FAMILY LAW

  • Divorce -  People in Colorado are either married formally by going to their local clerk and recorder and obtaining a marriage license or in the alternative simply by declaring their decision to cohabitate as a married couple in a common law relationship.  A common law marriage is not treated any differently than a formal marriage except that a spouse seeking a divorce must prove that the  parties intended on being married either by demonstrating their reputation in the community, via their conduct or by their oral or written representations.   A divorce is required even if you entered into a common law marriage as their is no such thing as a common law divorce in Colorado.  In order to file for Divorce in Colorado at least one of the spouses is required to have been a Colorado resident of the State of Colorado for at least 91 days.  By statute, the court may enter a decree divorcing the parties once a 91 day waiting period has expired.   Upon filing a divorce case in Colorado an automatic injunction enters prohibiting both parties from harassing the other, removing the children from Colorado, canceling certain polices of insurance, making extraordinary expenditures,  and from disposing of, or hiding, marital property.  After filing for divorce there are three possible hearings.  The first mandatory hearing is the initial status conference.  This is simply the first meeting with the judge or family court facilitator who will decided on how your case will progress in regards to discovery and expert appointments.  The next hearing is optional and that is for temporary orders as to support, maintenance, issues with regard to any minor children and a temporary division of property and debt.  The final hearing is referred to as the "permanent orders" hearing.  The court at the permanent orders hearing will enter a decree of divorce, divide the parties marital property and debt, enter final orders as to maintenance and child support, and enter final but modifiable orders as to the allocation of parental responsibilities as to the parties children.

  • Legal Separation is similar to a divorce except that the final order does not end the marriage, and the parties are not free to marry someone else. Some couples prefer to legally separate for religious reasons, while others hope to maintain health insurance coverage. In Colorado, the process for obtaining a legal separation is similar to the procedure for filing for a divorce.

  • Child Custody - see allocation of parental responsibilities

  • Relocation to another geographic area with you child can be very complicated when the other parent objects.  The relocating parent must give the other parent notice of the intended relocation and file a motion with the court requesting that the child be permitted to relocate with the requesting parent.  The court's of Colorado here motions to relocate on a forthwith basis. see 14-10-129(1)(a)(II), C.R.S.

  • Allocation of Parental Responsibilities - The term "child custody" is no longer used in the Colorado statutes.  Instead, the term now utilized legally in Colorado is "allocation of parental responsibilities."  There are two main components to "allocation of parental responsibilities."  One is the division of parenting time between the two parents.  The other is the division or sharing of parental decision making.

  • Parenting Time - There is not a presumption in Colorado for an equal (fifty/fifty) division of parenting time.  Instead, the decision is simply based upon the best interest of the child in an initial determination. 

  • Decision Making - In Colorado courts may require the parents to make major decisions jointly, or the court may order that one parent have all major decision making.  Alternatively, the court may order that the decision making is divided between the two parents.  An example is that father might decide all major issues related to education, day care and medical treatment, while mother would decide all major issues related to extracurricular activities, dental care and religious upbringing

  • Protection Orders - A Colorado protection or restraining order is a civil order that provides protection from harm by (1) any person who is or has been related to you by blood or marriage, (2) any person who has lived with you or lives with you now, or (3) any person with whom you have had an intimate relationship

  • Child Support - Colorado determines the amount of Child support a parent has to pay by determining both parents incomes or imputed incomes in the event a parent is voluntarily underemployed or unemployed. see CRS 14-10-115.

  • Maintenance - Colorado determines the amount and duration of spousal support (alimony) that is payable by imputing each spouses incomes into a "recommended" guideline.  The judge then must determine if the amount recommended is equitable after considering the equites in a particular case.

  • Property Division - In Colorado property and debt is divided in an equitable fashion between the parties.  It is noteworthy that equitable does not mean a 50-50 division in Colorado.

PROBATE & JUVENILE MATTERS

  • Adoptions

  • Name Change

  • Dependency & Neglect

  • Guardianships

POST DECREE MATTERS

Mediation & Real Property Disputes

  • Mediation & Arbitration Services

  • Real Property Disputes

  • Partition Actions

  • Quiet Title

  • Mechanic's Liens

  • Post Decree Matters

  • Relocations

  • QDRO Preparation & Retirement Division

  • Enforcement, Garnishment & Contempt

  • Parenting Time Restrictions

  • Modifications & Appeals

PRACTICE AREAS