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Colorado Springs Family Law Blog

Helping you resolve child support issues in a Colorado divorce

As parents are preparing for the birth of a child, it can be apparent that a baby will require a lot of things. Very quickly, it is obvious that a baby costs a lot to care for, and as that baby grows, will continue to require care and financial support. So when parents in Colorado and elsewhere decide to part ways, the requirement to provide financial support does not end. And in order to ensure a noncustodial parent continues this obligation, it is often necessary to establish a child support order.

When a divorce is ordered, a child will live with one parent, while the noncustodial parent will pay child support. This support occurs even if the custodial parent has their independent source of income. The idea is that the financial situation of the child post-divorce will resemble the financial situation they experienced when their parents were still married.

Changes to tax code and alimony deduction could impact divorce

Coloradans who are considering divorce must think about more than the basic issues that led to the decision to part ways with a spouse. The sudden concern about timing stems from changes to the tax code that could have an impact on the financial situations of those who are divorcing and will pay or receive alimony. Understanding these aspects is imperative to a divorce case and the determination of whether to file immediately.

For 75 years, those paying alimony have been allowed to deduct it from their taxes. Those who were receiving alimony had to claim the payments as income. Both requirements have changed. For people on both sides, it is important to assess the ramifications of waiting until 2019 to divorce. Spouses who are going to pay alimony might be better off if the divorce is finalized before year's end.

Colorado courts focus on your kids, not you, in a custody battle

Colorado courts take a relatively progressive approach to divorce and custody issues. In fact, Colorado no longer refers to splitting up responsibilities for a child as custody. Instead, they refer to both parenting time and the right to make decisions as parental responsibilities. They expect both parents to contribute to the well-being of the children from the marriage and to perform certain responsibilities on behalf of the children, such as making medical decisions.

The courts take the responsibility to allocate parental responsibilities very seriously. They will always act in what they perceive is the best interest of the child, rather than how the parents want them to. Educating yourself about how Colorado courts approach parental responsibility can help ensure a positive outcome in your case.

What are mandatory disclosures in a Colorado divorce?

When a Colorado couple chooses to divorce, emotional issues will be most pressing, but there are many clerical issues that must be attended to. This can be difficult to remember during such an emotional time, but the documents are imperative to completing the process as smoothly and as efficiently as possible. This detailing of the mandatory disclosures that must be made is key to a case.

Both parties must provide the following: a sworn financial statement using the approved form; the three most recent income tax returns - these must include personal and business tax returns; the three most recent personal financial statements with all assets, liabilities, and credit or loan applications; the previous three years of business financial statements for each business in which there was access to the financial statements, the fiscal years' financial statements, and more.

Being prepared for a divorce requires certain considerations

When Colorado residents get married, they hope the union will stand the test of time and they will not need to consider a divorce. Unfortunately, many marriages - approximately half - will end in divorce. People in the midst of an unhappy marriage who are thinking about divorce should take certain realities into consideration as they decide on their options. There is paperwork that must be filed, and an examination of the finances must be completed,

As the idea of a divorce becomes more prominent, it is wise for the couple to decide that this is what they want. Knowing the law and how a person's individual needs will be affected cannot be underestimated. If there are children, how they will be supported and what the custody situation will be are some of the foundational factors to think about.

Considering the costs to retirement savings in a divorce

For Colorado couples who are getting a divorce, the issues they must consider might seem overwhelming. However, because there are different factors involved does not mean that any one of them should be ignored. Finances can be a major concern with division of assets, asset distribution and other matters coming to the forefront. Recent research has shown that retirement savings can be a casualty in a divorce. Having legal assistance to prepare for this eventuality can minimize the damage it can do to both parties.

The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College examined how those who are no longer working and become divorced will see their standard of living change. Since an estimated 40 percent of marriages will end in divorce, these are key factors. Retirement savings are at a 7 percent greater risk since 2016. To put that into context, the financial crisis from a decade ago raised the risk by 9 percentage points. Also, the average net worth of families who have divorced was slightly more than $100,000. In families where there was not a divorce, it was $132,000.

Understanding responsibility with children after divorce

After a Colorado couple decides to divorce and there are children involved, there are many more issues that must be considered when compared to a simple parting of the ways of people without children. One of the most common circumstances is how the decision-making responsibility will be allocated. Understanding the law is integral to dealing effectively with a case.

When there is a motion made by either of the parents or the court on its own, the decision-making responsibilities will be allocated contingent on the child's best interests. It is possible that both parents will be granted decision-making responsibility in a mutual way. Or, it can be done individually without a combination. Understanding the factors that go into how these responsibilities will be allocated is critical.

The way you ask for a divorce is important

There may come a point when you realize that your marriage is on the rocks. No matter how hard you try, you continue to run into one problem after the next.

If you eventually come to the conclusion that divorce is the only way to better your life, it's time to shift your focus towards the process and everything it entails.

How does alleged abuse affect child custody?

In Colorado, not all couples who part ways are ending their relationship on the best terms. There are many reasons why this could be the case, but one of the most troublesome is if there is abuse in the relationship. The abuse could be toward a child, from one spouse to the other, or a combination. When the court determines how to handle child custody and visitation schedules, it will consider any allegations of abuse.

Any allegations must have credible evidence to support them. If the court finds the allegations credible, then it will likely find that joint custody should not be awarded should the other parent object to it. In some cases, the child will have an appointed representative - a Guardian ad Litem - who will oversee the child's interests. The GAL will decide what is best for the child.

The importance of legal help with family law

Even though same sex marriage is now legal in Colorado, complicated issues can still arise. For any same-sex marriage issue, legal assistance is a must.

For example, when people have children and act as parents despite one not being biologically related to the child, disagreements can arise as to who should get custody and whether visitation rights are necessary. This is especially problematic if the child was not adopted. Because a divorce can become emotional when children are involved, having a law firm that knows what steps to take is critical.

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Mary Kay Kramer, P.C.
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