Centennial Family Law Attorney

Family Law Attorney in Centennial, CO

When your children or your family are directly affected by a legal decision, the matter is that much more significant, which helps to make family law a very important branch of the law. Whatever your concern is, an experienced Centennial family law attorney. Standing by to help protect your related financial and parental rights in pursuit of your case’s most favorable resolution. 

Family matters are stressful and emotional, and you need the right legal help to resolve your family law case. 

Common Family Law Cases, Centennial

Many people think of divorce in relation to family law, but its reach is actually far broader. Consider all the following family law concerns:

  • Divorce terms, post-decree modifications, and child custody arrangements outside of divorce
  • Parental relocations 
  • Grandparent rights
  • Premarital and marital arrangements (often referred to as prenuptial and postnuptial agreements)
  • Paternity
  • Guardianship and adoption
  • Domestic violence

The Terms of Divorce in the Centennial Area

Every divorce is as unique as the people involved, but the terms that must be resolved don’t fluctuate. These terms must be addressed during the divorce process, but they can also arise after the divorce has been finalized in the form of post-decree modifications. Further, couples who were never married often face child custody and child support issues outside of divorce

The Division of Your Marital Property

The primary term that every married couple must face upon divorce is the division of their marital property, which refers to those assets that they acquired over the years of their marriage. In Colorado, these assets are split between divorcing couples in a manner that is deemed equitable or fair.  Any separate property remains the property of the spouse who owned it prior to marriage, but any intermingling of marital and separate property can negate the separate nature of the assets involved. 

Your Child Custody Arrangements

Child custody in Colorado is addressed in terms of parental responsibilities, which determine who will be making important decisions on behalf of your children and parenting time, which determines how your children will divide their time between you and their other parent. The kinds of decisions that parental responsibilities focus on include those related to the following:

  1. Your children’s health care
  2. Your children’s schooling
  3. Your children’s extracurriculars
  4. Your children’s religious education

You and your ex can continue to make these decisions together, but one of you may be awarded the ability to put a stalemate aside and make the decision yourself if your negotiations ultimately prove unsuccessful. Other options include one parent being awarded sole parental responsibility or both of you dividing this responsibility between yourselves according to the kind of decision that needs to be made. 

Parenting time schedules, on the other hand, are categorized in one of the following two ways:

  1. Both parents split their time with the kids evenly or in a manner that is relatively even.
  2. One parent is the primary custodial parent – with whom the children spend the majority of their time – while the other parent has a visitation schedule. 

Child Support 

Child support in Colorado is implemented to help ensure that financial support for the children is balanced between both parents – in accordance with their earnings and ability to pay. While many variables go into the calculation process, the issues that tend to play the largest role include the amount of time the children spend with each parent and each parent’s income. The parent who earns more generally pays child support to the other. 

Alimony

Alimony is a payment system that comes into play only in those circumstances in which one spouse experiences a financial downturn upon divorce while the other has the financial ability to help offset it. Typically, the recipient of alimony receives it only for the amount of time necessary for them to become more financially independent.

Parental Relocations

Parents naturally have the right to move out of Colorado, but when they are divorced and have parenting time schedules, the court must take the children’s best interests into careful consideration before greenlighting a move with the kids (unless both parents are in agreement in relation to the move). 

While the court won’t stop the custodial parent from moving, it may shift primary custody to the parent who isn’t planning a move. This means that if the move you are planning benefits your children in terms of increased opportunities, financial resources, and access to a broader range of extended family, the court may rule in your favor. If your move, however, is predicated on your preferences alone, the court is unlikely to be persuaded. 

Grandparent Rights

Grandparents generally do not have a legal right to visitation with their grandchildren. If your grandchildren’s parents are no longer together as a couple (or if one of their parents is no longer alive), however, Colorado courts will weigh the benefits of supporting an ongoing relationship between the grandparents and grandchildren in the form of a visitation schedule. If it’s determined that the children’s best interests are better served by a close, ongoing relationship with the grandparents, visitation may be awarded. 

Premarital and Marital Arrangements

Colorado uses the terms premarital and marital agreements in place of the more common prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, but the purpose remains the same. Both are contracts that can guide how specific divorce terms will be resolved in the event of divorce, but prenups are written prior to marriage and are executed upon marriage, while postnups are written and executed during the marriage. Neither a prenuptial nor a postnuptial agreement increases the likelihood that a marriage will end in divorce, but it does help to ensure that a divorce will proceed more smoothly if it does come to pass. 

Paternity 

When parents are married, the matter of the child’s father – or paternity – is presumed. When the couple, however, is not married or either parent doubts the child’s paternity, the court needs to be involved. If both parents are in agreement regarding a child’s paternity, they can sign off on the matter and file the report with the court. If this isn’t the case, however, the matter will move to the court, which is likely to order DNA testing. The establishment of paternity can prove important for the mother, child, and father in all the following ways:

  1. The father and child have the opportunity to forge close familial bonds
  2. The child and mother can both benefit from the father’s financial support.
  3. The child has access to more comprehensive health information related to the father’s side of the family.
  4. The child has the legal right to inheritance from the father and can benefit from the father’s job-related health and life insurance – in addition to any veterans or social security benefits. 
  5. The mother has the opportunity to share some of the responsibilities that often overwhelm single parents. 

Guardianship and Adoption Nearby Centennial Location

Guardianship allows someone other than a child’s parent to take over in the provision of care, but the parents do not give up parental rights, which can be reinstated through the court. Nevertheless, guardianship allows the guardian to make important decisions on behalf of the child and to fill in for their parents while the guardianship is in place. 

Adoption can only be implemented when the rights of the child’s parents have been permanently revoked (either by choice or as a matter of law). Once a child is adopted, the adoptive parents are granted all the rights and responsibilities that biological parents have. Because the results are permanent, the adoption process is exhaustive and arduous. 

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence can tear families apart, and like other states, Colorado takes acts of domestic violence very seriously. Acts of domestic violence can refer to any of the following against an intimate partner:

  1. Any act of violence
  2. Any threat of violence
  3. Any attempt at violence 
  4. Stalking behavior
  5. Harassing behavior
  6. Revenge
  7. Coercion, or actions that are intended to threaten, force, or intimidate the other person into doing something they don’t want to do or into not doing something they are entitled to do

Intimate partners include spouses or former spouses and romantic partners or former romantic partners. The violent act – as outlined above – can be directed at the intimate partner themself or it can be directed at the intimate partner’s family member, the intimate partner’s property, or the intimate partner’s pet. 

While the perpetrator of domestic violence can’t be charged with domestic violence alone, they can be charged with the underlying violent act as enhanced by domestic violence. For example, a charge of misdemeanor assault can be bumped up to misdemeanor assault as an act of domestic violence if the victim is a current or former intimate partner. 

Consult with an Experienced Centennial Family Law Attorney Today

Chris Little at CNL Law Firm, PLLC, in Centennial, Colorado, is an accomplished family law attorney who recognizes how important your case is to you and your family and who dedicates his impressive practice to skillfully fighting for your rights and for your case’s optimal outcome. Please don’t wait to reach out and contact us online or call us at (720) 370-2171 for more information today.

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