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.

Will I be Affected by Changes to the 2021 Child Tax Credit?

Recently it was announced that under the American Rescue Plan Act the expanded Child Tax Credit would be distributed differently in 2021. This year, half of the tax credit will be distributed on a monthly basis beginning in July and the other half will arrive with your 2021 tax refund. While this tax credit is a welcomed relief for many families who are struggling to make ends meet, it also spells confusion for most folks who are going through or already divorced.


How will this tax credit be distributed if I am divorced?


The Child Tax Credit can only be claimed on one tax return, so if you are divorced or filing separately this means that only one parent will be able to claim the tax credit. A court order or separation agreement will name the person eligible to claim the tax credit, this is typical whichever parent has primary custody. There are several ways a 50/50 custody arrangement might address this, for example, some may choose to file with the tax credit every other year.


Can the courts rule that this year’s tax credit be split?


In most cases, the courts will follow whatever was agreed upon in your separation agreement or court order. However, this is not the end of the line if you wish to treat this year’s tax credit differently. For example, if your ex claims the tax credit every year but you are able to come to an agreement with them that you will file for the tax credit this year, you can file an IRS Form 8332. This form is a right of tax benefit transfer, which would allow you to claim for this year. Please be aware that it is important you check with your attorney first before moving forward with anything that deviates from your separation agreement. We also suggest seeking out a tax professional for help with filing your taxes.


Can the tax credit payments be garnished for child support if I am behind on my payments?

Per the American Rescue Plan Act, this tax credit is not subject to garnishment meaning you will receive the full amount from the government. However, this does not protect that payment from garnishment or levy once the money is in your bank account. Another consideration is that while it won’t be garnished when distributed when you file your taxes at the end of the year it may be subject to offset.


What do I do if the tax credit was claimed by my ex, but I was supposed to claim it this year?


The best way to handle this is to get in touch with your attorney. They will be able to help you chart the best course of action, whether that be reaching out to negotiate with your ex and coming to an amicable resolution, or filing a motion of contempt with the courts.


If you have questions, please reach out to one of our experienced attorneys today.

What is Contempt of Court and How Does It Affect Me?

Contempt of court is failure to comply with the authority of the court.

There are two categories of contempt: direct and indirect. Direct contempt involves behavior in the courtroom ”“ for instance, refusing to answer a judge’s questions. Indirect contempt involves behavior outside of the courtroom, such as failing to comply with a court order.

When it comes to family law and divorce proceedings, the most common area for contempt of court is child support. Specifically, a party may be in contempt of court when he or she fails to pay child support as ordered by the court. Because child support payments are due monthly, there are many opportunities for noncompliance. Other areas where contempt concerns may arise include alimony, child custody, and property separation orders.

What do I do if I think my ex is in contempt of court?

If you believe your ex is in contempt, you (or your attorney) may file a Motion for Citation for Contempt of Court stating that (1) a valid order of the court was in place, (2) the offending party knew about the order, (3) the offending party had the ability to comply with the order, and (4) the offending party failed to comply with the order.

You may request that the court find the other party in either (or both) remedial contempt or punitive contempt. Remedial contempt is designed to encourage the offending party to comply. Under remedial contempt, you must show, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the four elements outlined above are satisfied. “By a preponderance of the evidence” means it is “more likely than not” the elements are satisfied. You may request a fine or imprisonment be imposed on the other party until he or she complies with the order, as well as payment your attorney’s fees incurred in connection with the contempt proceeding.

Punitive contempt, on the other hand, is meant to punish the offending party for not complying with the order. Instead of simply showing that the offending party didn’t comply, you must show that the other party willfully defied the order. Again, you may request a fine or a fixed term of imprisonment be imposed on the other party. The burden of proving punitive contempt is much higher than for remedial contempt: in addition to proving the other elements, you must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the failure to comply with the order was willful.

What do I do if I have been charged with contempt of court?

If you are charged with contempt, it is in your best interest to make payments or otherwise comply with the order, if you can, as soon as possible. The court will schedule a hearing on the Motion for Citation for Contempt of Court, which you must attend. If you do not, the court may issue a bench warrant for your arrest. At the hearing, you will be able to defend against the citation and explain why you should not be held in contempt.

The court will consider the circumstances surrounding your failure to comply with an order in determining whether to hold you in contempt. Failure to comply might not automatically result in a contempt citation. For instance, if you have lost your job, the court may find that you are unable to pay the ordered child support and therefore determine you are not in contempt.

If you are found to be in contempt, you may have to pay a fine, be subjected to jail time, and/or have to pay the other party’s attorney fees.

Contempt proceedings take time. Generally, it takes two to four months to resolve a contempt citation, but it can take longer. Often, failure to comply with an order can be resolved through negotiations by your attorneys, rather than through the court. If you need help with your situation, call us at 720-542-6142 or contact us here to speak with one of our attorneys.

Can I Afford to Seek a Contempt Citation?

If you thought getting divorced was hard, you might be surprised that getting your ex to pay child support or alimony or stick to the parenting plan turns out to be much harder. As experienced Denver family law attorneys, we have seen some exes openly flout court orders and get away with it.

If your ex is currently failing to follow a court order, you can seek something called a contempt citation. Once cited, your ex might have to pay a fine until he or she gets into compliance with the court order. The judge might also toss your ex in jail.

If you emptied your bank account to get a divorce, going into court for a contempt of court citation might give you pause. Fortunately, you can request attorneys’ fees in certain situations.

You Can Recover Fees in a Remedial Contempt Action

Rule 107 of the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure identify two types of contempt””punitive and remedial. Punitive contempt is designed to punish a person for offending the authority and dignity of the court. It is a fixed fine or certain amount of time in jail.

Rule 107 also allows for remedial contempt. Remedial contempt can be anything meant to bring the party into compliance””such as a fine for each day the person continues to disobey the court’s orders. Once the person under contempt starts doing what they are supposed to, the contempt is “purged” and the person is no longer subject to the sanctions.

Rule 107 allows a party seeking remedial contempt to obtain costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees. This can make seeking contempt affordable, since you will not be out of pocket for any (or many) expenses.

We Can Bring Both Remedial and Punitive Contempt

Interestingly, Rule 107 does not allow for costs and attorneys’ fees in the event of punitive contempt. However, an experienced attorney can usually bring both remedial and punitive contempt in the same motion. Punitive contempt is rarely necessary, anyway, since the goal of seeking a contempt citation is to get your ex to do something, such as start making child support payments.

Frustrated with Your Ex? We Can Help

If you are squabbling about maintenance, child support, or visitation, please contact a Denver family law attorney right away. At Divorce Matters, we understand how to seek contempt against an ex-spouse, and we can use our knowledge to your benefit.

To get started, please schedule a consultation with one of our Colorado family law attorneys.

How Do I Hold My Ex-Spouse In Contempt Of Court?

So, how does the contempt of court process work? It can take some time for the process to complete, typically between two to four months, and sometimes more. First, your attorney files the motion explaining the type and circumstances of contempt. This must be done in the same court and county where your divorce was filed. The motion must be signed and notarized. The courts will look it over, sign it and return it to you and your attorney.

After that, the court will set a hearing date, and the contempt order must be served to the opposing party. The opposing party must receive the papers at least 20 days before the scheduled contempt hearing.

At the hearing, the opposing party will be required to enter a plea, guilty or not guilty.

You will then have your opportunity to provide evidence to the court in support of your claim. You must prove:

  1. You had a court order in place
  2. The other party is aware of the court order
  3. The other party has violated the court order intentionally
  4. The other party has been given notice of the violation as well as the court hearing

Once you have made your case, the other party has the opportunity to present a defense. Some common defenses include that the party did not intend to violate the court order, or that the party was simply unable to comply with the court order. The defense will have to present evidence that this is true.

Once the hearing is over, the judge will issue an order intended to make the offending party comply with the original order. The offending party may also be required to pay you forfeiture fees for every day that they are in contempt (up to $2,000 per day).

If your ex-spouse has violated the terms of your divorce settlement, our Denver divorce attorneys can help you decide if a contempt of court motion is the right thing for you.