Colorado Divorce, Legal Separation, and Mediation
Since family law varies widely from state to state, many people hear various myths about divorce laws and how the legal process works in Colorado. Because divorce is a common issue throughout the nation, many people claim to be familiar with family law, while in fact they may only be aware of the laws pertaining to a another state, or of Colorado laws that are no longer in effect. It is relatively common to receive misinformation about family law from non-attorneys and from attorneys who do not specialize in divorce law. It is for these reasons that if you are experiencing a family law matter in the State of Colorado, you will want to ensure that you hire an attorney who thoroughly understands and practices all aspects of domestic law. Additionally, having an attorney who is experienced in family law will give you the benefit of knowing that your lawyer is familiar with the most recent laws and trends in Colorado.
The dissolution of marriage is an extremely stressful process, especially when you are unable to reach an agreement and have to appear in court. When you are going through a divorce, we understand the difficulties you are experiencing, and will consider alternatives to settle the case that will reduce costs and result in a fair settlement to you. Coming to an agreement with your spouse will not only reduce legal expenditures, but will also allow you to take an active role in finalizing your case, and eliminates the risk of going to trial and the uncertainty of a judge's orders.
If you are unable to reach an agreement with your spouse and litigation is the only option, having an experienced attorney who will prepare you for your hearing and help you focus on the most important points is vital to the success of your case.
Couples sometimes choose to file for a Decree of Legal Separation for issues that include health insurance coverage or for religious reasons. The Legal Separation process is virtually identical to that for divorce and the time involved depends on the case and the dynamics of the parties involved. The primary difference between a legal separation and a divorce is that after a decree of Legal Separation has entered, neither party is free to remarry until the case is converted to a divorce action.
"Maintenance" is the term used by Colorado courts to describe what other states call alimony or spousal support. There are two types of maintenance – temporary and permanent. Temporary maintenance is support paid to a party while your divorce is pending. Permanent maintenance is support paid after your divorce is final. Whether you are seeking financial support from your spouse, or need assistance in determining a fair amount to pay to your spouse, you’ll find that having a law firm of attorneys specializing in family law works to your advantage in knowing the current trends in maintenance awards. Please note that there are many factors that are considered when the courts rule on maintenance.
Common Law Marriage
In Colorado, a couple is common law married if they present themselves to their friends and family as “husband and wife,” and intend to be common law married. The amount of time they have spent together is rarely considered. A common law marriage depends on the individual facts of the case. If it determined that you are not common law married and there are children involved, it is still possible to file an Allocation of Parental Responsibilities Action.
Colorado Divorce Mediation
If you and your spouse cannot reach a settlement agreement and you do not want a Judge make the final decisions, you can participate in mediation, where a trained and neutral third party will attempt to reach a settlement between the parties. Mediation takes place outside of the courtroom, and is a less formal and less expensive process than litigation. A good mediator will tell you where your case stands in relation to Colorado law and what a Judge might order, thus helping facilitate the settlement process. Parenting issues often arise after a divorce, and mediation can be a useful tool to resolve issues not addressed in your original case. Attorney Zachary D. Cordova, Esq. is our mediator at the Cordova Law Firm, LLP who can guide and counsel you through the mediation process. View additional information on our
Located in Salida, Colorado, the Cordova Law Firm is one of Central and Southern Colorado's top law firms. Experienced in Colorado Divorce and Colorado Child Custody and Support, the firm's philosophy is to work with you to resolve your legal matter in the best way possible. When you consult with our attorneys, the expert legal advice you receive will help you understand your rights and options according to Colorado law. And when you retain this top rated firm, the many years of combined experience provided by your legal team will ensure that the resolution of your case is handled in the most organized, timely, cost efficient and effective manner possible. If you want to limit conflict and protect your rights, call us today to schedule a private consultation in our Salida office. Call us at (719) 539-6679 or get in contact with us.
Colorado Child Custody & The Allocation of Parental Responsibility
The Cordova Law Firm, LLP has substantial experience in domestic matters, and Colorado family law is a strong practice area for our firm. When you consult with our attorneys about a Colorado divorce, the allocation of parental rights (APR) and/or child support issues, the expert legal advice that you receive will help you understand your rights and options according to Colorado law. When you retain the Cordova Law Firm, the many years of combined experience provided by our team will ensure that the resolution of your case is handled in the most organized, timely, cost efficient and effective manner possible.
Allocation of Parental Responsibility - "APR"
As a preliminary matter, in Colorado the commonly used term "custody" has been statutorily replaced with the legally mandated term "allocation of parental responsibility." The legal term “parental responsibility” encompasses both parenting time and decision-making responsibilities. Colorado law favors meaningful and continuing contact between both parents and the child following a divorce. Couples that go through a divorce usually arrive at a parenting plan in one of two ways:
Either the parties come to an agreement as to how the responsibilities are to be divided and the agreement is subsequently accepted by the Court, or
The Court hears evidence and, based upon the evidence, the Court crafts a parenting plan as part of permanent orders.
The most important factor for a Court deciding parenting time issues will be the best interests of the child.
Colorado Child Support and Parenting Time
Divorce and Child Custody cases can be especially challenging for the children who are experiencing the break up of a family unit during a Colorado divorce.
Our dedicated and passionate family law attorneys at the Cordova Law Firm, LLP will work with you to keep your children safe and create a parenting plan that is in their best interests. We will also work with you to maintain an ongoing civil and professional relationship with your former spouse in order to help you create the most effective co-parenting plan possible.
Your children are a priority, and when you are dealing with Colorado family law matters regarding child support or the allocation of parental responsibility, our skilled and compassionate family law attorneys will work with you to limit conflict and protect your children.
Colorado Modifications of Child Support and
Filing a Motion to Modify
The Cordova Law Firm, LLP has significant experience in modifications of child support and parenting time. When you consult with our attorneys about modifying the allocation of parental rights and/or child support issues, the expert legal advice that you receive will help you understand your rights and options according to Colorado law. When you retain the Cordova Law Firm, the many years of combined experience provided by our attorneys and staff will ensure that the resolution of your case is handled in the most organized, timely, cost efficient and effective manner possible.
Court Ordered Parenting Plans The court sets a high standard when considering modifications to court ordered parenting plans, but will allow them if they find that a change has occurred and the modification is necessary to serve the best interests of the child. The statute basically limits the granting of a modification to five reasons: Both parties agree to the modification; The child has been integrated into the family of the party requesting the modification; There has been a modification of parenting time; A party has consistently consented to the other party making decisions; Or the present situation would endanger the child’s physical or emotional development and the advantages to changing the child’s environment will outweigh the likely harm to the child as a result of having their environment changed.
Court Ordered Child Support Child support can be modified anytime there is a substantial and continuing change that would result in a change in support of more than 10%. This means that there is no time limit to modify the existing order, it simply has to meet the 10% threshold as well as be a substantial and continuing change. Generally child support that is paid for the benefit of several children would be reduced if the support of a child is terminated due to a child's emancipation. However, other variables may cause the support to ultimately be unchanged due to the increase in income, health insurance costs, day care, etc. To calculate child support, please contact us and we can assist you on using the Colorado child support worksheet.
Why choose the Cordova Law Firm, LLP?
There are six aspects of our practice that make the Cordova Law Firm, Colorado's Family Law Team, unique, and a superior choice over our competitors:
Our Focus on Family Law
Colorado family law is a constantly evolving entity, and the experienced attorneys at the Cordova Law Firm, LLP focus strongly on Colorado divorce and child custody. In this practice area, our legal team has developed a level of expertise and efficiency that other full service firms cannot match.
Taking a progressive approach to Colorado family law, our attorneys and staff meet several times every week to discuss the intricacies and details of their cases. These sessions allow our attorneys to provide a detailed input on every case. During these team sessions, the attorneys share experiences, ask questions, strategize, and work together to address the specifics of your complex legal issues. These meetings allow all our attorneys to develop legal strategies and solutions that are more thorough than those developed by solo practitioners or firms that do not share the details of their developing cases with their colleagues on a regular basis.
Focus on Children
Divorce and Child Custody cases can be especially challenging for children who are experiencing the break up of a family unit. Our dedicated and passionate family law attorneys will work with you to keep your children safe and create a parenting plan that is in their best interests.
We periodically survey new Cordova Law clients on a regular basis to determine how we can improve our service. One of the things mentioned most often by new clients is how much they appreciate the consistent communication from our attorneys and administrative staff. As a valued client, your legal team will strive to communicate with you and keep you updated about the developments of your case.
Attorneys at the Cordova Law Firm, LLP are committed to the idea that clients should be as informed as possible about their legal rights. Please do not hesitate to contact us regarding a free consultation!
Although our rates are similar to other firms, the Cordova Law Firm, LLP is generally less expensive than our competitors for 3 important reasons:
Aggressive attorneys and angry spouses can escalate situations that will dramatically increase legal fees, but the Cordova Law Firm employs techniques and processes to help diffuse these situations. Our attorney will strategize with you in order to achieve an expedient and satisfactory settlement to save you time, money, and aggravation. Using the latest technology allows our attorneys to work quickly and efficiently, which means saving you time and money.
Marriage Counselors and Family Therapists
The Cordova Law Firm's works with and can provide a list of local therapists and counselors who can work with you and your family before, during and after your divorce. It is the goal and responsibility of the attorneys and staff at the Cordova Law Firm, LLP to offer you the finest in legal representation, and to assist through the challenges of transition.
Culture of Diversity and Inclusiveness
The Cordova Law Firm, LLP is a professional environment that provides equal opportunities to people of every age, race, culture, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, physical ability, or socioeconomic status. We firmly believe that by accepting and utilizing the diverse backgrounds and skills of the Cordova Law Firm staff, we are better able to fulfill the diverse goals of our current and prospective clients. Our commitment to a culture of diversity and inclusiveness is equal to our commitment to superior client service and our efforts to support our local community.