering how to go about this process, or whether there are any special issues that need consideration, especially considering same-sex marriage is relatively new and, unfortunately, still controversial; yet, same-sex family law has been developing rapidly to smooth out the bumps in the process.

Fortunately, Colorado has been receptive and adaptive to same-sex families pursuing adoption. In Colorado, same-sex couples may jointly petition to adopt. Additionally, Colorado permits a same-sex partner to petition to adopt their significant other's child. Even a single LGBT person may petition to adopt a child, so the sexuality of an individual will not bar them from adoption. While this leniency is certainly kinder than some other states, there are still struggles and challenges to overcome just like any adoption.

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Mary Kay Kramer, P.C.
1820 West Colorado Avenue
Colorado Springs, CO 80904

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