Divorce Lawyer Cherry Hill

Divorce has a way of making everything seem more difficult. You not only have to protect your legal rights as a parent and your post-divorce finances but must also navigate the emotional gauntlet ahead. It can be a stressful process, but having an experienced divorce lawyer in Cherry Hill on your side can make a considerable difference. 

If you believe that divorce might be in your future, you should never wait to consult with an attorney at CNL Law Firm, PLLC. We represent clients in Cherry Hill and the surrounding areas. 

Colorado Has No-Fault Divorce

Colorado does not issue divorces that are based on fault. Instead, every divorce is attributed to the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, which can help simplify the process. If your spouse did, however, engage in marital wrongdoing, it will not directly affect the outcome of your divorce, but it may have an indirect influence. 

If you have either a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in place that includes terms related to extramarital affairs and the division of marital property, for example, the court is very likely to uphold this mutually agreed upon contingency. Further, if you can demonstrate that your spouse wasted marital assets in the process of indulging in an extramarital affair, the fact is not likely to be lost on the court in its determination of the fair division of your marital property. 

Resolving Divorce Terms

Your family is unique, and your divorce will be as well, but the divorce terms that you’ll need to resolve are the same across the board, including:

Any terms that you and your divorcing spouse are in agreement regarding will not present a problem, but any that need further negotiations will need to be resolved between you – or will require the court’s intervention. When it comes to finding common ground with your soon-to-be ex, you can engage in all the negotiating you need – with the skilled legal guidance of your respective divorce attorneys backing you up. 

There is also alternative dispute resolution to consider, which generally takes the form of mediation and allows you the opportunity to explore your options in a structured environment under the guidance of a professional mediator (with your trusted divorce attorney by your side). If you still have one or more divorce terms that no amount of going back and forth between you is going to resolve, your case will proceed to court, and the judge handling it will make the necessary determinations on your behalf. 

Dividing Your Marital Property

Colorado considers any assets that you, your spouse, or both of you together came to own while you were married marital property, and these assets – in their totality – must be distributed between the two of you equitably in the event of divorce. Equitably means fairly – in relation to a range of relevant factors – but there is no guarantee that it means equally. 

Separate Property

Separate property that is owned by either of you is the separate asset of that spouse alone – but only if you are able to keep the asset strictly separate throughout your marriage, which is not only a high bar but also a complicated requirement. Your family’s finances are likely to be more free-form than rigid – after all, you presumably don’t run your home like a corporation. 

Within this more relaxed approach to finances, it’s easy for separate assets and marital assets to become commingled, which can transform separate properties into marital properties. Saying that it’s complicated is a way of putting it mildly, but having a savvy divorce attorney with extensive experience successfully guiding the division of marital property in complicated cases in your corner is a good place to start. 

Complications

Even if your family’s finances seem straightforward, you can expect the division of your marital property to be challenging. There are, however, factors that routinely complicate the division of marital property, including:

  • If either of you owns a business or if you own a business together
  • If there is a family business involved that originated with either your family or your spouse’s 
  • If there are high assets involved
  • If your finances are complicated, to begin with
  • If your spouse is determined to make your divorce as contentious as possible (emotions run high during divorce, and they can drive otherwise relatively reasonable people to engage in out-of-character behaviors)

A final complication is that, even if there is no ambiguity in relation to your separate property, any increase in its value will be treated like marital property by the court, which means that it will need to be distributed between you both fairly. 

Your Child Custody Arrangements

Legal and physical custody in Colorado is called parental responsibilities and parenting time (respectively). 

Parental Responsibilities

There are some decisions we make as parents that are more monumental than others, including those related to the following:

  • Your children’s education
  • Your children’s primary home
  • Your children’s healthcare needs
  • Your children’s religious education
  • Your children’s participation in extracurricular activities and travel

These are the kinds of determinations addressed by parental responsibilities. Your options when it comes to how you and your children’s other parent will tackle parental responsibilities include:

  • Continuing to make these decisions together
  • Continuing to make these decisions together while one of you has tie-breaking authority
  • Making these decisions on one’s own (by whoever is awarded sole parental responsibilities)
  • Dividing these decisions between you according to the category of decision that needs to be made 

Not every decision we make as parents is weighted with the same level of importance, and the parent who is with the kids when more mundane decisions need to be made is responsible for doing so. The parent on the scene or who can be reached more easily in an emergency situation is similarly tasked with making whatever decisions need to be made on the spot. 

Parenting Time

Parenting time sets your parenting schedule, which dictates when your kids are with you and when they are with your ex. While there are any number of scheduling options, they can all be classified in one of the following ways:

  • One of you is the primary custodial parent
  • Both of you divide your parenting time more equally 

When the court makes determinations about parenting time, it focuses on factors like the following:

  • Each parent’s preference 
  • Each child’s preference (if the court considers the child old enough and mature enough to offer a reasonable opinion)
  • Each child’s relationship with every other member of the family 
  • How well the children have adjusted to their current home, school, and community 
  • The overall physical and mental health of each parent and each child, including any extraordinary concerns
  • Each parent’s ability and propensity to continue encouraging a close, ongoing relationship between each child and the other parent 
  • Each parent’s ability and propensity to put the children’s needs above their own
  • Each parent’s degree of meaningful involvement in the children’s lives and upbringing to date
  • The distance the parents live from one another in relation to practical considerations that affect parenting time

Child Support

The divorce process naturally does not absolve either parent of their financial responsibility to their children, and child support is the state’s tool for ensuring this responsibility is addressed fairly by both parents. While the child support calculation guidelines carefully factor in a range of important information, the primary determinative factors tend to be the number of overnights the kids have with each parent and each parent’s income. Even when exes divide their overnights directly down the middle, the parent with higher earnings is likely to have the child support obligation. 

The court will pay careful attention to factors such as the following when calculating child support:

  • A parent’s engagement in voluntary unemployment or underemployment as a means of diminishing child support
  • A parent’s pay range that is not representative of their normal earnings – whether higher or lower – due to extenuating circumstances

Alimony

Alimony (or spousal maintenance) applies only in those divorces in which one spouse is left without the financial means to continue supporting themself. If the other spouse has the financial ability to provide assistance, alimony may be ordered. There is not a presumed entitlement to alimony in any Colorado divorce – instead, the court must make this determination case by case. In Colorado, the court is unlikely to consider alimony unless the couple was married for at least three years, and alimony payments are usually set for an amount and duration that provides the recipient with the financial boost they need to become more self-sufficient. 

Discuss Your Case with an Experienced Divorce Lawyer in Cherry Hill Today

Chris Little at CNL Law Firm, PLLC – proudly serving Cherry Hill, Colorado – is a capable divorce lawyer who dedicates his practice to skillfully advocating for the legal rights of clients like you. Your case is important to your future, so please don’t delay incontacting us online or calling us at (720) 370-2171 for more information about what we can do to help you today.

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