Like any other state, getting a divorce in Colorado can be complicated, with many financial and child-related changes. The financial aspects might include the division of property, spousal maintenance and child support, and within these are many nuances, but an experienced Colorado Springs family lawyer will be well-versed on all of them. One of the most intricate details, which many couples fail to explore, is how the divorce relates to taxes.
If you and your spouse are getting a Colorado divorce, you may have already started drafting a divorce agreement. This would be the right course of action if you didn't have children or they were over the age of 18, but for parents with shared custody of minor children a custody a co-parenting contract is an absolute necessity. While these informal agreements may not be legally binding, they help parents make decisions on behalf of their children by minimizing conflict over small and large decisions.
As simple as it sounds, many divorcing parents simply don't understand child support. Some see it as a necessary evil while others see it as a way for spiteful custodial parents to "squeeze" their exes out money. Fortunately neither of these is true. The purpose of child support is to ensure that children of divorced parents are not deprived an acceptable standard of living. When determining which parent will pay support and how much, Colorado state law applies a model known as "income shares." Some of the primary deciding factors are each parent's monthly income and the amount of time the child spends with each parent.
When clients walk into their first consultation with a Colorado Springs divorce lawyer, they usually learn a lot about the divorce process and the laws about Colorado, but many people leave without asking about spousal support. Interestingly, when both parties in a divorce are working full-time, it is just assumed that neither will qualify for spousal support, but that is not always the case. Oftentimes, there is enough of a disparity in their personal incomes to make a case for one party receiving spousal support, or spousal maintenance.
It's funny how many stereotypes exist about single parents. The news media and entertainment industries would have you believe that single parents, particularly single moms, are always struggling, bitter, stressed and looking for a spouse to come rescue them. While some aspects of this perception are rooted in reality, there are plenty of single parents who do quite well. Sometimes all it takes is a realistic budgeting strategy and a disciplined approach to money.
Too often, we hear more about divorces among young families than we do about empty-nesters, but more and more couples are divorcing late in life. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau indicates that older Americans are divorcing more frequently than ever.
It may be hard to imagine what the future will be like as a divorced family, especially when you are just starting the process of divorce. Many couples decide to use a divorce lawyer sparingly and handle much of the paperwork themselves, and while this might make sense in the near term it could cause problems in the future.
The mistake many people make is assuming they understand the divorce laws in their state and they know how to navigate the local domestic relations court system. When they need to revisit a custody order, modify support, or enforce a divorce settlement they may find the process overwhelming.
We've all heard the stories about "deadbeat dads" and other social deviants who do their best to avoid paying child support in Colorado. Of course, there are plenty of deadbeat moms out there too, but whatever the case may be, the problem has gotten much worse since the recent recession. Not every perpetually underemployed parent is trying to avoid their parental obligations; some are honestly trying to find a better paying job. But any family court judge will attest to the fact that "child support avoidance" is a chronic problem in the state.
If you are a parent in the process of a Colorado divorce, then you may have already started working out a divorce agreement, but there is more to a divorce than your financial settlement. For parents who will maintain joint custody of their children, it is important to develop a co-parenting contract. While this agreement is not entered into the court as "law," it serves as a guideline for helping parents who want to minimize conflict while making small and large decisions on behalf of the children.
If you've ever been through a divorce, chances are you don't want to do it again. This is particularly true for people who have lost a considerable amount of assets in a divorce settlement. However, if you ask a Colorado Springs family lawyer for advice, you may be told to stop worrying and just get a "prenup."