Family Law

DIVORCE OR SEPARATION LAW

Colorado is a “no fault” divorce state, meaning that the only necessary requirement to institute divorce or separation proceedings is that one spouse must allege the that marriage is “irreconcilably broken.” We recognize that the decision to seek a divorce or separation is never easy. A divorce or separation will affect your finances, living arrangement, and children.

Like any significant life decision, a divorce or separation should be handled carefully, as its ramifications will follow you for many years. Even if you and your spouse already agree on most of the terms of your divorce, it’s important to have a lawyer review the agreement prior to a judge signing it to make sure that your interests are protected.

In cases of divorce or separation, it is often best to define your own future. You will have more control over the terms of your divorce if you and your spouse can reach a settlement, and mechanisms like mediation or collaborative divorce are set up to facilitate a mutually agreeable settlement.

However, if an agreement cannot be reach then we stand ready to fight for your case in court to protect your future.

Photo of lawyer pointing to a contract.

PROTECTION ORDERS LAW

A protective order is a civil order from a judge that prohibits the abuser from:

  • contacting, harassing, injuring, intimidating, molesting, threatening, touching, stalking, sexually assaulting or abusing any Protected Person; or
  • from entering or remaining on premises, or from coming within a specified distance of a Protected Person or premises; or
  • from taking, transferring, concealing, harming, disposing of, or threatening harm to an animal owned by a Protected Person; or
  • from violating any other provision of the order designed to protect the Protected Person from imminent danger to life or health.

 

There are two types of protection orders that can be obtained with or without police involvement. The first is a temporary protection order which a judge can issue for a 14-day period if he or she makes a finding that you are in imminent danger of harm. This order does not require the presence of the abuser and can be issued ex parte (meaning without the other party present). The order must then be served upon the restrained party before it becomes enforceable. The second type of protection order is a permanent order which does not expire but does have to be litigated in Court with the abuser present. This typically occurs after a temporary protection order is issued at a hearing set on the Court’s calendar.

There are a number of specific findings that a judge must make to issue a protection order and a competent attorney can make sure that the judge has the facts that he or she needs to find in your favor.

CHILD CUSTODY LAW

In Colorado, cases involving a determination of child custody are know as allocation of parental responsibility (APR) cases. If you are divorcing from the co-parent of your child, then the APR case will be handled along with the divorce.

The standard for Court determinations of custody is what is in “the best interests of the child.” The factors that a Court considers in making this determination are numerous and include the wishes of the parents, the stability of the child in school and at home, the relationship the child has with friends and siblings, and the child’s physical and mental well-being.

This long list of factors inherently makes the process somewhat subjective in nature and once permanent orders are put into place, they become difficult to modify. Having an attorney on your side during this this important process can help the judge to see your case in the most favorable light when evaluating these factors.

Photo of young child.