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Experienced Divorce Attorneys that Fight to Protect Your Interests
Do I need a Lawyer if I am getting Divorced?
In most cases the answer is yes. Unless you and your spouse work out an “uncontested” divorce. If not, then it is smart to hire an attorney who is genuinely willing to fight to protect your best interests.
The rules and regulations that govern divorce proceedings in Colorado can be complicated. An experienced divorce attorney will help the process go as smoothly as possible.
We will file a petition for dissolution of marriage and help you detail the grounds for which you are filing. When you hire us, we will help you build a divorce roadmap, and ensure all steps are achieved efficiently and properly.
Two Things to Consider When Filing for a Divorce
There are so many issues surrounding a divorce and it may be overwhelming. Below are considerations, questions, and advice to a lot of things you will need to think about. Here is also a helpful article on Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce.
The Length of Time You Need to Wait Until the Divorce is Final
In Colorado you will need to wait a minimum of 90 days after the filing. Another thing to note is that in Colorado you or your spouse must live in Colorado for at least 90 days before filing for divorce.
This is typically a highly emotional topic so it is crucial your attorney understands your situation and is willing to build a customized plan. If children under the age of 18 are involved in a divorce settlement then child support must be considered.
How much child support is paid and by whom depends on many factors. These factors are unique to each divorce case. Common considerations include:
- the amount of time the parent will be spending with the child
- the income of each parent
- expenses such as child care, education, health insurance costs
What is spousal maintenance?
This term is also known as “Alimony” but in Colorado the correct term is “spousal maintenance”. Spousal maintenance is a monthly payment to your former spouse. Laws governing spousal maintenance vary from state to state so it is important to consult with an experienced divorce attorney with extensive experience in Colorado.
Factors Considered for Spousal Maintenance Payments
- Earnings potential
- Length of time the couple was married
- Age and physical well-being
- Ability for the paying spouse to fulfill the financial obligations
The length of time a spouse is obligated to pay spousal maintenance is determined by the judge and unique to each case. It can range for a set amount of time or until the death of the receiving spouse. Payments can also be terminated if the receiving spouse is remarried.
Custody of Children
Child custody is another complicated divorce topic. There are several types of child custody:
- Joint custody
- Split custody
- Legal custody
Who gets custody of the children after a divorce?
In all cases the goal is to do what is best for the children involved. Factors that lead to determining who will get legal custody of a child may include:
- Age of the child
- Current and future environment of the child
- Mental and physical conditions of each parent
- Previous abuse (emotional or physical)
- Drug or alcohol use of the parents
- The preference of the child
- Determining the primary caretaker of the child
Dividing Up Property
In Colorado, the law requires a resolution that is fair to both sides. It is possible for the divorcing couple to come to terms on their own. However, when there are a lot of assets at stake it makes a lot of sense to hire an experienced divorce attorney.
Property division during a divorce case may be based on:
- The income and financial situation of each person
- Which spouse has legal custody of the children
- The overall value of the assets or property awarded to each spouse
- Future earning potential of each spouse
What is the Difference between Marital Property and Non-Marital Property?
Marital property are assets that were acquired during the marriage while Non-marital property refers to assets that were gained before the marriage. This can also be a complex issue another reason to choose the legal services of Elkus & Sisson.
Dividing Up Real Estate in a Divorce
If you acquired a property during the marriage and you still have a mortgage on that property then there are several things you can do.
- One thing to consider is listing the property for sale. However, depending on the housing market that might not be possible, or desirable.
- Another option is to refinance the property so that sole ownership goes to one of the spouses.
- You can also do nothing and the divorcing couple needs to jointly be responsible for making payments on the mortgage.
There can be a lot of assets at stake when real estate is involved so strong legal advice is important.
Can I Afford a Divorce Attorney?
Identifying Financial Resources During a Divorce
A divorce can be expensive, and knowing how you will support yourself through the divorce proceedings can provide some much-needed security and reassurance. Many people aren’t aware of what financial assets are available to them, but this information is what will enable you to budget and pay for a variety of professional services you need throughout your divorce.
Furthermore, it is always advisable to stay current with your bills and other payments throughout your divorce to ensure that you are not left in a precarious financial position after the divorce is finalized. Examples of financial resources that may be available to you include:
- Mutual Funds
- Credit Lines
- Real Estate investments
- Savings and checking accounts
Advice for Anyone Considering a Divorce
If you and your spouse are considering a divorce, here are some additional tips and considerations:
- Do not start a new relationship.
- Be considerate of the emotional toll it will take on the children
- Reach out for support amongst peers and friends
- Get your financial records organized
- Plan and budget for life after the divorce
Preparing for a Divorce Attorney Consultation
It is best to be as prepared as possible when you have your first consultation meeting with your divorce attorney. The best thing you can do is be up front and honest about any questions you are asked. You will also want to have a list of questions prepared. Here are some examples:
- Who will be working on my case?
- Who will be making court appearances?
- How much can I expect to pay?
- Are there ways I can minimize the cost?
- Do you have any references I can contact?
- Who is my primary contact at the law firm?
Of course you will want to come up with your own list but these are some things to think about as you prepare. View an in depth article article on how to prepare for a divorce attorney consultation.
We know that Divorce is Never Easy
No one plans to get divorced, and at Elkus & Sisson, P.C., we acknowledge that this process will be a painful one. Our laws take a compassionate, collaborative approach that keeps your goals and your interests in mind.
For over 15 years, we have been representing individuals in the Denver and Rocky Mountain areas, and we always take the time to create long-term relationships with our clients.
To receive help with your divorce from an experienced divorce attorney, call Elkus & Sisson, P.C. at (303) 567-7981.