Family Law 101: Understanding Family Law in Denver, CO
On behalf of
A divorce is one of the most stressful things that a person can go through. In fact, it is in the top 5 most stressful life events. Along with the stress of ending your marriage, you have to navigate the family law system.
Chances are, you are not familiar with family law, and that is where we come in. Read on to learn more about the family law process in Denver.
What Is Family Law?
In Colorado, family law encompasses anything that has to do with the family, such as divorce, spousal support, division of property and assets, child custody, and child support, modifications of support, valuation of assets.
Colorado Divorce Laws
Colorado is a “no-fault” divorce state. This means that the individual filing for divorce does not have to prove any grounds for the divorce. In the past, the person filing had to provide evidence of infidelity, abuse, desertion, etc.
Now, the only thing required is that the individuals in the relationship allege that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” There is no “fault” attributed to either party in order to obtain a divorce
When dividing property, Colorado uses a process called “equitable division of property.” This means that the property is not necessarilly equally divided down the middle but rather is divided in a way that is deemed “fair” by the judge. It could be a 50/50 split but it could also be split in a way where one person receives a larger share of the assets or debts.
In Colorado, courts use the term “allocation of parental responsibilities” rather than joint custody or sole custody. The allocation of responsibilities is based on the best interests of the child.
Things that the court considers are the ability of the parent to put the child’s needs before their own and which parent is most able to provide for the child. The court can also order how decisions such as school and medical care are made (either jointly or by one parent).
When it comes to child support, the courts will decide who will pay and how much by considering the joint incomes of the parties. The income of both parents will be taken into account, not just the parent that the child lives with most often.
Things that the court will consider include:
- The financial resources of the child and the custodial parent
- The standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the marriage not ended
- The physical, emotional, and educational needs of the child
- The financial resources and needs of the noncustodial parent
Each parent will have to provide documentation of their financial status as well as fill out worksheets documenting their income so the courts can appropriately apply the formula and enter orders for child support.
Family Law Help
This is just a basic look into how the family law system works. In reality, it is not always as cut and dry as it might seem. By their very nature, family law cases are emotional and in the case of child custody, the case involves more than just adults.
If you find yourself in need of a family lawyer, whether it is for a divorce or child custody and child support issues, Shapiro Law Firm can help. We handle all types of family law cases. Contact us today to review your case.