Family legal issues can be emotionally distressing and financially costly. The sooner these issues can be resolved, the sooner you and your loved ones can start the next chapter of your lives.
The Denver divorce and family lawyers at Burnham Law understand the seriousness and importance of resolving family legal issues in the best possible way. That is why we are committed to representing clients in a range of family law matters, from divorce, support payment cases, to child custody and post-decree matters.
The guidance of a good lawyer can help secure the best possible outcome for your case. Our attorneys, with more than a decade of experience practicing family law, have the skills and experience to represent you effectively in any legal family matter.
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We can provide you with priceless advice regarding your rights and options during a free, no obligations consultation. We invite your calls and emails whenever you are ready for answers about your family legal matter(s). In the meantime, please explore the following for additional information regarding our family law practice.
The family court in Denver will generally not get involved in custody cases if parents can agree on division of custody on their own. In these cases, the court will usually review the agreed-upon custody arrangement and issue a final custody order to formalize that agreement.
It is important to understand that dividing child custody involves splitting both parenting time (i.e., physical custody) and decision-making authority (i.e., legal custody) of the child(ren) involved. It can also entail one parent being ordered to pay child support to the custodial parent.
When parents are not able to agree on one (or more) issue(s) of a child custody case, the family court will take a more central role in the case by:
- Allowing both sides to present their request(s), argument(s) and/or allegation(s) regarding child custody
- Reviewing the facts of the case, as well as the best interest factors
- Issuing a final decree regarding how parenting time and decision-making authority are to be divided between the parents.
Child support matters are closely tied to child custody cases. In Arapahoe County, family courts generally see both parents as being financially obligated to support their child(ren). Consequently:
- Prenuptial and/or post-nuptial agreements cannot dictate (or preclude) child support payments.
- The division of parenting time between the parents may not necessarily be mirrored by the child support orders. For example, a joint division of parenting time does not necessarily mean that no child support will be ordered or awarded.
When child support is a point of dispute between parents, the court will generally use a complex (and fairly comprehensive) formula to determine if child support should be ordered – and, if so, the amount of child support to be awarded. Some factors in this formula include:
- The number of children and how parenting time is divided
- Each parent’s earnings
- The costs related to caring for and raising the children.
With child support orders, it is important to be aware that modifications can be pursued in the future (if or when certain circumstances for either parent change).
Division of Property
Splitting marital property between divorcing parties is commonly a contentious issue in contested divorce cases, particularly when complex and high-value assets are on the line. When dealing with this aspect of divorce, determining the following matters will typically be a priority:
- Whether (or not) a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is in place – Pre- and post-nuptial agreements can define what property remains separate and/or precisely how the marital property should be divided in the event of divorce.
- The scope of the marital property – If a valid pre- or post-nup is not in place, figuring out the scope of the marital property will be necessary. This can involve inventorying and appraising the marital assets and/or determining the scope of the marital debt.
- The economic circumstances of each spouse – The family court will be focused on making an “equitable” division of the marital property. While this doesn’t necessarily mean an exactly equal split, it does mean that the financial status of each party (on his or her own) can be considered when the court is deciding who should get what as part of the divorce process.
- Either spouse’s separate property was depleted to support the marriage – if, for instance, one party drained his or her separate resources to buy the marital home, this may also be considered when determining who gets the home (or other marital assets).
Also referred to as spousal support, alimony or spousal maintenance payments can be awarded temporarily (while a divorce case is pending) and permanently (when the final divorce decree is issued).
When it comes to spousal maintenance, it’s important to be aware that:
- A valid pre- or post-nuptial agreement can dictate the amount and duration of these payments. These agreements (when valid) can also stipulate that neither party is entitled to alimony.
- In the absence of a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement, the court will step in to resolve disputes over alimony. Factors like the duration of the marriage, each spouse’s earnings and the standard of living during the marriage will generally be considered by the court in these disputes.
- Like child support, spousal support can be modified in the future when certain circumstances (for either party or both parties) change. For instance, job loss or remarriage may be grounds for seeking a modification (or termination) of spousal maintenance.
A divorce attorney in Denver, CO can explain whether you may be entitled to receive or obligated to pay spousal support. Contact us for more information about this area of family law.
It is important to protect the grandparent-grandchild relationship via formal court orders when either parent is (or both parents are) not in the picture. For example, if either parent is incarcerated, deployed, or deceased, it is essential for grandparents to seek visitation, guardianship, or custody of a child.
When you need to protect and assert your grandparent rights in Denver, you can rely on the skills and guidance of a Denver divorce lawyer at Burnham Law.
A Denver divorce and family lawyer at Burnham Law is ready to help you formulate the right legal game plan for bringing your family legal issue(s) to the best possible resolution. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.