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Jefferson County Family Law Blog

Keeping the family home in a divorce

When Colorado couples decide to divorce, one of the biggest questions is what will happen to the family home. This is often the largest asset that is acquired during the marriage. Furthermore, many people become emotionally attached to the family home.

In many cases, a divorcing spouse will have to determine if it is in their best interests or even financially feasible to keep the family home, especially if there are children involved. One question that needs to be answered is how much equity the former couple has in the home. Equity is the value of the property minus any liens or encumbrances, such as the remaining balance of a mortgage. To determine equity, an appraisal or a broker price opinion will be needed.

How to protect the money you worked so hard to earn in a divorce

Many successful Colorado couples are between the ages of 25 and 40 with one or several children in their families. If you're a spouse that fits this category, and you happen to be headed for divorce, then you can likely relate to others in similar situations who are most concerned about protecting their finances. Whether you've been married five or less years, or have been with your spouse for a decade or more, you've worked hard to get what you have.

It is a fact that divorce costs money. However, there are definitely ways to keep costs low. What may be even more important is thinking of the long run and not only of making sure you get all that you're entitled to during property division proceedings. You can take steps to protect yourself financially throughout the divorce process. 

The purpose of The Hague Abduction Convention.

Colorado has strict laws regarding child abduction, including abduction during custody and visitation disputes. Law enforcement can become involved and criminal penalties may be placed on a perpetrator.

When child abduction occurs on an international level, a different set of rules apply. Separate governments, legal jurisdictions and different laws may arise. A custody order signed in the US may not be honored by another country.

Are you co-parenting with a toxic person?

When you got married, getting divorced one day was not an option in your mind. However, things happen and life changes, sometimes in very unexpected ways. When you made the decision to divorce, you were worried how it might affect your children. The good news is that children are highly adaptable.

When kids have difficulty coping with divorce, it's usually because of the way the adults in their lives are acting. Perhaps you'd like more than anything to work as a team with your ex, but it's just not possible because he or she has a toxic personality. In fact, that might have been a causal factor in your divorce. The more you understand about narcissism, the likelier you can co-parent without compromising your rights or your peace of mind.

Paying child support, taxes and modifications

While every state has its own formula for calculating child support, most of those formulas are broadly similar. In Colorado, the formula takes into account the income of both parents, the number of kids and expenses that might include daycare and medical care.

Parents might negotiate an agreement or a judge could decide what the child support obligations should be. In either case, it might be possible to change the terms of the support arrangement. This could be the case if a parent becomes disabled or loses a job. Parents must go back to court in order to request a modification. If child support is lowered, it is likely that any spousal support obligation will be as well.

Current trend in child custody

Fathers in Colorado who sought shared custody of their children after a divorce during the majority of the 20th century were often unsuccessful. During that time, the family courts would almost always favor the mothers when considering how to award child custody. However, in the last three decades, there has been a substantial shift in how child custody is awarded: Family courts are beginning to encourage mutual agreements that favor shared parental custody arrangements.

One of the two kinds of child custody is legal custody, which gives parents complete control over the decisions regarding their children's healthcare, religion, education and any other aspects of their well-being. The other type of child custody is residential or physical custody, which is determined by where the children reside at night.

Joint custody is on the rise, but is it right for you?

For parents in Colorado, creating a child custody agreement is often the hardest part of divorce. You want to make sure that your child's best interests are at the center of the agreement, but you and your ex might disagree about what that means. Increasingly, families are deciding that joint custody agreements are best for their kids.

In the recent past, judges awarded mothers primary custody the vast majority of the time. This left many fathers feeling more like babysitters or visitors in their children's lives. While joint custody is not yet the standard, courts are increasingly acknowledging the role that fathers play in fostering their children's well-being.

A closer look at mortgage options in divorce

Colorado couples often look at three basic options when determining what to do with the marital home after a divorce. These include retaining the original joint mortgage, refinancing the joint mortgage or assuming the original mortgage. Each option has its pros and cons.

When a couple decides to retain the original joint mortgage, both spouses will make payments for the joint mortgage while just one of them lives in the home. This option usually only works when the divorcing parties still trust each other. If they do not and one of them misses a payment, it could damage both of their credit scores.

Resolving conflicts related to raising children

Parenting can be challenging after a divorce, but it is important for parents in Colorado and throughout the country to put their needs second and focus on what is best for the children. This means not putting them in the middle of arguments or other disputes that the adults are involved in. If a child mentions something that the other parent has said, it may be time for a conversation with that person. Ideally, this conversation will take place at a neutral location where the child is not present.

While consistency is key for children, parents shouldn't feel forced to have the exact same parenting style as their ex. For instance, a parent shouldn't force a child to do homework at a set time just because the other parent prefers it that way. As a general rule, parents should allow for differences in parenting style as long as those differences don't put the child in danger.

Don't let a stepparent mess up your custody plan

When you and your spouse divorced, you became former spouses; however, you didn't become former parents. You're still parents of the same children, and that means you and your ex will always have a connection in that sense. One or both of you might remarry. If that happens, you may encounter numerous challenges as your kids adapt to having a stepparent. It's natural that they might see a remarriage as a betrayal at first. It takes time to adapt to new lifestyles.

Unfortunately, many families run into trouble when a new stepparent somehow causes impediment to an existing child custody or visitation arrangement. Perhaps, your ex's new spouse wants to have weekends alone as a married couple without your kids. Maybe you feel that your ex has been alienating you from your kids ever since you remarried. If legal quandaries arise, there are resources available to help you rectify the problem.

Schedule A Meeting Today

When faced with divorce or a child custody dispute, you may feel paralyzed as you grieve the loss of a relationship. But you need to take action. Once we take over the legal issues, you will be able to move toward a new normal.

To schedule a free initial appointment with one of our skilled lawyers, please call 720-739-7835. Sending us an online message is another easy way to get started.

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