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Colorado Springs Family Law Blog

Co-parenting is an important tool for your children's health

When you and your spouse decided that it was time for a divorce, you found yourself most concerned over the welfare of your children. You don't want to see them unhappy, but you're not sure how to manage this relationship with their other parent.

One thing you need to carefully consider is the ability to co-parent your children. Co-parenting can be a positive way to raise your children and may help them adapt better to the changes following a divorce.

The importance of understanding the family finances

Married people in Colorado should have some understanding of the family finances even if they do not handle those finances on a day-to-day basis. According to a study by Fidelity Investments, people who are not involved with these finances have the hardest time recovering financially after a divorce.

People generally do not enter marriage with a plan to get divorced, but it is important to be prepared for this possibility since a divorce can cause financial difficulties. A prenuptial agreement is one way to get this protection. It specifies what each person is bringing into the marriage and how that property will be divided in the event of a divorce. However, it may not be sufficient. After people are married, they may acquire other property that they want to keep separate. For example, an inheritance that is mingled with other marital funds might be considered shared property in a divorce. A postnuptial agreement could protect this type of property.

Addressing finances through a postnup after marriage

Not all Colorado couples have the foresight or desire to set up a prenuptial agreement. As financial situations change during the life of a marriage, however, spouses might be interested in signing a postnuptial agreement. Like a prenup, a postnuptial agreement can provide many benefits that can help a couple not just manage finances at the moment but also in the future if the marriage ends in divorce.

A postnuptial agreement can be particularly beneficial in certain situations. These include relationships where one spouse might be somewhat irresponsible with money. The agreement could force both spouses to address the issue and set rules and goals moving forward. It can also be beneficial if there's a family business. Partners may want to set up protections in case future situations, such as divorce, arise. When one of the partners expects to receive a large inheritance, a postnuptial can also serve to establish how this will be handled.

Allocating parental responsibilities in a Colorado divorce

Children are often caught in the middle of a Colorado divorce. Among the most complex factors that must be considered and decided as part of the divorce process, allocation of parental responsibility is at or near the top. Both parents will want to serve the child's best interests while spending as much time as possible with the child. This is true in an amicable divorce, a contentious divorce or a case that is somewhere in between. It is imperative for the parents to understand the law for parenting plans and how the responsibilities will be shared.

The parents can submit a parenting plan that the court will assess. It can approve or deny it. The plan must address the parenting time and how the decision-making responsibility will be split among the parties. For parents who have not submitted a parenting plan or if the plan that was submitted has been rejected, the court can create a parenting plan on its own. In contested cases, there must be clarity with the parenting plan so all the needs are addressed. This applies to the child and his or her age at the time of the plan's formulation and in the future.

Separation may be precursor to same-sex divorce for actress

It was not long ago that the legality of same-sex marriage was a source of intense debate. This was true in Colorado and in many states across the U.S. Now, however, it is legal for people of the same sex to get married. As with most marriages, there is a chance that the couple will decide that the marriage is not working and they will choose to get a same-sex divorce.

According to recent reports, actress and talk show host Sara Gilbert is legally separating from her wife of five years, singer Linda Perry. Gilbert was on the television sitcom "Roseanne" and is now on "The Conners." She is a host on "The Talk." Perry is a singer and songwriter most prominently known for her work in the band "4 Non Blondes." She has written songs for popular artists like Pink and Gwen Stefani. The couple married in March of 2014. They had a son in February of the next year. Gilbert has two children from a prior relationship. Gilbert has asked the court not to award spousal support to either party.

Having legal help can be beneficial with the divorce process

It is not uncommon for Colorado couples who are embarking on a divorce to think they have a basic grasp of the process, only to be surprised when it is more complicated and difficult than they believed it would be. This can stem from a misplaced reliance that television, films and even news stories are giving the scope of what the divorce process entails. While some divorces are relatively amicable and the couple can agree on child custody, asset distribution, maintenance, property division and other factors, many are more contentious.

Understanding the basic aspects of the divorce process can help people to be fully prepared for what lies ahead. First, there will be a petition, the document that initiates the divorce. Either side can file the petition. Next will be a summons and response. The spouse who is pursuing the divorce will inform the other party as to the intention. That spouse will subsequently acknowledge that it was received and the divorce process will move forward.

Professional parents have unique parenting issues after divorce

Having two working parents in the family can provide everyone with a higher standard of living thanks to dual incomes. Unfortunately, having two people working full time can also complicate your family dynamics and strain your marital relationship.

When both parents work long hours and experience high levels of stress, they may not have the emotional or mental energy to work on the marriage the way that they need to in order to preserve it in the long term. Busy professionals have a higher risk of divorce than other couples in Colorado.

What is the income shares model for Colorado child support?

Child support is often one of the most contested aspects of a divorce. When the parents have parted ways, it is imperative that the child's best interests be served. A significant part of that is the financial upkeep of the child. Calculating how much will be paid should be understood as a fundamental part of the case. Of course, shared responsibility is critical, but there are certain terms that should be known. One is income shares. As with any family law situation, having legal help might be essential.

The basic theory in the state is that the child should receive the same support he or she would get if the parents were still together. Income shares refers to the amount of the combined incomes of the parents that the child will be entitled to. To come to a number that will be paid, there will be a computed amount using the incomes earned by both parents.

What if there is an abusive parent in a child custody case?

During a Colorado divorce in which child support is involved, the child's needs are paramount. When the parents are nurturing of the child, it is obviously beneficial to his or her upbringing and future and both parents will want involvement in the child's life. The courts will take this into consideration.

Unfortunately, there are many cases in which there are allegations or a history of abuse. In these circumstances, the courts will take certain steps to address a situation in which there is an abusive parent and this can have an effect on the child custody rights and visitation schedule. These cases make it essential that the parents consider having legal assistance to ensure the child is protected.

What can be done to enforce a visitation schedule in Colorado?

Getting a divorce in Colorado can lead to emotional and personal upheaval. This is worse when there are children from the marriage and child custody and a visitation schedule is in dispute. Even in cases where the couple is cordial or even friendly, issues can arise to make the situation acrimonious. After the case is completed and parenting time has been determined, it does not necessarily mean the case is over. If parenting time and the visitation rights are problematic, filing a motion to have the agreement enforced can settle concerns.

When there is a hearing for parenting time, the court can install different rules and conditions to be consistent with the prior order. By doing this, this is a step to ensure the prior order is successful. The court is required to separate child support and the visitation rights so there can be no conditions set by either parent to influence these aspects of the case.

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

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