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Boulder County Divorce Law Blog

How will the courts try to settle a parenting time dispute?

Couples in Colorado who have ended their relationship will often have issues with one another after the marriage or relationship has concluded. If they have children, this can cause many different problems. One common reason for there to be a dispute is if the couple cannot get on the same page regarding visitation rights, also referred to as parenting time. When a parent is not adhering to the order, it is important to understand how state law addresses these situations.

After 35 days of a motion being filed, or if the court files a motion on its own if a parent refuses to comply to the parenting time order or a visitation schedule, the court will say what sanctions it might impose. It will then assess the motion and its response if the failure to comply continues. Once it has done that, it will: issue a denial to the motion if the allegation is inadequate; schedule a hearing with the parents being informed of where and when it will be held; order the parties to go for mediation and then inform the court of the results within 63 days. If the parents can come to an agreement, the court can approve it. If they cannot, then there will be a hearing scheduled.

Colorado mother faces criminal charges after fleeing with child

When there is a child custody dispute, the situation can sometimes get out of hand with the noncustodial parent taking matters into their own hands and deciding to flee with the child. This can lead to criminal charges and a whole host of problems for the parent who committed this act. In some instances, it can even go beyond failing to return the child at the designated time or leaving the state and turn into an international abduction case. For noncustodial parents who are unhappy with the child custody agreement or custodial parents and non-parents who have legal custody who have concerns about an abduction, it is important to have legal assistance.

A 19-year-old mother fled Colorado with her 1-year-old son. The woman does not have custody of the child. She was found in Arizona. She and the child were safe. According to law enforcement, she is alleged to have taken the child from the home where the court had ordered him to live and fled.

Understanding child support guidelines and factors considered

Child support is known to be one of the key issues when a Colorado couple ends a relationship. It is rare that a parent does not want what is best for his or her child and ensuring that the child's needs are fulfilled with child support is part of that. However, there are often questions about child support guidelines, the reason for the amount that is ordered, and what factors are considered when the decision is made. Having a grasp of these issues is imperative whether it is an amicable case in which the parents are deciding on child support or there is a child support dispute.

The basic child support obligations and the guidelines that are in place to have a state policy on how children should be supported based on the parents' financial circumstances; to award an equitable amount with consistent treatment for parents based on their situations; and to make certain of efficiency by encouraging couples to settle and allow courts to have a baseline in what will be awarded. The adjusted gross incomes of the parents will be used to calculate the child support. It will be adjusted based on the child's needs with such issues as medical expenses, child care costs and other matters factored in. An amount will be allocated for each parent to pay for the child's physical care.

Can a tax refund be taken for unpaid child support in Colorado?

As Colorado residents have recently paid their income taxes, many are eagerly anticipating receiving their tax refund. For some, this is an important aspect of their finances and they use the money for basic needs. However, if there is an issue with delinquent child support and the receiving parent has not gotten the necessary payments, a federal tax refund offset could lead to a person's tax refund being taken to pay the past due child support. There are important points about this that must be understood.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Child Support Services (CSS) and Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) work cooperatively to collect this child support. If the amount owed is $150 or more, then the federal tax refund can be intercepted. It can also intercept the state tax refund if there are payments owed. For people who would like to avoid having their income tax refund intercepted, they need to pay the child support they are said to owe.

What are basic points about a Colorado divorce?

People in Colorado who are in an unhappy marriage will often decide to move on from it and get a divorce. While it might seem like a simple process on the surface, there are certain issues that can be complicated and problematic. Such factors as the residency requirements, how long the couple must wait before they can divorce, if there are grounds that must be met to get a divorce, and if one party does not want to get a divorce are all part of the process. Understanding these points is a foundational aspect of getting divorced.

To get a divorce in Colorado, the residency requirements mandate that the person lived in the state for a minimum of 90 days. With the waiting period, there can only be a divorce decree 90 days after the petition was filed if both parties filed for it. If a person served the divorce papers on a spouse, it is also 90 days. Since the state has a "no fault" policy with divorce, it is not necessary to show there was wrongdoing on the part of the other spouse. All that is necessary is to show that the marriage is irretrievably broken.

Can income be withheld for delinquent child support payments?

People who are obligated to pay child support in Colorado might not make their payments. This can come about for a variety of reasons. Regardless of why this is the case and unless they have taken steps to modify their child support order, they remain responsible for making their child support payments. If they fail to do so, they could face allegations of delinquent payments and face the consequences. One strategy that the state uses to get the payments is income related enforcement. There are several ways this can be done.

The Colorado Child Support Services (CSS) can seek an income assignment against employment wages for payments that are owed. With income assignment, the payments will be deducted from the person's paycheck or other income. CSS checks wage data and employer's "new hire reports" to see if the parent is working and move forward from there. Since employers are required to register their employees with the State Directory of New Hires, the parent will inevitably be found so the collections on the delinquent child support payments can begin.

Legal assistance is critical in a Colorado high asset divorce

Most people in Colorado who decide to divorce are not in the "high asset" category. Therefore, their divorce will not have the same litany of issues as a divorce in which there are significant assets. But for people who are in the middle of a high asset divorce, there are multiple factors that must be considered as the process moves forward. These factors are not in place with a more modest divorce. It is imperative for people who are wealthy to have legal assistance from a law firm that understands the challenges presented by a high asset divorce.

For many couples who are engaged in a high asset divorce, the parting of the ways is simply a matter of growing apart and is done without acrimony. These cases will still have myriad factors that must be settled due to the nature of the finances. When there is disagreement or outright disputes over the couple ending their marriage, it can grow difficult, time consuming and costly. While negotiation and avoiding court can save time and money, being prepared for the worst-case scenario from the start is wise and that means having an experienced divorce attorney.

What should I know about child support income assignments?

When there is a child support order in Colorado, the supporting parent is expected to pay it in full and on time. However, there are instances in which there is a failure to pay child support. When all other avenues in attempting to collect on the payments, the state will take certain steps to get what is owed from the supporting parent so the custodial parent and the child will have their financial needs met. One way that the state goes about getting these payments is through income assignment. Understanding income assignment is important for both the custodial parent and the supporting parent.

It is not uncommon for supporting parents to fail to make their payments. With an income assignments - also known as a "wage assignment" - the income of the supporting parent will be taken directly from his or her paycheck. The supporting parent's employer will receive a notice that there should be a certain amount withheld from the paycheck. The payment will then be sent to the Family Support Registry.

What is considered with the length and amount of alimony?

Divorce in Colorado can be a difficult thing to navigate, especially when one member of the marriage worked and the other either did not work or did not earn enough to support him or herself. Once the marriage is over and the couple decides to part ways, it is not unusual for one former spouse to be ordered to pay alimony to the other.

When the amount is determined, the spouse who will be receiving alimony will have his or her financial resources assessed. This will include the income received or the potential income that might be received through separate property, marital property and other sources for the spouse to meet living requirements independently. The paying spouse's resources will also be considered with the same factors part of the process. During the marriage, there might have been a certain lifestyle. Steps will be taken to maintain it as much as possible.

What factors are considered with property division in Colorado?

After issues regarding children, one of the biggest reasons for an ongoing dispute in a Colorado divorce is property division. Items that both parties believe they have a right to can range from expensive purchases like a home or a vehicle and extend all the way down to items of sentimental value that might have been a gift and both sides want to keep. Understanding the law when it comes to disposition of property is one of the key factors in settling a dispute over non-marital property, marital property, and property that might fall into the gray area as to whom it belongs.

When there is a dissolution, there are certain factors that go into division of marital property. The court will examine these factors and come to its decision based on the evidence. Included will be the contribution made by each of the spouses to the property and how it was acquired - including a spouse who contributed as a homemaker. The property's value and how it is set apart to each party will be important. Economics and the circumstances for each when the property will be divided will be factored in, including the awarding of the family home, who will live there and how that will be determined. If there was an increase or a decrease in value of a separate property belonging to one of the spouses while the couple was married or if there was a depletion of separate property for marital purposes, this will be considered.