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FAQs - Divorce and Family Law

No-Fault Divorce - What is a "no-fault" divorce?

A no-fault divorce enables individuals to file without cause based on the fact that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” With irretrievable breakdown, inappropriate behavior is no longer a factor in determining marital property division.

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Legal Separation - What is the difference between a legal separation and a divorce?

Both a legal separation and divorce can result in a division of the parties' assets and debt and agreements or orders for custody and support. However, a legal separation does not result in a dissolution of the marriage whereas a divorce does. Although divorce is more common than legal separation, some choose legal separation for reasons such as the ability to retain a former mate on insurance policies, Social Security benefit eligibility, or for religious reasons.

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Divorce Timeframe - How long does it take to get divorced?

By statute, there is a 90 day wait period from the date of service of the petition or joint filing.

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Divorce Cost - How much does a divorce cost?

A divorce can be fairly inexpensive if the parties can agree on matters and complete joint separation agreements and/or parenting plans. On the other hand, contested divorces can be very expensive.

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Mediation – Are there ways to help parties reach agreement?

In mediation, a neutral mediator assists parties in an attempt to reach agreement with regards to divorce and family law matters.

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Child Custody - How is allocation of parental responsibilities (AKA custody and visitation) determined?

The Court reviews several factors and bases its decision on the best interests of the child standard. There is no presumption in favor of either parent, though one factor that a court examines is who has been the primary caregiver.

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Child Support - How is child support calculated?

Colorado uses support guidelines for calculating child support based on an income shares approach which considers the income of both parents with income proportional add-ons for work-related childcare, medical costs and certain educational and travel expenses.

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Child Relocation - What if I would like to move out of state with my child?

To relocate after initial filing, a primary custodial parent requires the consent of the other parent, or a court order. The court will use a best interests of the children standard. In a court proceeding, both parties have the opportunity to show why the proposed relocation would or would not benefit the children.

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Spousal Support - When is spousal support awarded?

Colorado uses a spousal support formula, however courts have the ability to deviate. In general, after a marriage of at least 3 years, the formula is 40% of the higher earning spouse’s income minus 50% of the lower earning spouse’s income.

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Modifications - How do I modify an order if circumstances change?

After an initial proceeding, life goes on and it is not unusual for circumstances to change. An initial court order may no longer be suitable or reflect current circumstances. Many orders can be modified if there is a substantial change in circumstances. For child support matters, substantial means plus or minus 10%. Courts always retain the ability to modify orders regarding children. Additionally, courts can also modify spousal support unless the parties have agreed otherwise. On the other hand, property division is typically not modifiable absent unusual circumstances such as fraud or duress.

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If you are interested in speaking about a specific situation, I invite you to contact me at 303-210-4204 or using the online link.

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