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Denver Family Law Blog

Shared parenting in Colorado: Good for your children?

As a parent who has gone through a divorce, the last thing you may want to do is to see your ex. While that's often your choice, it's important to consider the impact that could have on your child. This is especially true now that a study has revealed the added benefit of shared parenting on children who are in divorced or separated families.

The study that focused on shared parenting has shown that shared parenting after a separation is beneficial for children as they age. A Dec. 18 report describes how shared parenting should be the norm in the United States; in fact, 110 child development experts have signed a paper published by the American Psychological Association that concludes that exact fact. It's been shown that shared parenting is good for developing children's well-being, even in cases where children have high-conflict parents.

Colorado grandparents want custody: Children in dual-state battle

Grandparents also have rights when it comes to their grandchildren's safety, but how far those rights goes can depend on each person's circumstances. It gets particularly difficult to decide what to do when the courts have jurisdiction in different states including Colorado, like in the case about to be discussed.

A Nov. 20 report discussed a dual-state custody battle between a deputy and the maternal grandparents of his children. According to the story, the deputy is currently being held and will be formally charged with second-degree murder for the death of his wife once he is extradited to Colorado. His wife suffered a gunshot wound to the head after a New Year's Eve party at their home in 2012. Since then, his children have been living with his mother, their paternal grandmother. They live in Indiana.

Substance abuse: Keep your right to see your child in Colorado

Alcohol and drug abuse during a divorce is a very serious issue that has to be addressed. If drugs or alcohol use have resulted in the divorce, then the court will need to know. This kind of situation is not taken lightly, but that doesn't mean you need to be seen as an unfit parent. Sometimes, you simply need help.

When children are involved, it's normally in their best interest to stay in touch with both parents. A meaningful relationship is something children desire, and parents often want that as well, even if the marriage doesn't last. If you're in a situation where you could lose visitation rights or the option to see your child as often as you'd like, you need to take immediate steps to stop this from happening. No matter what kind of situation you're in with drugs or alcohol, if you want access to your child and have positive intentions, there is no reason you shouldn't be allowed to see him or her.

Steven Cohen faces ongoing litigation following divorce

This is interesting news for anyone who has previously been through a divorce in Colorado. As most people are aware, parts of a divorce can be contested months -- if not years -- after the divorce is finalized. This is particularly true if there are aspects of the divorce that were not spoken about truthfully.

In this case reported on Nov. 26, Steven Cohen's ex-wife was reported as having gotten outside financing in order to file a lawsuit against her ex-husband. She claims that the billionaire cheated her out of money during their divorce, which took place nearly 20 years ago, and owes her money. How much? It could be as much as millions.

How can you get custody of your grandchild in Colorado?

If you're the grandparent of a child whose family is divorcing or has other struggles, you may wonder what your custody and visitation rights are. Every state does have different rules that can affect you, so if your family is spread out into different states, you may have to do your research to find out which laws directly apply to your case.

Grandparents generally only get visitation or custody rights when certain conditions are met. The best interests of the child involved are what's most important, and this is highly considered when deciding if a grandparent should get custody or visitation rights to the child. For example, is it good for the emotional health of the child to continue to see his grandparent? What are the wishes of the parents; do they want the grandparents of their child to have custody or visitation rights? If the child is old enough to make such decisions, what does he or she think, and who would he or she rather live with or have visitation with?

You can protect your assets during a divorce in Colorado

If you're a businessperson, then you know that if you go through a divorce, your business assets may be in limbo if the other party wants to divide them. Your premarital assets should always stay with you, and when you're the one who has built up your fortune, you may not like the idea of splitting it up with your soon-to-be ex. Business executives, doctors, dentists, and others have unique challenges during a divorce due to their high assets and business needs.

The matters of support or alimony, property division, and the valuation of your property can all be complex. Your business could be at stake during your divorce proceedings, which is why you need to have someone on your side to represent you as an individual who has assets to protect, not to share. Likewise, if you're the partner of an entrepreneur who doesn't want to give you your fair share, there may be steps you can take to get more out of your divorce.

Your spouse, your house and your rights in a divorce

In a divorce, one spouse is able to keep a house if he or she is able to refinance the home. This is typically true in Colorado and other states. In some cases, this isn't possible, and that means the home must be sold to get both parties separated from that debt. When you have a loan, there are a few options, but protecting the asset -- your home -- is vital. You don't want to undersell, and you certainly don't want to get stuck making payments you can't afford to make on your own.

To secure a loan, the federal government requires that you have a 43 percent debt-to-income ratio. That means that 57 percent of your income must not be tied up in payments for your cellphone bill, monthly rental payments or other bills. As someone getting a divorce, you may think that you can simply apply your child support or alimony toward a mortgage on a new home after selling your old one, but remember, many lenders won't consider that money as income until you've been receiving it for over a year. That means that in the meantime, you'll be stuck without a way to get a new mortgage.

Divorce versus a legal separation and your rights in Colorado

You've probably heard about people being separated and understood that they were no longer seeing each other; however, being legally separated is not the same thing as being divorced in Colorado. In a legal separation, both people are still married. In a divorce, the marriage officially ends.

During a legal separation, you and your spouse will no longer live together. The court will still decide on spousal support, child support and other financial needs. Child custody, visitation and property division is also completed through the court for legal separation. Sometimes, those who legally separate get back together. At that point, the case is typically dismissed from the courts. If the couple decides to divorce, then the information collected during the separation is used to proceed.

How do you value your business in Colorado?

Whether you're ready to sell your Colorado business or you just need to value it for your divorce, it's important to have the valuation done in a fair manner. You want to know how much your business is worth, the potential for future profits, and how much you should expect if you decide to sell.

There are a few different ways to value a business. The market-based approach looks at businesses that are similar to yours to try to define the average price your business would be worth. Not many people like this process because it may undervalue or overvalue the business. For instance, if you have a good business plan and higher income than other businesses in your genre, then you may get a valuation that is well under what your business is really worth.

Responding to a divorce petition in Colorado: What to do

When you receive a divorce or dissolution petition, you must answer it. The petition itself is first filed with the court, and then the divorce petition is served to the other party. Being served simply means you have been legally delivered the paperwork. As the respondent of the paperwork or defendant in the divorce process, you must respond to the petition within the selected time frame. Most of the time, it's 21 days.

Once you respond, you also need to discuss the allegations in the paperwork and make your arguments. If you don't do that within 30 days of receiving the paperwork, you won't be able to argue for what you want or need in issues of child custody or property division -- two areas you likely will want to have a say.

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Zuber Law P.C.
950 South Cherry Street, Suite 300
Denver, CO 80246

Phone: 303-945-3499
Toll Free: 866-492-3572
Fax: 303-757-2695
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