Lone Tree Divorce Attorney

Divorce Attorney Nearby Lone Tree Area

If you are facing a divorce, the emotional component may have consumed your thoughts and concerns, but it’s also important to keep your parental and financial rights, which are on the line, in mind. This intersection of the emotional and the legal makes divorce a very challenging transition, but an experienced Lone Tree divorce attorney can help protect your rights and negotiate terms that work for you in your unique situation.

With the right legal help, you can know what to expect from the divorce process, and seek an outcome that puts you in the best possible position moving forward. Do not wait to set up a consultation today. 

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The Terms of Your Divorce

Your divorce will be specific to the wide range of circumstances that are involved, but the terms that you will need to address are the same as those faced by other divorcing couples, including:

Because protecting your parental and financial rights is critical, it is important to give each of these terms the attention it requires. 

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Lone Tree Child Custody

For divorces that involve shared children, the matter of child custody is often one of the most challenging terms to resolve. The State of Colorado addresses child custody in terms of both parental responsibilities (what you may think of as legal custody) and parenting time (what you may think of as visitation or physical custody). 

Parental Responsibilities

As a parent, you have considerable responsibilities to your children that including making important decisions on their behalf. Such decisions include those related to all the following:

  • Your children’s schooling
  • Your children’s health care
  • Your children’s participation in extracurricular activities
  • Your children’s religious upbringing

You and your ex can continue making these decisions together (the way you did when you were married), but there are also other options available, including:

  • One of you may be granted the ability to break a tie if you are unable to negotiate a mutually acceptable decision after pouring the necessary work into doing so.
  • You and your ex can divide this decision-making authority between you according to the kind of decision that needs to be made.
  • One of you may be granted sole parental responsibility, which means that this parent will make the primary parenting decisions on his or her own.

Any decisions that routinely pop up in the course of the day remain the responsibility of the parent who is with the kids at the time, and when a decision must be made in an emergency, the available parent is called upon to do so. 

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Parenting Time

One of the most difficult aspects of divorce can be facing the fact that your children are unlikely to live with you around the clock the way they once did. In the end, it is very likely that you and your ex will divide the time that you spend with your shared children between you. One of you may become the primary custodial parent, which means that the children will live with this parent the majority of the time while the other parent has a visitation schedule. 

Alternatively, you may divide your time with the kids more evenly. While these are your primary options, you have nearly limitless choices when it comes to your parenting time schedule – as long as you and your ex are able to negotiate the terms between yourselves (without the court’s intervention). The court very rarely denies a parent some form of visitation with their children (barring a very serious reason for doing so).

Lone Tree Child Support

Child support is the state’s means of ensuring that both parents continue to provide for their children financially post-divorce, and while the amount of time each parent spends with the children and each parent’s income are primary concerns when it comes to child support orders, other factors include:

  • The real and potential income of both parents, which means each parent’s ability to earn and each parent’s actual earnings
  • The parenting time schedule 
  • The standard of living the children would have enjoyed if their parents had remained married.
  • Each child’s educational and extraordinary needs, including any special needs or healthcare concerns
  • The childcare costs associated with the primary custodial parent returning to work (in relation to his or her potential earnings)

The court will also consider whether or not either parent is purposefully earning less in an attempt to keep child support artificially low – or is voluntarily unemployed for the same reason. Additionally, the court will factor in any fluctuations in either parent’s current income. If, for example, it is higher than usual, the child support calculated may not be sustainable, and if it is lower, higher child support payments may be in order. In other words, while child support is based on a reasonably straightforward calculation process, the issue can quickly become more complicated. 

6 Reasons You Might Not Receive or Pay Child Support

The Division of Your Marital Property

During the course of your marriage, you and your spouse acquired assets that the law identifies as marital property – regardless of who paid for what or whose name is attached to what. If you acquired it while you were married, it is almost certainly a marital property that will need to be divided between you equitably (or fairly) in the event of divorce. The factors that go into this fair distribution of assets include:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The overall health and well-being of each spouse
  • Each spouse’s income, separate property, and earning potential
  • The contributions each spouse made to the marriage, including in terms of homemaking and childcare
  • The contributions either spouse made to the other’s career or earning potential

If either of you brought assets into the marriage with you and carefully maintained their separate status throughout, these properties will remain your own. It’s important to understand, however, that the dividing line between marital property and separate property can quickly disappear when assets are commingled, which is exceptionally common over the course of a marriage. 

Additionally, any increase in a separate asset’s value falls into the category of marital assets. For example, if you bring a retirement account into the marriage with you, the value at the time of your marriage is likely to be your own separate asset, but any increase in its value at the time of your divorce will be treated as marital property. 

Alimony in Lone Tree, CO

Alimony – called spousal maintenance in Colorado – is only awarded in highly specific situations. To begin, alimony is generally reserved for those instances when the marriage lasted at least three years. When divorce leaves one spouse unable to support themselves financially, and the other has the financial means to help, alimony may be awarded. The factors that go into this consideration include the following:

  • Each spouse’s financial assets, including the marital property awarded to each
  • Each spouse’s ability to address their own financial needs, including in relation to the alimony requirement 
  • Each spouse’s ability to pay child support (as applicable)
  • Each spouse’s current earning potential
  • The amount of time the recipient needs to obtain the education or job training necessary to become more financially independent
  • The standard of living the couple achieved over the course of their marriage.
  • The age and overall health of each spouse
  • Any contributions that the recipient of alimony made to the other spouse’s career and earning potential

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If Your Divorce Goes to Trial

If you and your divorcing spouse – along with your respective divorce attorney – are able to resolve each of the divorce terms that apply to your situation, you won’t need the court’s intervention for anything other than finalizing your divorce. Toward this end, you have viable options that include negotiating between yourselves (with the guidance of your respective attorneys), allowing your respective attorneys to negotiate on behalf of each of your best interests, and proceeding to a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) such as mediation. 

If, however, any of the terms of your divorce remain unresolved – despite your best efforts – your divorce will proceed to court, where the judge will make the decisions that need to be made on your behalf. While giving up this decision-making power is difficult, it’s sometimes necessary to help protect your financial or parental rights (or both). If, for example, your divorcing spouse is invested in making your divorce as difficult as they possibly can, attempting to continue negotiating is likely to be a waste of time and expense. The same is true if your spouse is simply not interested in making any concessions or addressing the terms of your divorce fairly. 

Consult with an Experienced Lone Tree Divorce Attorney Today

Divorce can be overwhelming, but Chris Little at CNL Law Firm, PLLC, in Lone Tree, Colorado, is a compassionate divorce attorney who is committed to helping you protect your financial and parental rights while skillfully advocating for divorce terms that support you and your children’s best interests. We are on your side and here to help, so please don’t wait to contact or call us at (720) 370-2171 for more information today. 

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