Family Law includes child custody and support between both parents regardless of whether they have been married. It also covers legal separation, divorce, property division, and alimony.
Family Law is our business, but we prefer for you to resolve your marital and child issues without the need for a visit to court. Visit our resources page for books that can help you with conflict and strengthen your relationship.
Child Custody and Support
Colorado recognizes both legal custody (decision making), and physical custody (parenting time). The court makes decisions concerning each based on the best interest of the child. Parents can make these decisions themselves. But, if you are experiencing conflict with your child’s other parent, then you should consult with an attorney for guidance and an understanding of how the laws in Colorado will affect your family law situation.
In general, Colorado expects each parent to participate in a child’s financial support. However, the State does not consider a lack of financial support as a valid reason to keep a child from a parent, as this may not be in the child’s best interest.
Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce)
Colorado has “no-fault” divorce or dissolution of marriage. You do not have to have a cause such as adultery or abuse. You only have to claim an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
Just as a spouse’s conduct is not a deciding factor in whether you are granted a dissolution of your marriage, it also isn’t taken into consideration in how your property is divided or whether alimony is awarded.
Marital Property Division
You and your spouse can agree on how to divide your property and keep the court out of that decision. But, if you can’t agree then you should consult a lawyer for guidance.
The court doesn’t just split the marital property evenly between the spouses. It looks at each spouse’s personal property brought into the marriage, gifts and inheritance received, and property that you agree is personal as well as each spouse’s income. It looks at each spouse’s contribution to the marital property and considers child care and home maintenance as contributing. The court will also consider the length of the marriage and the age of the children in deciding on how the marital property will be divided.
The court will strive to make sure that one party is not significantly harmed by the division of marital property in ration to the other party.
Alimony or Spousal Maintenance
Alimony is not a given today. The courts look at each spouse’s ability to support themselves from assets and income. The court also looks at a spouse’s ability to pay maintenance. These factors plus the length of the marriage and the standard of living established during the marriage are used to determine the level of maintenance.
At McLaughlin Tarrin Law, we work with you during every step of the process. Making sure you are aware of your options and helping you understand what will happen in court. If you are facing a family law case and want more than a lawyer to file the paperwork, contact us and get an advocate at your side.