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Jefferson County Family Law Blog

Out-of-state custodial parent relocations

Divorced parents in Colorado are often able to make things easier for their children by remaining within fairly close proximity to one another. Unfortunately, this isn't always possible. Whether it's because of a job change or other life circumstances, a relocation can present some challenges for parents after a marriage comes to an end. This situation can become even more complicated if the custodial parent wishes to relocate out of state with a child.

Before relocating, a parent should read their custody agreement documents, divorce decree and/or parenting plan first. If any of these documents have stipulations about out-of-state relocation, the custodial parent is encouraged to comply to avoid legal challenges. It's advised that a relocating parent also keep state laws regarding out-of-state moves in mind.

Alimony tax law changes now in effect

As the new year approached and then made its appearance, you may have wondered what changes the coming year would have in store for you. You likely hoped that any new aspects would prove beneficial, even if they seemed difficult to face at first. In particular, you may have had this hope for your pending divorce case.

You may have come to the decision to divorce well before the new year, but getting such cases underway can take a considerable amount of time. Now that 2019 is here, you will also need to contend with tax law changes that could affect any alimony awarded in your case.

What does joint custody look like following divorce?

Dissolving your marriage can certainly be a tough emotional process for you and the other party. However, if the two of you have minor children together, the divorce process can take a toll on them, too.

A major question you must tackle while going through the divorce process is who will end up receiving custody of the children. The reality is that joint custody, where you both share custody of the children to an extent, is a possibility. Here is a look at how joint custody works in Colorado.

The pros and cons of keeping the house after a divorce

Colorado residents going through a divorce have likely seen firsthand how difficult it can be to separate two lives that have been together for a period of time. The biggest challenge that they may face is dividing their assets. This is especially challenging if they have a co-owned house.

On the surface, it may seem that the best way to divide a co-owned house is to sell it and then divide the profits equally. However, one spouse may have an emotional attachment to the home, or there may be children growing up in the home. Out of consideration for one spouse or for the children, the divorcing couple may look for an alternative to selling the house.

Research strongly supports joint custody for young children

When parents in Colorado separate, the issue of child custody could create conflict. For example, a mother might seek sole physical custody and justify the request with the belief in traditional cultural norms. Some say that overnight care provided to toddlers by fathers could negatively influence the children's mental health. However, studies from psychologists analyzing the differences between sole custody and joint custody have firmly discredited this notion.

One landmark study endorsed by 110 child development experts around the world documented the advantages that children gained from joint custody. The psychologist concluded that all children, including very young ones, benefited from shared parenting.

Protecting your post-divorce financial interests starts now

Colorado readers know that divorce is complicated. It is not easy to traverse this challenging and emotional process, and if you have kids, your focus may be on their well-being and a fair custody order. There are many important issues to think about, and you would be wise not to overlook your future financial interests. 

The choices you make and the terms of your final agreements will affect your future, sometimes requiring adjustments to plans and lifestyle choices. No matter your net worth, it is always prudent to be smart and intentional about making good financial choices and pursuing a property division settlement is that is workable today and in the future. Protecting your long-term interests starts now.

Avoiding mistakes with a 401(k) transfer

According to a 2016 American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers survey, retirement accounts were among the assets fought over the most in a divorce. For those in Colorado and elsewhere who are splitting a 401(k) in a divorce, it is important to do so correctly. Otherwise, a taxable event may occur, which could reduce the value of the account. Transferring funds from a 401(k) in a divorce is done through a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO).

The order will spell out exactly how the transfer is to be made. Ideally, it will be crafted by an attorney who understands how to put a proper QDRO together. It should also be reviewed prior to being submitted to the court. If the money is put directly into an IRA, no taxable event occurs. If the money is taken as a distribution, no penalty is assessed regardless of the recipient's age.

Knowing how to handle the holiday season following a divorce

With the holiday season setting in, you may be spending your time making a list of gifts to purchase for loved ones and making travel plans to visit family and friends. However, if you and your spouse have decided to part ways, you may be approaching this time of year with somewhat less enthusiasm, especially if you have children.

When kids are involved, knowing how to handle the holidays with two separate households can be an intimidating task. Since the well-being of your children is likely a high priority, you may be in search of guidance on ways to meet their needs while reducing the stress of making holiday plans.

Tips for fathers seeking custody or paying child support

Some Colorado fathers who are divorced or who are not married to the mother of their children might feel the system is unfairly against them. While courts are supposed to treat mothers and fathers equally, over four-fifths of custodial parents are mothers. Meanwhile, fathers may face serious consequences for failing to pay child support or might not be able to get access to their children because of a protection order or because they were not listed on the birth certificate.

Most experts agree that even if they are struggling, fathers should try to pay some portion of child support. This may keep the most serious penalties, such as jail time, from being imposed. One man who went to jail because of falling behind on child support lost his job and had to file for bankruptcy. Fathers may want to hire an attorney and ask a court for a modification if they have had a change in circumstances such as a loss of income.

Property division may not always be straightforward in Colorado

You have finally filed for divorce, and the moment is surreal. All you can think about is how complicated and acrimonious things may become between you and the other party as you move forward with your marital breakup.

Understandably, one of your main concerns may be how you will handle child custody and visitation. However, another major concern you might have is how to go about dividing your marital property. Here is a glimpse at how to handle property division in the state of Colorado.

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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