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.

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.

CO Supreme Court Recognizes Same-Gendered Common Law Marriage

On Monday, January 5th 2021 the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that same-gendered couples that were in common-law marriages before the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges legalization of same-sex marriage are now seen as valid in the eyes of Colorado State law.


Common-Law Marriages in Colorado


Colorado is unique in that it is one of eight states that recognize common-law marriage in the United States. A common-law marriage is a partnership between two people where they are not legally bound by a marriage license, but they hold themselves out as married. A couple may hold themselves out as married if they have combined bank accounts or assets, are recognized by family and close friends as married, live together, file taxes jointly, have children together, share insurance, etc.


Same-Sex Common Law Marriages Before 2015 Now Recognized


This recognition of same-sex common-law marriages that began prior to the 2015 Supreme Court decision is an exciting ruling, as it applies the law fairly for all couples who have ever been in a common-law marriage in Colorado, regardless of their sexual orientation.


This means if you and your spouse are in a same-sex relationship and held yourself out as married without a license before the 2015 Supreme Court ruling, you may be considered common-law married if you meet the criteria for common-law marriage. It also means you can now go through the divorce process if you are separating so you can fairly resolve the dissolution of your marriage through legal means.


If you and your partner are separating and have been in a same-sex common law marriage since before 2015, contact one of our Divorce Matters attorneys today to help. We can help answer your questions about this groundbreaking ruling and how it may affect your case.


You can learn more about common-law marriage here.

How Does Common Law Marriage Affect Finances?

Colorado is one of the few states that recognize common law marriage. Common law marriage is what happens when a state recognizes a couple as legally married despite a lack of a marriage license. In Colorado, the terms of a common law marriage require that a couple lives together, both parties consider themselves to be married and the couple holds themselves out publicly as a married couple. Even if you do not live in a state where common law marriage is recognized, every state recognizes common law marriages from states where it is legal.

Because common law marriages are considered legal marriages in Colorado, common law married couples have the opportunity to enjoy many of the benefits afforded to civilly married couples. These benefits can include Social Security survivors and spousal benefits, employer benefits such as health insurance, exemptions from the gift tax and the ability to claim deductions for mortgage interest and children.

These benefits can help a couple save a lot of money, but there are potential downsides as well. For example, because there is no such thing as common law divorce, couples will still need to have their relationship legally dissolved, which can mean that one or both parties may be responsible for associated fees such as spousal support (or maintenance), the division of marital assets and attorney fees. Additionally, there are tax implications of common law marriage; you are able to file either separately or jointly, which, depending on your incomes, deductions and tax credits could affect your finances.

Contact a Denver Common Law Marriage Attorney

The family law attorneys at Divorce Matters have extensive history helping divorcing couples deal with the financial ramifications of their separation.

Common Law Marriage – and Divorce – in Colorado

The face of marriage is changing. More and more committed couples are delaying marriage to jump-start careers or simply juggle the economic impacts of a recession. With the stigma once associated with cohabitation a relic of the past, many couples are choosing to live together, committed, yet single.

But as with any relationship, married or otherwise, sometimes things do not work out as planned. When non-married couples who have had children together, purchased homes, shared debt, and made future plans find themselves facing a “divorce,” the process of separating their lives often requires legal intervention.

For these couples, the first question they should ask is: “Are we common law married”?

What is a Common Law Marriage in Colorado?

In Colorado, a common law marriage can be defined as a marriage between a man and a woman that is based on the couple’s agreement to have a marital relationship and not based on a formal ceremony or legal formality.

There are numerous factors, however, that must exist for a relationship to be recognized as a common law marriage. Simply because a couple has lived together for a period of time does not mean they meet the requirements. In some situations, a couple can cohabitate for 10, 15, or even 20 years and still not be considered married under common law. So how is a common law marriage determined in Colorado? Couples seeking common law designation must meet the following basic criteria, although the court will also look at other aspects of the relationship:

  1. Holding themselves out as a married couple
  2. Consenting to the marriage
  3. Cohabitation
  4. Having the reputation in the community as being married

These criteria are written in “legal-ese”, but essentially what they means is that the couple is known as being married to their friends, family, and their community, regardless of their legal status. For example, if the couple had a ceremony and wears rings they would be holding themselves out as a married couple, regardless of whether or not they actually signed a marriage license.

Dissolving a Common Law Marriage: Is there such a thing as a “Common Law Divorce”?

So how do you deal with separation if you are common law married? Do just agree to go your separate ways?

As with a lot of aspects of family and divorce law, it’s not that simple.

Because “for all intents and purposes” you are legally married, even without an official marriage certificate, you will need to follow the same divorce process as a legally married couple. Your common law marriage essentially acts as a marriage certificate in the eyes of the court. You may still be responsible for spousal maintenance (alimony), child custody, and dividing property.

As a common law married couple, you have the same rights and privileges as a traditionally married couple, as well as the same responsibilities. In addition to sorting through all of the obligations that you held together as a couple, you also are unable to remarry until the divorce is finalized.


Many couples believe that avoiding the legal marriage designation makes things simpler. But in the end, should things not work out as you and your partner had hoped and dreamed, and you have a common law marriage, you may find yourself facing the same complicated path to separation as a traditionally married couple.


If you’d like to schedule an initial consultation with one of our expert attorneys to determine if you are in fact common law married, give us a call or click here!