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!

Co-Parenting During School Vacations

Co-parenting is difficult enough, but when it comes to school vacations, even more difficulties can arise. With spring break well on it’s way, now is a perfect time to discuss a few tips for co-parenting during your kids’ breaks from school!

 It’s Never Too Early

One of the most important parts of co-parenting is to communicate early and often! The best way to avoid arguments and confrontation between co-parents is to ensure that plans are communicated clearly and, just to be safe, multiple times. Planning in advance can also help with appropriate communication. If the plans are set in stone ahead of time, it leaves plenty of time for co-parents to discuss the plans and approve them!

Put it in the Parenting Plan

The best way to avoid conflict among co-parents is to leave everything up to the parenting plan! If your parenting plan defines which parent gets which vacations, it will be easy to decide where your kids’ go when they’re off school. Because the parenting plan is decided ahead of time, it also makes it easy to refer to when planning vacations. Ideally, parents can then plan their vacations to coincide with the school vacations they will be spending with their kids!

How to Split School Vacations

There are a few different ways that co-parents can split school vacation days amongst themselves. One way to do this is to give each parent an equal amount of holidays. For example, one parent would get Winter break and one would get Thanksgiving break! Another way to do it is to split each holiday exactly in half. If Winter break works out to be 14 days, then each parent would have 7 days of time with the kids. One more way to split holidays is to not split them at all! Co-parents and their children can spend time together over school breaks as opposed to splitting the breaks. Each family is different and what works best for one family will not work best for another. Do what works best for you, your co-parent, and your children!

Kids First

It is important to always remember that the kids come first. Everything should be done with the kids’ best interest at heart!

Can I Take My Child on Vacation If I Have Joint Custody?

When it comes to taking your child on vacation, it can be difficult to determine what is right and wrong when you have joint custody. While you want to have fun with your child, you don’t want to step on any toes!

In most cases, the best way to determine what’s okay is to look to your court ordered parenting agreement. Parenting agreements will often set forth some rules around taking your kids on vacation. If it is during your parenting time, there likely won’t be any issues with taking your child on vacation! However, if you would like to take your child on vacation during a time you would not usually have them, things may be a little more complicated. your ex legally has rights to your child during that time, so it would be very important to get permission from your ex to have your children during this time period. It may be a good idea to get their permission in writing, just in case you encounter any issues.

There may be some parameters set forth in the parenting agreement regarding vacations, for example, letting your ex know if your will be taking your child out of the country. It may also be a good idea to provide your ex with an itinerary, so they know what dates you will be gone! An important thing to remember is to treat your ex how you would want to be treated. If you would want to know when your children go on vacation, extend your ex the same courtesy!

In the end, the most important thing to remember is to follow the parenting plan. That should be your guideline for any and everything involving custody issues! When in doubt, check the parenting agreement!

How Do I Get Emergency Child Custody?

Changing a child custody arrangement can be a long and complicated process. But what if there is an emergency and you need custody of your child right away? Luckily, there are specific child custody laws in place for this exact scenario. Before we get into how to get emergency child custody, it is important to know what it is.

Emergency Child Custody

Filing a motion for emergency child custody allows a court to act immediately to suspend all unsupervised parenting time. There are a few restrictions, however. The court can only grant emergency child custody if your child is being put in danger by their other parent. This endangerment can be emotional or physical. Some examples are physical abuse, sexual abuse, excessive drinking or drug use around your child, mental health concerns for the parent, domestic violence, or even neglect. In addition, if your child’s other parent isn’t necessarily the one endangering your child, emergency custody can still be granted. If your child’s other parent has friends or a significant other who endanger your child, this falls under child endangerment on behalf of the parent.

How do I get emergency child custody?

To start the process of getting emergency child custody, you would first have to file a Motion to Restrict Parenting Time with the court. Once you have filed your motion, the court will immediately order that all contact between the parent and child be monitored by a third party. The court will then schedule a hearing in the next 14 days to review the motion. At the hearing, both parents will be allowed to present any evidence they have regarding the endangerment of the child. This can include pictures, emails or texts, and any people who have witnessed the endangerment or lack thereof. The court will then make a ruling on the motion. The judge will either deny the motion, continue the restrictions put in place when the motion was filed, or change the restrictions to be less strict or stricter.

It is important to note that there are penalties for wrongful accusations, including, but not limited to, paying legal fees for the other side. It is vital that you do not file a motion like this out of spite. To avoid this, it is helpful to consult an attorney to make sure that what you are claiming is substantiated. A Divorce Matters attorney can also help you navigate the entire process with ease and expertise.

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.

Holiday Gift Buying: Are you and your co-parent on the same page?

Holiday gift buying can be difficult if you don’t know what your co-parent will be buying your children. To stop the stress, it’s best to be on the same page well before the holidays. There are a few different steps to take when getting on the same page.

  1. Coordinate Gifts: This is the best way to make sure that there are no double purchases! If your child is giving the same list to both parents , it’s likely that there could be duplicate gifts. This can be entirely avoided by one simple step: dividing your child’s list between the two of you. Not only will this ensure that there are no duplicate presents, but it will also ensure that gift buying is “fair” amongst both parents.
  2. Coordinate Your Budget: Coordinating your budget is equally as important as coordinating which gifts you will buy. Coordinating your budget to be fairly equally between parents will ensure that there can be no competition when buying gifts. Additionally, it sets a limit for what is appropriate for your child and allows each parent to be on the same page with the other.
  3. Try Not to Undermine the Other Parent: If one parent would like to buy the child a present that the other parent does not find appropriate, try to come up with a solution that works for both of you. It’s best to have an honest and adult discussion on what is best for your child.
  4. Put Your Children First: This is the final and most important step! The holidays are the perfect time to enjoy the simple childhood joy of gift-giving and receiving. Put your children first in everything that you do and you and you co-parent will have a wonderful holiday season, together, with your children!

When Should I File For Emergency Child Custody?

Child custody can be a tough subject to discuss and it can be even harder if you believe your child might actually be in danger. So what should you do if you think that your child is in danger when spending time with their other parent? One option is to file for Emergency Child Custody.

What is Emergency Child Custody?

Emergency Child Custody is essentially a Motion to Restrict Parenting Time. And what is a Motion to restrict Parenting Time?  This motion indicates to the court that one of the parents of the child would like to restrict the parenting time of the other parent based on the child being endangered. It is a motion filed with the court which requires the court to rule on it within 14 days of filing. During those 14 days, the courts will appoint a third party to supervise any parenting time until the motion has been ruled on.

Which Factors Should I Consider Before Filing for Emergency Child Custody?

There are three things you should consider before filing for Emergency Child Custody.

  1. Is it an emergency?
  2. Is your child in immediate danger?
  3. Does evidence of child endangerment exist?

Making sure that the answer to all of these questions is a resounding “yes” will ensure that you will be able to get Emergency Child Custody. It is important to note that your child’s other parent does not have to be the person who is endangering your child. If the endangerment to your child comes from someone who is around your child because of your child’s other parent, then this does count as child endangerment on behalf of our child’s other parent.

What If My Child Needs Out Faster than 14 Days?

If you believe that your child is in immediate danger, you always have the option to call Child Protective Services. Calling CPS is the most serious action you can take and will get you the most immediate response. CPS will interview both parents, witnesses, and the children and may tour each parent’s house and environment. They will then make certain findings without initiating an action within the court, meaning CPS is a quasi-adjudicatory body. They may also initiate an action through the courts called a “Dependency and Neglect” action in the more severe cases of abuse and/or neglect and may remove the child from the unsafe environment. It is important to note, calling CPS on the other parent also brings in CPS to investigate you and make decisions in the best interest of your child. While you may have nothing to worry about in terms of your parenting, by inviting CPS into your child’s life, you are also going to be held to certain standards and possibly made to comply with certain requirements under a safety plan issued by the department or the courts (or both in conjunction)

No matter what you decide to do, just know that your child is what matters most and you should act in their best interest at all times.  The court will do the same and make rulings on what is best for your child, after taking in all of the evidence and the facts. To schedule an initial consultation with an attorney to discuss the steps you would like to take to obtain Emergency Child Custody, click here.

5 Myths about Child Custody and Support

  1. Mothers always get custody of the kids

False! The court will always choose what is in the best interest of the child. The court will examine all of the evidence, with their only goal being to make a decision that is best for your child, whether that be the father having custody, the mother having custody, neither having custody, or both having custody!

2. If we have joint custody, I won’t have to pay child support

True and False! The way that the court determines child support is based on a statutory calculation that takes into account each parent’s income, how much time each parent has custody of the children, and the children’s expenses, like clothes, insurance, school costs, etc. To calculate what you may pay in child support (or spousal maintenance), you can use Divorce Matter’s Child Support Calculation App! If you have joint custody and you already do pay for a portion of the child’s monthly expenses when they live at your house, you may already pay enough and do not need to pay any additional money in child support!

  1. I can deny visitation if my ex does not pay child support

False! Visitation is a separate issue from child support and therefore if visitation rights are outlined in the parenting agreement, those rights cannot be withheld based on failure to pay child support. It is important to follow the parenting agreement exactly as written, otherwise, you may get in trouble with the court as well! The best course of action is to speak with your attorney about notifying the court that your ex is not paying the proper child support. The court will then decide what action is best to take and you will remain free and clear of any trouble!

  1. The kids get to choose which parent they live with

False! As mentioned above, the court takes only one thing into account when deciding who should receive custody of the children: the best interest of the children. That means that the judge will take into account many of the different factors that affect this, including the wishes of the children. However, this isn’t the only factor the judge will consider so while this is taken into account it is not necessarily how the judge will rule.

  1. My ex can move out of state with the kids without my consent

False! While it is true that your ex can move your kids out of state without asking you before you file, once the paperwork has been filed for separation or for a parenting agreement, there will be an injunction placed on moving the children. This means that, regardless of permission, the children will need to stay exactly where they are!

Are Same-Sex Divorces Handled the Same As Heterosexual Divorces?

With tides having turned in the struggle for LGBTQ+ marriage rights over the last decade, often questions about whether there are any differences when it comes to marriage for same-sex couples arise. Are these marriages the same as heterosexual marriages? And what about the divorces?

How is same-sex divorce different from a divorce between a heterosexual couple?

Because same-sex marriage is legal in Colorado there is virtually no difference between same-sex divorce and heterosexual divorce. This means that you can either be a petitioner and respondent or petitioner and co-petitioner. After that, the divorce will proceed as a heterosexual divorce would.

How will child support and custody factor into a same-sex divorce?

Because many same-sex couples have children, this is a question that is often at the forefront of the couples’ minds. However, the court will proceed as they would for any divorce. Regardless of whether or not the child is biologically yours, or adopted by one or both parents, the court will determine parenting time based on the best interests of the child. If both parents are adoptive parents, they are both treated as if they are legal parents to the children. This is the same if one party is the biological parent and one party is an adoptive parent.

Additionally, child support will be calculated using the same calculation as in any other child support situation. If you’re curious what child support might look like in your particular set of circumstances, check out our calculator.

If you are interested in common law marriage divorce or divorce for LGBTQIA+ couples, you can learn more here. You can also find more materials discussing same-sex marriage on our website.

Who Makes Religious Decisions for My Child?

In the midst of making a parenting agreement, the thought of religion can often fall to the wayside while parenting time and holidays take precedent. However, religion can be incredibly important. But who gets to make the religious decisions for your child?

What is the difference between religious activity and religious indoctrination?

When discussing religious decisions, it is important to make the distinction between religious activities and religious indoctrination. Indoctrination is the introduction of religion. This includes events like Bar or Bat Mitzvahs, First Communions, Baptisms, and Confirmations. Religious activities, on the other hand, are any activities that include religion, like church services, temple services, prayers, or bible study.

Religious Indoctrination

That being said, an act to indoctrinate a child into a religion would require the agreement of both parents IF both parents have joint decision-making responsibility. However, if only one parent has decision-making responsibility, there is an argument that the parent with decision-making responsibility can make the decision to indoctrinate their child into whichever religion they choose.

Religious Activities

However, when it comes to religious activities, the rules are a little different. If both parents have joint decision-making authority, then either parent may allow the child to engage in religious activities. Parents also do have a fundamental right to raise their children based on their respective religion, as long as those religious beliefs or practices do not put the child in danger. This means that whether or not a parent has decision-making authority, they can have their child participate in whichever religious activities they so choose.

What happens if we cannot agree on what religious tradition to raise our child in?

Because there has to be an agreement on religious indoctrination if there is joint decision-making authority, there can be a conflict between parents on what is and is not allowed for their child. Conflict can also occur if each parent is having their child engage in conflicting religious activities, regardless of decision-making authority. In the event that there is a dispute concerning the religious upbringing of the child, the court will consider the harm to the child from conflicting religious instructions or practices. If there is harm caused to the child from such conflict, the judge may enforce a limitation on either parent’s ability to indoctrinate the child into a specific practice.