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Jefferson County Family Law Blog

Preventing an international child abduction

As the world grows smaller and more people move to other countries for education and employment, the likelihood increases that people from different nations will marry and start a family. This can create some complex issues in a divorce, particularly if there are children involved. Colorado parents who have a child with someone from another country should be sure that they understand the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of Child Abduction.

The treaty addresses what happens if one parent takes a child to a different country without the permission of the other parent, and it has been ratified by 98 countries. It only applies in the country in which it is ratified, so the first thing a parent anticipating custody issues should look into is whether the other parent's country is a signatory. According to the Hague Convention, a child should be returned to the country that is the child's habitual residence. It also states that custody should be determined by the country that is the child's habitual residence.

Legitimate reasons for requesting support modification

Though you filed for divorce in a Colorado court, it in no way means you were trying to abdicate your parental obligations. Like all good parents, your children's best interests were no doubt a main priority when you began making plans for a new future. When the discussion turned to child support, you were not only willing, but you also wanted to make sure your children would have everything they need as they come to terms with your divorce and adapt to a new lifestyle.

When a Colorado family court judge issues a child support or custody order, both parents must fully adhere to the terms. What are you to do then if life throws a curve ball your way and you're not able to keep up with payments? The most important thing to remember in such circumstances is what it is not okay to do. It is definitely not okay to stop making payments without the court's permission.

Temporary child custody

When couples in Colorado separate or divorce, both parents are often concerned about what will happen to their children. In most cases, one parent will leave the family home, bringing about questions of which parent will have custody of the children. In these cases, it is not unusual for parents to mutually agree to a temporary custody arrangement that is subject to change in the future.

It should also be noted that temporary custody arrangements aren't just used in cases of divorce or separation. There are other instances in which a parent or parents may decide to give temporary custody to another party. For example, a parent who is ill may ask a friend or family member to care for a child until the parent has recovered.

Married to a narcissist? Divorce might be quite challenging

If you have been struggling to make a go of marriage with a spouse who is a narcissist, you likely already have a clear idea of what it means to try to rationally discuss important topics with an irrational person. Yours is definitely not the first relationship that has suffered demise because of narcissism. It's no secret that there is no "cure" for this condition, although, on rare occasions, some narcissists do seek help and learn to manage their lives and control their emotions better.

Divorce is never easy, but it might be especially challenging for someone in your position. That's because your spouse's narcissistic tendencies are not going to miraculously vanish after you file the petition and attempt to negotiate a fair and agreeable settlement. It's always a good idea to build a strong support network when you're starting a new lifestyle, and it's particularly helpful if you are headed for court.

Visitation rights cannot be denied indiscriminately

Colorado residents going through a divorce may wonder if a custodial parent can deny the non-custodial parent visitation on a whim. Custodial parents may be able to deny visitation if there are situations that put the child in imminent danger by being in the care of the non-custodial parent. However, resentment, hurt feelings or an argument between the ex-spouses are not a legal reasons for denying visitation.

The custodial parent may feel hurt that their ex-spouse is in a new relationship. They may resent any relationship that could develop between their child and their ex-spouse's new romantic partner. The child may feel uncomfortable being around their parent's new significant other. However, these are not legal grounds for denying visitation.

Kids and dads fare better in joint custody agreements

You did not treat the decision to end your marriage lightly. As a father, you know that getting divorced will mean spending less time with your children, which can be disheartening. What you might not have considered is evidence that divorce can actually make some men become better fathers. Even if you do your best to stay involved in your child's life, securing joint custody could greatly improve your father-child relationship.

Joint custody could feel more like an out-of-reach fantasy than the reality that it is. A lot of people in Colorado still think that women are better at caring for children. Even though family law courts now acknowledge just how important dads are, the idea that mothers always get primary custody just will not go away.

Making a success of co-parenting with a toxic ex

Colorado parents who are co-parenting know that many challenges arise as they look out for the best interests of their children. The situation can be even more complicated if one of the co-parents is a toxic person. The following tips can help individuals co-parent with a toxic ex after a divorce.

It is important to remember that communication with an ex-spouse needs to be business-like. Conversations should be factual and pragmatic; the goal is not to hash out old problems in the marriage. Conversations should focus on the children and their needs.

Managing the marital home in a divorce

When Colorado couples decide to divorce, the family home can be one of the most difficult items to divide. It is often a family's largest single asset, while many owners also carry substantial mortgages. The home often also carries a significant amount of emotional weight. The question can be more complex when children are involved, as parents may be concerned about displacing their children at the same time they are dealing with the changes that accompany a divorce. Still, there are several primary ways that people can handle the family home when separating.

While many people are attached to their homes, selling the house and dividing the proceeds is often the cleanest way to deal with it in a divorce. This is often the preferred option if the house is too costly for either spouse on their own. If this is not the case, one spouse could potentially buy out the other. In some cases, they may exchange their interest in another family asset, like a retirement fund, for their interest in the equity in the home. In other cases, they may need to take out a mortgage to cover the other spouse's equity interest.

Keep these things in mind when drafting a divorce agreement

Not all divorces have to end up in court. It is entirely possible to resolve divorce disputes and settle everything without ever stepping foot inside a Colorado courtroom or ending up before a judge. Every couple has the right to negotiate a final agreement and draft an order on their own, but it is still subject to approval by a judge.

The terms of your divorce order matter. They will impact you for years to come, and it's beneficial to think long-term when negotiating and working toward a reasonable outcome. How you feel right now may not be indicative of what is truly best for you in the future. The more thorough and practical your divorce order is, the better it will be for you and any minor children.

Some factors judges use to determine child custody

Judges in Colorado take into consideration a variety of factors when determining which parent will get custody of the children as the parents go through a divorce. The main goal judges have when looking at these factors is to determine what will be in the best interests of the child.

Some things that they will consider concerning the children include their ages, how well they could adjust to new circumstances, and their health. Judges often prefer to maintain consistency, which sometimes means that custody will be granted to the parent the child is already living with. However, this is no hard rule. As the children get older, judges may be more willing to look at other living arrangements as the children may be able to better adjust as they mature.

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 720-739-1770. Sending us an online message is another easy way to get started.

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