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Boulder County Divorce Law Blog

What must be in an interim custody agreement during deployment?

There are many people who serve in the military and reside in Colorado. Some have custody of children and will need to come to an agreement with the noncustodial parent when they are ordered to deploy. This can be a difficult situation to navigate especially if there are personal issues between the parties. The best interests of the child are paramount and, hopefully, the parents can put their lingering animosities aside and put that into perspective when deployment is on the horizon.

Even in cases where the parents are amicable, it is wise to understand how to go about formulating an agreement to grant custodial responsibility to another person when the custodial parent is deployed. With an agreement to grant custody during deployment, the following must be in place: it should be in writing and signed by the parents and, if there is a person who is not a parent taking custody, they too should sign it.

Property division when a business is at stake requires a lawyer

Any divorce in Colorado will be complicated with a litany of issues up for discussion. When there is a business at stake and the parties disagree as to how it will be divided and what the contributions were to make the business a success, it can explode into an outright dispute that will not only take time to navigate, but will cost a significant amount of money and capital.

For those who are business owners, having legal assistance to determine what is marital property and how to split the business is one of the most important factors in a reasonable resolution. Business valuation can be confusing. If, for example, one of the spouses started the business, the business was already in place or far along in the planning stages at the time of the marriage, that spouse will likely want to have the bulk of the business to remain in his or her possession.

How are visitation rights handled with allegations of abuse?

When a Colorado couple has a child, the court will do its best to try and have both parents in the child's life. In general, if one parent has been granted child custody, then the other parent will receive visitation rights. However, not all cases are the same and in some instances, the best interests of the child are not suited by the noncustodial parent having extensive, unsupervised visitation rights. This is especially true if there was abuse as part of the relationship between the parents and the parent and child. Understanding how the law addresses these issues is critical for the custodial and noncustodial parents.

The court will examine the evidence regarding abusive or neglectful behavior, domestic abuse or sexual assault that led to the child being conceived and will consider these factors when the parenting plan is established and approved. The court can place conditions on parenting time that will seek to make sure the child's safety is paramount. It will also make certain the abused party is safe.

Real estate and other marital property can complicate a divorce

It is especially true for Colorado high profile couples that end their marriage can be a complicated and costly matter. On a smaller scale, this is also a reality that people must face regardless of their financial circumstances. When a marriage is no longer working, the idea of divorce can be intimidating and worrisome. However, after children, financial matters are commonly the biggest problem that must be dealt with. Having a basic grasp over the financial sticking points in any divorce can help move the process forward and allow the couple to part ways with as little lingering bitterness as possible.

Real estate can be of immense financial and sentimental value, so it is no surprise that both parties will want to retain the family home. An error that is often made is failing to account for such issues, such as how the property will be paid for and maintained. When people marry, they might have two incomes and this helps with the upkeep of a property. When a single person lives in the same property, it can change the dynamics of how basics are paid for. Once the cost is understood, it might be necessary to sell the property.

Important points about child support for service members

It is not unusual for Colorado parents who are paying or receiving child support to also be part of the U.S. armed forces as reservists or in the U.S. National Guard. Understandably, both parents - the supporting parent and the custodial parent - will have concerns about how the payments will be made in such a circumstance. The CSS (Colorado Office of Child Support Services) knows that people who are called to duty during these troublesome times in the U.S. could have various issues regarding the support. Knowing how the CSS handles this is key.

For those who owe $2,500 or more in delinquent payments, their passport could be withheld until they are up-to-date on their payments - this can be an issue if they are called overseas. With income withholding, parents whose payments are made via this method should know they can transfer the withholding from their civilian job to the Department of Defense (DFAS) so the payments will be made as normal. The civilian employer should be asked to inform CSS of the last day in which the person worked, how much they made on the final paycheck, the date, and how many dependents were enrolled on the health insurance plan.

Do I need to provide security for a former spouse's maintenance?

When there is an order of spousal maintenance in Colorado, there are many different factors that must be considered by all parties. The obvious issues are how much will be paid, the duration of the payments and if it can be modified as time passes. Other issues will also be important, including whether the paying spouse will be required to provide security for the maintenance they owe. Knowing what the law says about this is important as the case is negotiated and decided.

The order for the paying spouse to provide security for maintenance is made so the receiving spouse can be covered in the event that the paying spouse dies before the term of maintenance concludes. This can include, but will not be limited to, maintaining life insurance with the receiving spouse as a beneficiary. There are certain considerations that the court will weigh when it determines if there should be security on the spousal maintenance.

Providing guidance during property division

Whether it was a marriage that lasted decades or just a few short years, spouses bring a lot to a marriage. And for each year of marriage, spouses bring more and more into the relationship. Because of this, property division can be a very contentious issue. No one wants to walk away from a marriage feeling like they do not maintain ownership of what is rightfully theirs. Thus, divorcing spouses in Colorado and elsewhere should take the time to explore their rights during this process.

It is clear that divorce is an emotional process, causing spouses to sometimes have concerns for their post-divorce life. At Shea L. Burchill, P.S., our experienced legal team seeks to ease your troubled mind by guiding you through the property division process. This means explaining the laws of the state, how a marital agreement applies, if ones exist, what assets and property are up for division and what steps you can take to protect separate property.

Tax changes make it wise to think about the timing of a divorce

When a Colorado couple has reached the point when they can no longer remain together and would like to divorce, the emotional issues and other factors that have led to the dispute will often take precedence over practical matters such as when they should move forward with the proceeding. However, the timing of the when to file can be important, especially for couples with significant assets amid the new tax laws that went into effect at the beginning of the year. For people in this situation, understanding the best possible timing for the divorce can be key.

In many high asset proceedings, one spouse will be ordered to pay alimony to the other. Before the change, alimony had been tax deductible for the paying spouse and taxable for the spouse receiving it. With the new tax law, the spouse paying alimony will be taxed for the total amount; the spouse who is receiving alimony will not pay taxes on what is received. This can be a concern for people whose divorce might be settled after December 31. To keep that deduction, settling the case before year's end could be beneficial. For couples who are parting ways amicably, this might be easier to handle than for couples that are in a contentious dispute.

What are the requirements when filing to modify child support?

One of the most frequent topics for dispute when Colorado parents part ways is child support. This can be an endless cycle of problems for both parents. The supporting parent might not believe that he or she should pay as much as the order stipulates. The custodial parent could be under the impression that the amount is not sufficient for raising a child. It goes without saying that there are times when a parent does not make the required payments in full or is delinquent. For many, changing the amount via modification is possible. Understanding the basic information to do this is important to know whether it is worth pursuing.

This is valid when there is already an order in place for child support, and there is a desire to increase or decrease it. There are statutory guidelines that the state uses to determine child support. When the circumstances of either party changed, and that change is substantial and continuing, then a modification is possible.

Is mediation a way to deal with disputes over parenting time?

Divorcing Colorado parents in the middle of a dispute over visitation rights might have tried many different avenues to settle matters and come to a consensus without success. If this is the situation, and the couple wants to negotiate, rather than go to court, mediation is an alternative process to consider. Understanding how mediation works, and if it is right for the circumstances is step one before moving forward.

With mediation, the parents will state their case in front of a neutral third party, known as the mediator. This mediator will listen to both sides and help in providing potential solutions, while trying to get each party to understand the position of the other. The goal is to give the parents a say in how the parenting time is allocated so each thinks they are getting something they want.