Danielsen Westhoff
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Jefferson County Family Law Blog

Creative option to help your kids cope with divorce

When you realized your marriage was headed for divorce, you began to consider ways you might be able to help your children come to terms with idea. A main concern of yours involved telling your kids you'd all be moving to a new home. They really like where they live now, have been at the same school for a long time and have established friendships, as well as participate in various sports and community activities. You don't want to bear the news that all that's about to change.  

The good news is you may have another option! Many Colorado parents implement a creative form of co-parenting in divorce known as bird nesting. You can research the topic to determine if you think it may be a viable option in your situation. It definitely doesn't work in all cases; however, if you try it and decide it's not best for your family, you can always ask the court to modify your parenting plan. If you know where to seek support ahead of time, that process needn't be difficult. 

How to help your kids come to terms with your divorce

You and your spouse may be one of many young, professional couples who were excited to settle in Adams County or a surrounding area to go for gold in your careers and provide your children with the best opportunities the region has to offer. Colorado consistently ranks high for per capita income, which may be one of the things that attracted you when deciding where to live when you got married.  

All that may seem like a lifetime ago now that much has changed, your kids are getting older and you are preparing for divorce. You'll be glad to know there are strong support networks in place that can help you navigate the process, achieve a fair and agreeable settlement, protect your rights as a parent and keep your children's best interests a central focus of the proceedings. In the meantime, there's a lot you can do from your end to help your kids adapt to their new lifestyle. 

You can modify your child support payment amount in certain cases

In Colorado, the payments you make for child support are based on both your income and the other parent's income, as well as the earning potential for both of you. These payments are also based on the children's specific monetary needs.

However, what happens if you can no longer make these payments due to a change in your income? In this situation, you may want to seek to modify your child support payment amount. Here is a look at what child support modification entails.

Topics to address when negotiating a child custody agreement

It's no secret that the end of a marriage can be a stressful and daunting experience. As a parent, you may have additional concerns as to how the process will affect your kids and wonder what steps you can take to ensure that their needs are taken care of in the process.

While you may be at odds with the other parent, chances are, your kids might not share these feelings, and shared parenting could prove to be in their best interests. However, reaching an acceptable parenting plan can be a complex process, and seeking guidance on how to achieve this goal could be essential.

New year, new (single) you? Preparing for your Colorado divorce

Whether you were the one who brought up the idea or you were blindsided when your spouse broached the subject of a divorce, you're probably feeling at least a bit stressed at the moment. Even when you're certain that ending your marriage is for the best and you know you're working toward a more stable and emotionally healthy future, the most amicable of divorces can still bring anxiety.

Even setting aside the emotional aspects of ending your marriage, you are probably feeling somewhat nervous about meeting with a divorce attorney. Divorce may be something you never imagined yourself going through, so you may have no idea what to expect or how to plan. Take heart; you're not alone. Lots of people have found themselves in the same situation you are in now, and something that many find helpful is preparation. A little bit of planning can go a long way toward putting your mind at ease.

Peaceful co-parenting is possible through a joint custody plan

When two Colorado parents choose to move forward with a divorce, it can lead to serious disputes and complications over child custody. However, some parents are able to put their temporary emotions aside and work together for a beneficial and workable child custody order. In many families, this means a joint custody arrangement.

Joint custody is not possible in every situation, but it could be the right choice for your family. This type of custody plan allows a child to have regular access to both parents, which can be beneficial for his or her mental and emotional well-being. If you believe that a joint custody plan could work for you, or you have concerns about the protection of your parental rights, you can reach out for guidance as you navigate these matters.

How is equitable distribution handled?

One of your first concerns after filing for divorce may involve your marital property. "Who gets what?" is a common question that is not necessarily easy to answer. Many Colorado couples find that emotions often run too high to take control of splitting up their own property.

Mediation or going before a family law judge are often both better options than trying to figure out asset division on your own. These routes involve individuals who have more experience in family law, and can provide better guidance on equitable distribution.

Keeping your cool when your co-parent couples up

Perhaps you are one of the lucky ones, the person who naturally can work with your ex to successfully co-parent. Communication is a breeze, everyone sticks to the plan and when your ex finds a new partner, no ugly feelings spring up. However, if you are like many other people, you may run into a few difficulties in co-parenting with the person you aren't married to anymore.

This can get even more challenging when your ex gets a new partner, because it can challenge some of your feelings about yourself, and point out some areas where you may need some more healing around the divorce. If there are real, legitimate problems with the new partner, such as toxic or unsafe behavior, you may need to revise the co-parenting plan, but more than likely there will simply be an adjustment period.

Child's best interests are the focus of parental responsibilities

If you are an active and involved parent, the most difficult part of a divorce might be the prospect of not seeing your children on a daily basis. However, divorce does not necessarily mean that one parent will be awarded sole physical custody while the other is relegated to only minimal visitation. Your parental responsibilities will likely end up being unique to you and your situation.

Although still colloquially called custody, Colorado officially switched from "child custody" to "parental responsibilities" back in 1999. This name change puts an emphasis on the role that parents play in these arrangements and eases off the notion that custody is something that makes one parent a winner, and the other a loser.

Divorce and separation basics

When it comes to ending your marriage, you may have questions about the specifics of separation and divorce. For some people, separation is a precursor to the divorce that will eventually end their marriage. Legal separation, since it is less common, can sometimes be an issue that individuals have questions about.

Divorce, separation and family laws vary by state, so if you have recently moved to Colorado or if you are unfamiliar with the law, you may wish to consult an attorney. You can also look up the laws online or at the courthouse. Many resources are available for people who are inquisitive about dissolving their marriage.


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