Denver Divorce Laywers


Denver Office

Denver Office

5990 Greenwood Plaza Boulevard

Suite 130, Building 2

Greenwood Village, CO 80111

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.

Need Advice Regarding Your Family Law Case? Call (303) 993-0051 or

Email Us For a Free Consultation

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.

Child Custody

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

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).

Alimony/Spousal Maintenance

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.

Grandparent Rights

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.

Aggressive Divorce Lawyers

If you ask 10 family law attorneys, I suspect seven out of 10 will say Burnham Law is aggressive in its client representation. I would agree to a certain extent, but we should clarify what “aggressive” means. We have a case right now out of Denver and the opposing counsel fights us on everything…and all it does is rack up attorney fees. Sometimes arguing about every single detail in a joint filing is strategic and it may make sense; however, that is rarely the case.

In any family law case emotions will run hot. For instance, reactions to adverse situations may outline concerns about parenting time and the parties’ inability to make child-related decisions together. In other circumstances there may be allegations of domestic violence and the reactions to communications my be relevant to prove a pattern of abusive behavior. But, in the end, the goal is to reach a positive, final outcome that lays the foundation for our clients’ ability to move forward and live a happy and purposeful life.

An aggressive strategy, that results in a successful outcome, requires both knowledge of the law and emotional discipline. Be aggressive in the implemented strategy. Demand full financial disclosures by using the legal discovery process. Depose the opposing party, under oath, to lock in factual testimony. Utilize experts such as Child and Family Investigators or Parental Responsibility Evaluators when there are issues concerning parenting time and decision-making related to children. Use a vocational evaluator when there is a dispute concerning one spouse’s income earning potential. Use a business valuator when there is a dispute over the value of a business that is part of the marital estate. Use one expert’s report to corroborate the conclusions found in another report.

Being aggressive is a part of a strategic approach. Being aggressive without any goal does nothing but waste money. At Burnham Law we are aggressive when necessary and when the facts of the case require using the stick and not the carrot. Being “aggressive,” without a plan, is nothing short of lazy, wasteful and amateurish.

The Strategic Divorce

Before we get into anything related to strategy, we have to narrow the scope of what we are dealing with here.  Contrary to a common misconception, the practice of divorce and family law is highly specialized and incredibly nuanced.  There are rules, rule exceptions, and a considerable amount of “gray area.”  The gray area is where nuance comes in, and an attorney who can effectively and persuasively argue a client’s position while dealing with the gray area adds immediate value to any case.

This isn’t a comprehensive overview of the Colorado divorce process.  We are talking about pre-decree cases wherein a petition for dissolution of marriage has been filed.  We aren’t getting into post-decree matters:  parenting time modifications, maintenance modifications, child support modifications, etc.  It’s too comprehensive and often times confusing.  We aren’t going to analyze the law aside from necessary references to give an analysis some applicable context.  We are focusing on one critical and often overlooked facet of a Colorado divorce case:  strategy.  My hope is that anyone who reads this blog post will think more effectively about their case and will therefore help themselves reach a successful outcome.

Strategy is defined as “a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim.”   It is a plan of action.  It requires critical thinking, anticipatory planning and a thorough understanding of the facts combined with a superior knowledge of the law.  Strategy is big-picture thinking, game-planning and execution with an intended and foreseeable outcome.  Strategy is not being aggressive without a goal!

A STRATEGIC MINDSET

Abraham Lincoln once famously said, “He who represents himself has a fool for a client.”  I believe this statement applies to everyone, including attorneys, especially in the area of divorce and family law.  Why is that?   Divorce and family law attorneys know the law, so why are they themselves fools if they don’t hire an attorney?  The answer is simple and basic:  emotions.  Emotions are kryptonite to strategic thinking, and a divorce (especially with children) is often nothing less than a glob of anger, fear, worry, and frustration.  Divorces bring out the worst in both clients and many attorneys.  A strategic mindset is unemotional and focused.   Colorado is a no-fault state which means that “fault” is irrelevant.  What is relevant, for our purposes, is data collection.   

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t analyze the value of hiring an attorney and whether it makes financial sense.  A lot of  our work at Burnham Law includes representing people who didn’t use a lawyer during their divorce, or they were represented poorly, and we are tasked with “fixing” the case.  Some cases are not fixable at that point.   So I strongly encourage you to hire a qualified attorney if:  1. there is a disparity in income and/or income potential;  2. There are children of the marriage and the parties have fundamental disagreements about the children’s best interests; or 3. there are marital assets and there is a disagreement about how the marital estate will be divided.  Even if the parties are amicable and committed to resolving the matter without “fighting,” always have a competent attorney review the final agreements before they are submitted to the court.

At Burnham Law we listen to our clients and the specific facts of the case, we think about their case and develop effective strategies, and we regularly win by achieving our clients’ goals.

Who Gets the House in a Divorce?


Who Gets the House in Divorce?When the division of property is a point of dispute in a contested divorce, the marital home can be a big point of contention. When it is – and when divorcing parties are unable to come to an agreement about who gets the home, it will be up to the family court to resolve the dispute and determine who gets the house.

Uncovering more about aspect of the division of property, the following answers some common questions about issues surrounding the marital home in divorce.

Should I Move Out of the Marital Home during Divorce?

It depends on your situation, as well as your goals in divorce. Generally:

  • You should move out if your health, safety and/or wellbeing are threatened by staying the home and/or if you do not want to (or care to fight for) the marital home.
  • You should not move out if you want to preserve your claim to the marital home and/or if moving out will disrupt the wellbeing of your children.

An attorney at Burnham Law can review your circumstances and provide more specific advice regarding whether it’s in your best interests to move out or stay in the marital home during your divorce case.

How Does the Court Decide Who Gets the Marital Home?

A family court judge will be focused on making a decision that is “fair and equitable” when it comes to figuring out who gets the marital home. To make a fair and equitable decision regarding the marital home, the judge will consider factors like (but not necessarily limited to):

  • The economic situation of spouse
  • Each spouse’s wishes regarding the home, as well as who is currently living in the home
  • The financial (and/or other) investments each spouse has contributed to the home
  • The division of parenting time (i.e., the custody split)
  • How other marital assets have already been divided
  • Whether there is a valid prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement (and, if so, whether it contains valid terms related to who gets the home in divorce) – If a valid pre- or post-nuptial agreement has valid terms regarding the house, the court will uphold these terms (which may award the home to one party, require the sale of the home and a division of the proceeds, etc.).

Should You Fight for the Marital Home?

This can be a very important question to answer in the initial phases of divorce because it can help you avoid unnecessary conflict and focus on the issue(s) that matter most – and that will best serve you in life after divorce. To start figuring out whether you should (or want to) fight for the marital home in divorce, ask (and answer) these questions:

  • Will I be able to afford property taxes (with a single income)?
  • Will I be able to afford major repairs (on a single income) if or when they arise?
  • Do I need the space or is it time to downsize?
  • Will having the home cause more headache, stress and/or debt than I can reasonably take on in my life after divorce?

Get Answers about Your Rights & Options in Divorce: Contact a Denver Divorce Attorney at Burnham Law

Empower yourself with superior representation in your case by contacting an experienced Denver divorce attorney at Burnham Law. Call (303) 990-5308 or email our firm.

Tenacious, aggressive and strategic, our lawyers are ready to advocate and protect your rights and interests in divorce. Let us explain how our representation and support can help you position your divorce case for the best possible resolution.