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Colorado Springs Family Law Blog

It is possible to settle family law issues in a divorce amicably

Many people do not fully comprehend the far-reaching consequences of a divorce. Colorado residents are more focused on ending their marriages and moving on with their lives without realizing that the decisions made in the process not only influence their financial stability, but also their relationship with their children. Oftentimes marriage dissolution even affects where an individual is going to live after moving out of their house. Divorce can affect almost every aspect of a divorcing individual's life, which is why understanding the long-term consequences prior to addressing pertinent divorce legal issues is very important.

For many couples it is beneficial to reach an agreement on most family law issues and resolve them before going to court. This can save time, money, and emotional distress. One of the areas that often benefits the most form accord is that of child custody. Parents should try to cerate a custody agreement that is in everyone's best interests, especially the children's. Since courts in Colorado have broad discretion when making these decisions, and the court may know very little about the family in question, parents can end up with visitation or custody arrangements that simply do not work.

The changing face of marriage and divorce

Given that many young adults in Colorado are the products of divorced marriages, it may come as no surprise that they are taking their time to settle down and get married. Not only are "millennials" driving the divorce rate down, they are also helping bring the marriage rate down. There are a number of ways that they are changing the face of traditional marriages,

Given their upbringing, millenials fear breakups and attempt to take their time in finding the right person to marry. In an effort to drive down stress, they are also attempting to lower their student debt and get a better handle on their financial life before getting married.

What are the benefits of divorce mediation?

Not all divorces in Colorado end up in family court. it is possible to resolve family law issues such as child custody, child support and property division without airing one's dirty laundry in court. Out-of-court alternative dispute resolution is one way to resolve one's issues out of court. Mediation, collaboration and arbitration can be valuable tools for ending a marriage as efficiently and quickly as possible.

However, many couples hesitate from going down the mediation route because they do not want to be in the same room with their soon-to-be-ex-spouse. What they don't realize is that this is exactly why there is a mediator in the room. The mediator steers the divorcing couple towards making productive and rational decisions and stops them from fighting the same old fights. It is also incorrect to assume that the mediator will attempt to reunite the couple. He or she is not serving as a therapist. The mediator's aim is to help the couple come up with an end of marriage solution that is workable for all parties involved.

Considerations when dividing your pension and 401K in divorce

So, you've been married for decades but neither of you is happy anymore. You find yourself thinking about divorce, but you also feel worried about what divorce could mean for your financial future or your retirement.

Whether you were the spouse who earned the most money in the marriage or you spent many of your prime professional years taking care of your family, it's natural to want a fair outcome to the division of your retirement assets.

What are some types of alimony?

While a Colorado couple is married, they often fall into a routine that they are comfortable in, including the lifestyle they maintain. When their marriage comes to an end, one of the decisions a court makes is how to help spouses maintain this standard of living. To do so, the court may award one party to pay alimony. Alimony is simply a pre-determined, periodic payment a higher-earning spouse pays to the lower-earning spouse.

The purpose of alimony is to help the lower-earning spouse transition from their previous role to their new life after a divorce. There are various types of alimony awards a court might grant in order to achieve this.

What is 'nesting' when it comes to child custody?

Most parents want to make decisions that are in the best interests of their family, even if it means getting a divorce. Even where parting ways is the best option for Colorado parents, there is no doubt that children have a difficult time when their parents are no longer in a relationship with one another. One of the most important ways to ensure children have as smooth a transition as possible from a two-parent household to a one-parent one is to keep the split amicable and low-conflict as possible. Some parents are beginning to think "nesting" is one way to achieve an amicable divorce.

Nesting is a type of child custody arrangement. The family residence remains the main house where the children live and the parents rotate in and out of the house, rather than children going from one house to another. This ensures little disruption for the kids and they can continue to live in the same environment they were in before their parents divorced.

Who gets custody of pets in a divorce?

When a person in Colorado divorces, their life is set to change in many ways. These individuals often turn to their pets for comfort to get through this difficult time. However, as with most family law issues in a divorce, who gets custody of the pets is most likely also going to have to be divided in court.

While many people consider their divorce-lawyer.cfm">pets as close to them as children, the law does not recognize this. This means that courts generally must decide custody of pets the same way they would divide assets, such as televisions. If there is more than one pet, then courts might divide ownership randomly in a divorce, without taking into account which pet is attached to which owner.

Can same-sex couples adopt in Colorado?

Just like heterosexual couples have the option to form families in different ways, so do LGBTQ couples and single individuals. The law has changed to reflect the evolving landscape in the country, and LGBTQ couples and single parents can adopt children in the same manner heterosexual couples can. As per Colorado law, any individual over the age of 21 can petition for adoption. While the language of the law itself has not been updated recently, it does account for same-sex couples in civil unions and includes same-sex spouses.

A specified second adult is allowed to adopt, in a process known as second parent adult. In order to adopt, there is no requirement of marriage and this form of adoption is available to both married and unmarried same-sex couples. A second parent adoption is one in which someone can adopt a child who has a sole legal parent. This means a non-biological or birth parent can establish legal rights as a parent while the sole legal parent does not lose any of his or her parental rights.

Seek a custody modification to spend more time with your kids

One of the most frightening considerations in divorce is the fact that the courts will have control of splitting up your parental rights and responsibilities. This means that someone else will influence how much time you get to spend with your kids.

Between the uncertainty and the horror stories about custody outcomes that many people share, it is common to worry about the potential outcome of your divorce. Some people may become quite depressed about the prospect of losing custody and fail to adequately advocate for themselves as a parent.

Should a child support agreement cover college expenses?

Most parents in Colorado will do everything they can to ensure their child has the best upbringing possible, even if the parents are divorced. Child support payments after a divorce are supposed to ensure that a child's upbringing does not suffer because the legal relationship between parents has come to an end. Based on what the divorcing couple agrees on, child support payments can cover school fees, medical costs and daily expenses. Unfortunately, many people do not think of the long-term costs of child-rearing and instead focus their child support agreements on short-term potential expenses. Therefore, college expenses often end up neglected at the time the child support order is established, and thus this expense may be contested in the future.

The end of a Colorado marriage definitely has an impact on a child's college plans. While some states require addressing college costs in child support agreements, others do not, which is why it can slip through the cracks. Even those states that require it only need the agreement to outline the contributions the parents will make for higher education.

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Mary Kay Kramer, P.C.
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Colorado Springs, CO 80904

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