How Do I Deal with a Vindictive Ex?

Going through a divorce is hard enough as it is, but when your spouse becomes vindictive, the process automatically becomes ten times harder. Vindictiveness can include all kinds of things, like removing your name from bank accounts, alienating the kids, making unfounded accusations, and even making unnecessary request of the court just to make your life a little harder. It can be hard to know the best way to deal with your vindictive ex, but in the end it’s pretty simple.

The Best Reaction is No Reaction

It can be hard not to react when it feels like your ex is trying to knock you down, but it truly is the best reaction in this scenario for a couple of reasons. You’ll save your own emotional energy if you aren’t arguing and fighting over everything your ex does and, if kids are involved, it will stop the kids from seeing the fighting.

Reduce Direct Interaction

Try to interact with your ex as little as possible. Once attorneys are involved, this should be pretty easy, as all communication can go through attorneys. If your ex continues to seek out direct interaction, you can always speak to your attorney about getting a protection order for your safety.

Record Interactions

With direct interaction limited, most communication will likely be digitally. Be sure to save those messages and emails, just in case they might prove useful in court.

Set Boundaries

This is the most important part! Your mental health can take a turn for the worse when dealing with a divorce, a vindictive ex, and every day life. Make sure to set boundaries on what you are and are not willing to do and deal with as you continue through the divorce process. Try not to compromise your own boundaries and don’t be afraid to speak to a therapist to help you out!

Dealing with a vindictive ex is incredibly time consuming and emotional! Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Your attorney and the rest of your “divorce team” will be your saving grace!

Can Cheating Affect My Divorce?

Adultery (known as cheating, in more modern terms) is a word you often hear connected to divorce. But what does cheating really mean for your Colorado divorce case? Can it hurt you while you are divorcing?

No Fault Divorce

Colorado is a no fault divorce state, meaning that couples seeking a divorce don’t have to show a reason for their divorce. In Colorado, a divorcing couple simply has to state that their marriage is “irretrievably broken”. Because of this, Colorado law specifically notes that adultery is not a legally recognized reason for divorce.

On the other side of the coin, in states that do require grounds for divorce, adultery is considered a legitimate reason to get divorced. In some states, adultery can even affect the amount of alimony given out, especially if the spouse requesting the alimony is the one who committed adultery.

Can Adultery Affect Alimony?

The short answer is no. A judge in Colorado will consider a laundry list of factors when deciding on how much alimony is appropriate, including:

the financial resources of each spouse

the couple’s lifestyle and spending habits during marriage

the education, employability, and earning capacity of each spouse

the marriage length

the age and heath of each spouse, including any special healthcare needs

non-monetary contributions to the marriage, like child care

any other factors that are relevant

Notice that this list does not include adultery. That is because Colorado judges actually cannot consider adultery, or ay other misconduct, when making alimony decisions.

Can Adultery Affect Child Custody

As with alimony, adultery will not affect the court’s child custody decision. The child’s best interests are the most important thing to take into consideration, not the parents’ fidelity.

If you would like to schedule and initial consultation and discuss the effects of adultery with one of our highly experienced divorce attorneys, visit our website!

What Types of Law Does Divorce Matters Practice?

Just from our name, it’s easy to tell that we excel in divorce law, but what other kinds of cases can Divorce Matters handle? We are a law firm specializing in family law. Family law covers a wide variety of different cases including:


Estate Planning

Divisions of Marital Property

An important part of the divorce process in Colorado is figuring out how to divide marital property. The procedure generally involves two steps. First, it must be determined what marital property is. Second, the marital property must be divided equitably

Spousal Maintenance

In Colorado, neither spouse has an automatic right to maintenance. The court may award maintenance only if it finds that the spouse seeking maintenance lacks sufficient property to meet their reasonable needs and, in addition, is either unable to support themselves through appropriate employment or should not be required to seek employment because of child care responsibilities. Divorce Matters has lots of experience in Spousal Maintenance negotiations and our attorneys are the perfect choice to help you!

Child Custody

When children are involved, the divorce process doesn’t end once the final paperwork is filed. With children come often contentious and painful negotiations about and modification of parental rights, parenting time, and custody. Our team has deep experience dealing with child custody and parental rights issues and we believe it is our duty and an imperative to help couples address custody and rights issues in ways that reduce the impact of divorce and protect children in the process.

Child Support

In Colorado, child support is based on strict guidelines dictated by state laws and statutes. The issue of child support is separate and distinct from the issue of parenting time, and child support payments may not be conditioned upon parenting time. Due to these strict laws, it is important to have guidance from an expert attorney throughout the process.

Post Decree Modifications

Have your circumstances changed since your divorce? Have you lost your job? Has your ex-spouse received a salary increase? Did your ex-spouse fail to disclose financial matters during the dissolution of marriage? Once your divorce is finalized, fortunately, not everything in your original separation agreement or parenting plan is set in stone. Courts recognize that circumstances change, and, sometimes, spouses hide income or assets during the divorce process. Depending on the exact circumstances of your case, you may have a variety of options post-decree. In the following sections, we explore your options in modifying maintenance, child support, parenting time, custody, and decision-making, as well as how you can reopen your property division.

Mediation and Arbitration

Mediation and arbitration are perfect options for anyone going through a divorce. Both options allow the partners to take more control in the divorce, as well as keep the process out of court. Not only does Divorce Matters represent clients through mediation and arbitration, but we also have a mediator on staff!

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence happens to people in all classes, statuses, and ranks in life, regardless of age, gender, race, religion, education, profession, or socioeconomic status. The unfortunate reality is that one in four women in the U.S. will experience domestic violence in their lifetime, resulting in an estimated 1.3 million women becoming victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.

Contempt of Court

After having gone through a divorce or once you have some orders from the court, you may at some point find yourself on either end of a contempt of court action if one of the parties is not complying with the orders. If you find yourself on either end of a contempt action, Divorce Matters is here to help!

Unbundled Legal Services

Unbundled legal services are the perfect solution for anyone not ready to jump into full-scale representation. With unbundled services, you can hire an attorney at their hourly rate to help you with specific aspects of your legal troubles, like filing paperwork or gathering documents!

Common-Law Marriage

The state of Colorado allows couples to enter into common law marriage. However, the parameters of common law marriage can be hazy and difficult to understand, just like common law divorce


If your case falls under family law, we can help with your appeal!

Prenuptial Agreements

While there are a million things to plan when a couple decides to marry, often the most difficult to discuss with your future partner is the possible need for a prenuptial agreement. While this subject is not the most romantic or exciting part of wedding planning, a couple contemplating marriage in Colorado may need to consider entering into a prenuptial agreement, or a contract before marriage.

Military Divorce

To thank our Military service members, we even offer 10% off of legal fees! This discount is offered to all active and retired service members, veterans, and military spouses.

Thomas Legal Firm

While Divorce Matters only deals in family law, we do have a sister law firm that offers other services. Thomas Law Firm deals with Criminal matters as well as Civil Law matters, including general litigation, civil rights, workers’ compensation, and business defense litigation.

How Do I Start My Divorce?

Divorce is a long and difficult process and it can sometimes be hard to know where to even start. This blog post will give you a general idea of what documents to gather and how to begin.

First thing’s first, we always recommend calling a lawyer. We know that seems obvious coming from a law firm, but we’re not alone in thinking so!  Jut read what one of our reviewers has to say, “I started my divorce by myself…huge mistake.” You can learn more about our attorneys and their experience here. When you reach out to our firm our Client Relations Specialists will match you with the attorney that is right for your situation and personality for your initial consultation. Your consultation will allow you to meet with your attorney, ask them any questions you might have, and discuss pricing.

Aside from hiring an attorney, there are a few things that you can do that will help to streamline the process. The first step is to discuss what you want with the other party. Your divorce will be the simplest if you and your ex can both come to an agreement on what each of you wants and needs out of the process. If this is not possible, or if you cannot come to an agreement, the best course of action is to start compiling the paperwork necessary. This paperwork can include credit card statements, childcare bills, utility bills, loan documentation, medical statements, pay stubs, retirement accounts and statements, investment accounts, car values, and any appraisals. It is also important to note that these documents will be needed whether you can come to an agreement with the other party or not. In addition to the paperwork, it is important to start documenting your communication with the other party. The best way to do this is by only communicating in writing. This can be important if there are children involved as this documentation will be important in court proceedings, especially if you consider the other parent to be unfit or a danger to your child or children.

All in all, the most important steps are to gather all the financial documents you can and to record all communication in writing. Not only will this be helpful in court, but it will also be helpful to your newly hired attorney. All of these steps will likely make the process as streamlined as possible and finding the documents beforehand will ensure that you are not scrambling to find documents as you go.

Can My Citizenship Status Affect My Divorce?

Divorce can be a difficult process on its own, but when you have citizenship concerns it can become even more daunting. However, if you arm yourself with knowledge about your situation you can properly prepare yourself for what to expect.

Is there any difference in the divorce proceedings or parental rights hearings if I am not a U.S. citizen or if I have recently become a U.S. citizen?

The short answer is no! The proceedings should continue exactly as they would if there were no citizenship concerns. If you have recently become a citizen, there are no concerns as to the status of your citizenship, because your citizen status cannot be taken away due to your divorce.

Will divorce affect my green card status?

This question has a more complicated answer than the first! To understand how divorce might affect your citizenship status, you first have to understand how the citizenship process works. To become a citizen, you must have a green card. In order to get that green card, through marriage, immigration officials must confirm that your marriage is a “bona fide” marriage. This just means it cannot be a marriage for citizenship. After you get your green card, you have to retain it for a certain amount of time, usually 5 years, to gain your citizenship. However, this time shortens from 5 years to 3 years if you are married to a U.S. citizen. If you do file for divorce before the 3 years is up, you will not have your green card revoked, however you will have to wait the 5-year waiting period for citizenship, as opposed to the 3-year waiting period when you are married to a U.S. citizen. This also holds true if you have been married longer than 3 years, but less than 5 years, and have not yet filed for citizenship. If you have already had your green card for 5 years before you file for divorce, however, the divorce will have no bearing on when or if you can file for citizenship.

If the divorce is contentious and your ex-spouse claims that the marriage was not bona fide, the case can become a little bit more difficult. If you already have citizenship, this will not affect your citizenship. If you still have your green card, you will just have to prove that the marriage is or was bona fide, either by what immigration officials have already proven or by your own evidence, to continue in the citizenship process.

What if I am undocumented? Can I still get a divorce?

If you are undocumented, you can still get a divorce and proceedings will continue as they would for any other divorce case. It is important to note, though, that anything you say in divorce court can also be used against you in immigration court. Because of that, if you are undocumented, it is wise to retain an immigration attorney as well as a divorce attorney in the case that you do want to file for divorce. Being undocumented could also make parenting agreements difficult, especially if you are deported or leave the United States. Again, in this case it is important to retain an immigration attorney, as well as a divorce attorney, to protect your parental rights.

Is There Any Way To Shorten The Mandatory Waiting Period For Divorce?

To answer the question above question, we must first delve into what a mandatory waiting period is. In the state of Colorado, there is a mandatory waiting period of 91 days from the date of joint filing or service on the responding party before a divorce can legally be completed. This waiting period is common in a lot of states and is meant to give people time to consider their situation and whether they want to go through with the divorce. However, this waiting period can also feel frustrating, especially if you already spent a lot of time thinking about your situation before filing or if you feel in danger.

With that being said, there is no way to shorten or avoid this waiting period. It is mandatory for every couple getting divorced in the state of Colorado. However, there are a few things that you can do while waiting for the end of your 91-day waiting period. With the help of an attorney, you can ask the court to issue agreements or court orders during your waiting period. These orders can be helpful if you need specific things from the court. For example, it may be difficult to sell your home before the divorce has gone through, but a court order can help with that.  Additionally, it might be helpful to work on filing all the necessary paperwork during your mandatory waiting period and find common ground with your spouse. Completing both of these tasks will make your divorce process go smoother and quicker once you are able to start proceedings.

The easiest way to deal with the mandatory waiting period is to consult with an attorney to see what they can do for your individual situation. If you have a specific reason for wanting to skip the waiting period, it is important to speak with an attorney. They will be able to tell you what is possible in your particular situation, and if you can work within the waiting period to get what you need. To speak to an attorney today, you can call us at (720)542-6142 or contact us through our website.

Do I Need To Go To Court To Get A Divorce?

If you are considering divorce, you may feel daunted by the legal process. You may even begin to feel anxiety when you start to consider the cost and time court proceedings may require, and the loss of control over the outcome of your case when a judge is calling the shots. However, court is not inevitable, and it isn’t the only solution for divorce proceedings.  

Mediation is one of the options available to you if you want to avoid court and is usually ordered by most Colorado judges before parties will even be able to proceed to trial. Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party, called a mediator, is hired to resolve the case. This process will ensure that both parties have a say in the results and that the outcome is balanced and fair to all parties involved. Additionally, the process is more streamlined, less expensive, and more private than court proceedings would be. If you and your spouse and the mediator can come to an agreement, the agreement will be written into a Memoriam of Understanding, which is then signed by the court. After the Memoriam is signed, it will be incorporated into a more formal and detailed Separation Agreement.   

Arbitration is another possible option to avoid court. Arbitration, just like mediation, is a more private and efficient alternative to court. Both parties need to agree to arbitration before it begins, otherwise, arbitration cannot be ordered. A professional, called an arbiter, will be presented with all the facts and make a final decision in the case. Arbitration is more like court, with the arbiter acting as a sort of judge, however, the process is less public, less expensive, and less time-consuming. Arbitration also offers a more relaxed environment for each party to present their side of the story. After the arbiter has made a final decision, court is no longer an option, as the arbiter’s decision is valid and enforceable by the court.  

Court is more costly than either arbitration or mediation because it will require more of your attorney’s time. This can be especially true if proceedings are contentious and are dragged out. In addition to the cost, you lose the ability to make decisions in your own case. Once the case goes to court, the decision is in the judge’s hands, whether it be a divorce, a child custody issue, or a post-decree issue. Mediation and arbitration allow the involved parties to retain some control and negotiate with the other party. While it is ideal to have more control and keep the case outside of court, it is sometimes unavoidable if you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement. In this case, it is especially important to have a capable and competent attorney by your side to walk you through the court process and tenaciously represent your interests in court.  

In the end, it is possible to avoid court if you and your spouse can come to an agreement on your own or in mediation or arbitration. All three options are less costly, more efficient, and allow you more control over your own situation than if you take proceedings to court. To decide on the best option for you and your circumstances, it is recommended you hire a strong and capable attorney to advise you on your choices and the details of those choices. The right attorney will also help guide you through the entire process no matter what choice you make, whether that be inside or outside the courtroom.  


How Much Will A Divorce Cost Me?

Contrary to popular belief, divorce does not always have to be expensive. One of the biggest influencing factors in the cost of a divorce is the complexity of your specific case. These complexities come in a few different forms, and each essentially affects how much time needs to be spent on a particular case and therefore how expensive that case will be. Some of these things will be within your control, and others won’t – this is why it is important to reach out and schedule an initial consultation with an attorney. In your initial consultation, our attorneys can go over your specific set of circumstances with you, and they will be able to give you an idea of what your specific case might cost and how to manage those costs.


What will affect the cost of my divorce?


As mentioned, there are several main determining factors that will affect the total cost of your divorce. Some of these include:

  1. The amount of assets involved
  2. Whether or not you have children
  3. How contentious (think conflict) your case is

These factors all increase the complexity of your case and therefore increase the total cost.

How you can keep the cost down?


There are a few ways you can help keep the cost down in your case. The most popular way is to utilize our unbundled legal services, which involves having an attorney help with one specific aspect of your case, such as drafting and reviewing documents for you, offering coaching or legal advice, or communicating with other parties, opposing counsel, and the courts. However, this option is not always a good fit, especially if your case has any of the factors listed above that tend to increase costs. Another way to keep costs down is to work on coming to an amicable agreement with your ex through mediation or arbitration. This will save time and money on going to court and is often easier on your emotional well-being in the end as well.


Every case is different, so it important to speak with an attorney to get a better idea of how much your specific situation will cost and what your options might be. Contact Divorce Matters today to set up an initial consultation with one of our many experienced attorneys who can help put you and your family on the path to a successful future after divorce.

American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 was signed into law on March 11, 2021. This economic stimulus bill was passed to counteract the negative health and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and built upon previous legislation meant to do the same.

The bills key features include:

  • Extending expanded unemployment benefits through September 6, 2021
  • $1,400 direct payments to individuals, including eligible adult dependents (college students, SSI recipients, SSDI recipients). These benefits begin to phase out according to the following income schedule:
    • 75,000 for individuals, with no payment going to those earning more than $80,000
    • $112,500 for single parents, with no payment going to those earning more than $120,000
    • $150,000 for couples, with no payment going to those earning more than $160,000
  • Expanded tax credits for the 2021 year, including the child tax credit, child and dependent care credit, and the earned income tax credit
  • Small business grants
  • Funding for education, housing, COVID-19 healthcare, agriculture, transportation, and cybersecurity
  • Changes to ACA, COBRA, Medicaid and CHIP

While the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act may have brought some relief to families across the country, it also brings with it many questions if you are going through or have been through a divorce. How do these tax credits affect your family? What about the stimulus checks? We’ve compiled answers to your most pressing questions so you can understand how this may affect you and your family. If you have any other questions, reach out to us today and schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys. We always recommend speaking with a tax professional or your financial advisor if you have questions regarding your tax situation.



[accordion title=”Q. Who will receive the stimulus payments for dependent children?“]

A. For people who filed jointly in 2019 and have not yet filed their 2020 taxes, the stimulus will go to the joint bank account they used for their 2019 taxes. If a direct deposit cannot be completed, it will be mailed to the address on the most recent tax return. If you filed separately and have not yet filed for 2020, the person who claimed the dependent children in 2019 will receive the stimulus payment. If one person has filed and claimed the child, the first person to file taxes will receive the stimulus.


[accordion title=”Q. Can I fight it if I feel like the stimulus payment(s) were sent to my ex incorrectly?“]

A. There is a process to appeal:

  1. Send docs to IRS
  2. Once the IRS has received your documents, they will examine both returns – the return with the claimed dependent(s) and yours – and apply the tiebreaker rules based on the criteria listed below. The process might take 8-12 weeks.
  3. If you found out that you claimed a dependent incorrectly on an IRS-accepted tax return, you will need to file a tax amendment or form 1040-X and remove the dependent from your tax return.
  4. Tiebreaker rules:
    i. A married couple or parents prepare and e-file or file a married joint tax return and claim the child a qualifying dependent.
    ii. Only one parent of the couple, who is also the child’s parent, claims the child as a qualifying child or dependent.
    iii. If the child has two persons as parents and the two persons do NOT file a married joint return, then the parent with whom the child lived or resided for the longer time period during a tax year will be qualified to claim.
    iv. If the child lived or resided with each parent the same amount of time during the tax year, the parent with the highest adjusted gross income or AGI will be able to claim. No married joint return, both parents claim the child on their respective return.
    v. If no parent claims the child as a qualifying child, then the person with the highest AGI qualifies over any parent who may have been able to claim the child, such as a qualifying step-parent or relative.
    vi. Because of the second tiebreaker rule (residence), the parent who has legal custody of a child is generally the parent who gets to claim the child in cases of divorced or separated parents. If you are the custodial parent and you wish to relinquish your dependency exemption and assign it to the non-custodial parent, you may do so by filing Form 8332, Release/Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent.


[accordion title=”Q. Is my stimulus payment considered part of my income when calculating maintenance and child support?“]

A. Per the IRS, the payment is not income and not taxable. From a practical perspective, the amount is unlikely to make a significant difference in the calculation of child support or maintenance.


[accordion title=”Q. What if my ex files their taxes claiming the Child Tax Credit and I feel like I should have been able to?“]

A. Keep in mind, an accepted tax return is not a guarantee to also have the right to claim the dependents on that return. If your ex erroneously claimed your child as a dependent, the Internal Revenue Code allows them to amend their tax return within three years of filing the original or within two years of paying the relevant tax, whichever is later. However, eliminating the dependent generally increases their taxable income and may require them to pay additional tax for that year. Although penalties may apply to the underpayment, the IRS can waive them if they can convince them that it was an unintentional error.

If they choose not to amend their tax return, they run the risk of the IRS discovering that the same child is being claimed as a dependent on two returns. The IRS has three years from the time they file the original return to perform an examination and make additional assessments. In the event they are chosen for an audit, the agency is likely to require proof that your child either lives with them or that they have your consent.

There is the possibility that the IRS will not discover the error within the three-year period. However, if they claim a dependent with full knowledge that they do not qualify, the IRS may argue that it has an unlimited amount of time to examine their return since they made a willful attempt to evade income tax.


[accordion title=”Q. If I am in the middle of a divorce and it isn’t finalized yet, how do the stimulus payments and Child Tax Credit affect me? Do my ex and I split these?“]

A. This depends on what agreements are made or if there are any temporary orders in place. If you were married on the last day of 2020, you have to file as married jointly or married filing separately. Whether these payments should be split depends on the unique circumstances of the parties. We recommend you reach out to speak with one of our attorneys if you have any questions.

Miscellaneous Other Child Tax Credit Information:

  • You have to file a tax return to get this credit, even if you don’t owe tax and are not legally obligated to file a return.
  • This tax credit is refundable. So, if you’re due to receive a credit of $5,000 but you owe only $2,000 in taxes, you might get a check for $3,000.
  • For the 2020 tax year, there are special rules due to coronavirus: You can use either your 2019 income or your 2020 income to calculate your tax credit, and you can use whichever number gets you the bigger tax credit. Be sure to ask your tax preparer to run the numbers both ways.
  • A number of states offer some version of an earned income tax credit for working families, so you might be able to get that credit too.



What Can I Expect From An Initial Consultation With a Divorce Attorney?

What is an Initial Consultation? 

An initial consultation is your first meeting with your attorney in order to go over your case and see if that attorney would be the right person to represent you. It is a time for you to bring up any questions you have for them, get to know each other’s personalities, and see what strategies you could use moving forward. One thing to note, the attorney cannot give any legal advice in an initial consultation because you are not yet under a legal contract. If you move forward with hiring an attorney, then the attorney will be able to provide you with legal advice in your case.

Why is it beneficial for me?  

An initial consultation is beneficial because it gives you a chance to gain a better grasp on how to proceed with your divorce. You will be able to see if the attorney is a good fit for you and your situation, as well as talk about how much their services will cost. It is important to gather this information before hiring an attorney so that you are represented exactly the way you need and receive the best outcome for you and your family.  


What does the process after my Initial Consultation look like? 

After you have had your initial consultation and you choose to hire an attorney you will be sent a contract. Once that is signed and any retainer fees are paid, the attorney can dive into your case immediately no matter where you are at in the process. You will get their contact information, as well as their paralegal’s information, so you can begin working together. Our attorneys focus heavily on great communication with their clients, so you will never feel ignored or in the dark throughout the process. The divorce process doesn’t happen overnight, but once you have hired one of our excellent attorneys, you will be taken care of and supported every step of the way!  

Take a look at our team’s page to get to know our experienced attorneys. If you would like to set up an initial consultation with one of them, contact us today!