Westminster Family Law Attorney
Family law is a broad area of law. It touches every person at some point in their lives. Whether you find yourself contemplating a divorce, adoption, or in need of a child custody or support modification, you are in the midst of a critical family law decision.
Family law matters are not only difficult legally but are wrought with emotional conflict. At Danielsen Westhoff, PC, our skilled Westminster family attorneys work tirelessly to reduce your stress by handling all of the legal aspects of your family-related issues.
Reach out to Danielsen Westhoff, PC, to discuss your situation with an experienced Westminster family law attorney today. Contact our Westminster office at (720) 739-1770, or contact us online.
Cases We Handle at Danielsen Westhoff, PC
It is vital you know and understand your legal rights in any family law case before taking action. At Danielsen Westhoff, PC, we will answer your questions and ensure you are aware of all of your legal options before making any crucial decisions.
Our attorneys are compassionate and understanding. We will address your concerns and work towards the best possible solution to your legal difficulties.
Danielsen Westhoff, PC, can work with you on any family law matter including but not limited to:
- Legal separation
- Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
- Child custody (allocation of parental responsibilities)
- Child support
- Spousal maintenance
- Property division
- Domestic violence
- Adoption (stepparent, kinship, and custodial)
- Post-decree modifications of orders
What is Family Law?
Family law is the area of law relating to familial relationships. It includes marriage, divorce, child custody and support, adoption, domestic violence, guardianship, and more.
Family law is governed by state statutes and case precedents.
Why is Retaining a Family Law Attorney Important?
Hiring a family law attorney is vital for many reasons. The following are only a few of the most important motivations for retaining a family law attorney at the outset of your case:
- Family law attorneys have specialized knowledge and experience. This background allows them to break down complex legal procedures and explain them to you in simple terms and explanations.
- Family law attorneys are removed from the emotions of a situation. This means they can offer you an objective perspective and advice about a problem. Family law attorneys can also see the big picture and assist you in making well-informed, long-term decisions.
- Family law cases involve large amounts of paperwork that must be filed on time without errors. Family law attorneys manage and file these documents daily and can ensure your documents are legally accurate and meet any court filing deadlines.
- Family law attorneys can navigate and guide you through the court system. This includes preparing you for hearings, mediation, and trial. A family law attorney can advise you of the unknown and help you to control your stress and anxiety.
- There are methods to resolve family law disputes without appearing before the court. A family law attorney can work with you to settle issues through negotiations, mediation, or another form of alternative dispute resolution. Typically, clients who enter into their agreements are happier than those who have court orders imposed upon them.
- Family law attorneys protect your rights throughout the legal process. A family law attorney looks out for your best interests at all times and will review any final agreements for clarity and fairness.
- Family law attorneys can save you money. Mistakes can be costly, cause repeat trips to court, or lead to an unfair division of property. Having a family law attorney can prevent these common pitfalls effectively saving you time and expense.
There are endless reasons to hire a family law attorney. If you would like to talk to an experienced Westminster family law attorney, call Danielsen Westhoff, PC, at (720) 739-1770 today.
Family Law Basics in Colorado
Colorado is a no-fault divorce state meaning neither spouse must accept fault or blame for the breakup of the marriage. Instead, spouses are granted a divorce on the grounds the marriage is irretrievably broken.
Colorado has a mandatory waiting period before the court will issue a divorce decree.
This is 91 days from the date the non-filing spouse:
- Receives the divorce papers
- Enters the divorce as a co-petitioner
- Otherwise enters an appearance in the case
The length of time for a Colorado divorce depends on whether the spouses agree upon property division, child custody, and other outstanding issues. Most Colorado divorces are resolved within six months to one year.
Property Division in Divorce
Colorado is an equitable division state. Marital property is divided on the principles of equity and fairness, not equality.
Spousal Maintenance in Colorado
Colorado uses the term spousal maintenance to refer to alimony or spousal support. Spousal maintenance may be temporary or permanent in Colorado.
Temporary spousal maintenance is awarded for the pendency of the divorce and ends upon the final divorce decree. Permanent spousal maintenance is awarded upon the final decree of divorce. Permanent spousal maintenance is rarely a lifelong support award.
A spouse must request spousal maintenance before the court will consider awarding any type of support. Spousal support awards require that the receiving spouse demonstrate a financial need for support and that the paying spouse has the financial ability to pay for support.
Spousal misconduct is not a consideration in spousal maintenance awards.
Child Custody in Colorado
Child custody is referred to as the Allocation of Parental Responsibilities in Colorado. There are parenting time (physical custody) and decision-making responsibilities (legal custody).
Parents may agree to a parenting plan and present it for the court’s approval, or the court may order a parenting plan on their behalf. All plans must be in the best interests of the children.
Unless it is against the children’s best interest, Colorado law favors frequent and continuing contact with both parents and the participation of both parents in child-rearing.
Therefore, parents who can cooperate in the best interests of their children may share decision-making responsibilities jointly. Parents who can physically share their children may also jointly hold parenting time responsibilities.
Parents may also hold any mix of parental responsibilities. For instance, one parent may be the children’s primary custodian but share decision-making responsibilities with their co-parent jointly.
Child Support in Colorado
Colorado follows the income shares method of calculating child support. Colorado has statutory guidelines to ensure child support obligations are uniform and predictable.
The guidelines take the following into account:
- Each parent’s gross income
- Any income the child might have
- The number of overnights the child spends with each parent
- Childcare expenses like health insurance and daycare
- Any other child support orders or financial support given to children the parent has with another partner
- Any alimony that might be due or received
The court can impute a gross monthly income to parents who choose not to work or are underemployed in an attempt to evade child support. Child support may be adjusted for extraordinary expenses or factors.
The court may deviate from child support guidelines when a parent or parents have exceptionally high income or standards of living.
Contact an Experienced Westminster Family Law Attorney Today
Family law issues are challenging and stressful. Reduce your anxiety by retaining an experienced Westminster family law attorney at Danielsen Westhoff, PC.
At Danielsen Westhoff, PC, we have the skills and resources necessary to tackle any family law case. Meet with one of our understanding, determined attorneys today.
Contact Danielsen Westhoff, PC, at (720) 739-1770, or contact us online.