Family law is a broad category of the legal world. Though it may seem vague, the topics covered in this arena are critical. Healthy family life is a vital part of a functioning society.
It is important to remember that every family looks different. Some parents are married, some are divorced, and some have never been legally wed. In some cases, a mom is the best candidate for a child’s custodial parent after divorce, while in other situations, a dad is more well suited to the job. There is no one way for families to look in Colorado or elsewhere.
It is also important to remember that families change. Divorce, child support negotiations, and child custody cases can create shifts in the family structure. These transitional periods can be emotional and difficult. However, if done with the right Colorado family law attorney, the process can go smoothly.
Our team at Johnson Law Group is well known in the legal community for our work ethic, communication, and track record. In addition, because we focus on family law in our practice, you can be sure that we are experts in all that the field entails.
For years, our team has been defending the families in Colorado. We understand how difficult transitions and family law cases can be, so we approach each client with respect, patience, and kindness. If you need legal representation that will listen and understand, we are the right firm for you.
One of the most significant areas of family law is divorce. As mentioned, divorce is a fairly common experience for couples in the modern age. However, just because it is a common occurrence does not make it less painful.
Divorces can go a lot of different ways. In some cases, the process does not take long at all. For example, if a divorce filing is uncontested, or the couple did not share property, it can be more straightforward to divide assets and move the process along. However, if the couple owned significant amounts of property, a business of any kind, or had children together, the process can take a bit longer.
Property division makes up a large part of the divorce process. As couples build assets together, it is essential to ensure that each benefits equally from their hard work when the marriage ends. Property does not simply mean homes and real estate. In the case of divorce, property includes:
In some cases, all assets can be split evenly between the two spouses. However, not all of these assets can be divided. For example, you cannot physically split a house between two divorced individuals.
In cases such as these, the attorneys negotiate. Perhaps one spouse will get the home, and the other will get the cabin. Another method is selling the home and splitting the profit. There are many ways to approach this process. As long as the value of the assets ends up fairly divided, the property division is successful.
Many individuals think that they can navigate their divorce without representation. This is generally not a good idea. A divorce lawyer can help mediate asset division and ensure that you get what you deserve in your divorce settlement.
Even if you and your spouse are divorcing amicably, it is a good idea to have an experienced Colorado Springs divorce lawyer on your side. Even when couples have the best intentions, these cases often turn sour. Emotions get in the way of judgment, and couples begin to fight over details and objects they previously had no interest in. A divorce lawyer helps mediate these arguments and keeps your best interests at heart.
One of the most heart-wrenching aspects of divorce is determining child custody and visitation. Most parents do not want their relationships with their kids to suffer just because their marriage is ending. However, many worry about seeing their children less often or facing resentment from their kids over what has happened.
Child custody cases are meant to determine what is in the best interests of the child. The court has no interest in anything else during these cases. However, the courts also understand that ideally, a child would have both parents in their life. Therefore, shared custody is an option unless one parent is ill-equipped to care for the children alone, too busy, or has a history of abuse.
In some situations, one parent does not wish to be involved, and the court considers this. But, ultimately, the judge aims to provide the children with sufficient care administered by a parent or parents who want to do the job.
It is in your best interest to have a child custody attorney help you with the child custody process. The court does not look kindly on individuals who have not taken the time and money to properly fight for their kids in court. What’s more, you will be thoroughly examined by the system, and without an attorney, you have no actual means to fight for yourself.
The court will look at your past criminal record and offenses such as a DUI or other misdemeanors. Though a child custody attorney is not there to perform criminal defense evidence, they can help explain the situation and paint you in the best light, regardless of your past.
A Colorado Springs child custody attorney is crucial if you want to contribute to your child’s life following your divorce.
Another significant aspect of divorce is determining child support. Many individuals get confused about how child support works because it is not always as apparent as it seems. Ultimately, both parents have to be contributing equally to their children’s upbringing, either via guardianship, financial support, or both.
Most people understand that if one parent is the full-time caretaker of the children, the other parent should have to contribute financially to make up for a lack of physical presence. However, this is not the only time when child support is warranted. You must understand that parents have to contribute equitably to their child’s life, meaning that the support is commensurate with their income. It would be unfair for both parents to contribute the same amount if they make vastly different incomes.
Sometimes, parents have partial custody and pay child support payments to even out the percentage of their income that each parent contributes.
In some situations, spousal maintenance, or alimony, is warranted. This often occurs if one spouse brings in a more significant income than the other spouse. Usually, we see this when one spouse stays home and the other goes out into the workforce. In these situations, the higher-earning spouse may be asked to pay the other spouse a sum to help compensate for the income loss during a divorce.
It is important to remember that this is not applicable in all divorces. Your attorney will be able to alert you if you or your spouse is eligible to ask for spousal support. To receive these payments in the state of Colorado, you must have been married for at least 36 months. If you were married for 12.5 years or more, you could expect the payments to last the equivalent of half your marriage duration.
As stated, spousal maintenance is not a given. Not all divorces call for alimony. If you seek alimony, it is crucial to have an attorney to get what you are fairly owed. If your spouse will be the individual paying the alimony, they likely won’t offer it freely. You must bring up the concept and ask for it.
If you are the paying spouse, it is essential to have an attorney to ensure that the spouse that you are paying does not have any hidden assets. Their income and assets are taken into account, and without an attorney, it is hard to cross-reference if they have disclosed all their funds to you. A Colorado Springs family law attorney can help make sure everything is done fairly.
All of the above are legally binding decisions. First, the court determines the terms of these agreements, after which the members are legally obligated to fulfill their part of the agreement.
However, this does not mean that the agreements cannot change. On the contrary, there are many situations in which an existing agreement may no longer suit those involved, and a change is necessary.
Changes to these agreements are called modifications. They can be obtained through the court system with the help of your Colorado Springs attorney. It is vital to make these changes through the proper channels to guarantee that they are legally binding. If you attempt to make changes on your own, the law cannot hold any party to the new agreement’s terms.
Some examples of modifications include:
These are not the only examples of potential modifications. Many situations may warrant changes. If you believe you are eligible for a modification to a family law agreement, contact your Colorado Springs family law attorney.
Unfortunately, family law is not all about supporting changing families and fostering new lives for spouses seeking a divorce. In some cases, domestic violence comes into play. These situations are often heartbreaking and require delicate legal advice.
In moments of crisis, emergency orders of protection can be obtained through local law enforcement. These no-contact agreements can help shield the victim from their abuser and keep them safe until a more permanent protective solution is created. Permanent protective orders are possible after a hearing occurs, and a judge reviews the circumstances surrounding the domestic violence and protection request.
Protective orders can be created against a limited number of people, as they deal directly with domestic violence and abuse in the home. This means that spouses, children, parents, roommates, caretakers, etc., can have protective orders created against them.
In some cases, the protective order is the only step the victim chooses to take against their abuser. Though they do not last forever, the protection for a limited time may be enough to keep them safe. However, in many other cases, if the victim and abuser were married, the victim chooses to seek a divorce from their abuser to further distance themselves and permanently end the relationship. It is best to have a Colorado Springs attorney fighting on your side in these situations and all cases involving protective orders.
Here at Johnson Law Group, we pride ourselves on our stellar local reputation. All of our attorneys come highly recommended by experts outside our organization, so you know that we can adequately fight your case. In addition, we practice open, honest communication with all our clients to help make the process go smoothly and foster a respectful working relationship.
Our firm focuses on family law because we have seen the profound, positive impact of successful family law cases on individuals. Because we focus on this field, we are experts in these cases and have significant experience with the topics and minutia involved. No matter your circumstances, what you are facing, or how hopeless things may seem, we have the resources to help.
For more information on our family law services, our attorneys, our mission, or to schedule a consultation with us, please reach out online today.