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.

Can A Change In Salary Modify Maintenance?

Either you or your former spouse recently had your salary change.  Now, one or both of you wants to modify your maintenance, or alimony, agreement.  What happens next?

Is our maintenance agreement modifiable?

The first question is whether your maintenance agreement may be modified.  Some divorce decrees or spousal agreements restrict the ability of the parties to later modify the maintenance award.  If your maintenance agreement is not modifiable, the change in salary will have no effect on your maintenance award.

If maintenance was determined by a court order, it is modifiable.  Generally, the court retains the ability to modify a spousal maintenance award. 

Will a change in salary affect my maintenance?

The short answer is “it depends.”  For maintenance to be modified, there must be a continuing and substantial change in circumstances that makes the current arrangement unfair.  A significant increase or decrease in either party’s salary could meet this criteria.

Whether there is a “continuing change” in circumstances is relatively easy to determine.  If you or your ex receive a raise or take a new, higher-paying job, that’s a “continuing change” ”“ your increased salary is expected to continue indefinitely.  On the other hand, don’t rush out to modify your maintenance agreement if one of you loses your job: job loss is considered temporary and won’t convince a court to immediately modify your agreement.  However, if you are still unemployed a few months later, despite a good faith search for a new job, your unemployment may be considered a continuing change.

Whether a change in salary is “substantial” enough to warrant maintenance modification is harder to define.  Colorado’s child support formulas define a substantial change as 10% or more.  However, there is no similar guidance when it comes to maintenance.   In modifying maintenance awards, the court will look at each party’s income and other financial circumstances and try to reach the most fair result.

In modifying maintenance, the court will look at both parties’ incomes and other financial circumstances and try to reach the most fair result.

How is a change in maintenance obtained?

If you believe you are entitled to a change in maintenance, you should request a modified maintenance order by from the court.  This is done by filing a Motion to Modify or Terminate Maintenance.  The court will review your motion, and may set a hearing to review it.   At a hearing, you and your attorney should be prepared to explain why the circumstances justify modifying your current maintenance.

If the court agrees to modify your maintenance, the modification will apply to any maintenance payments due since the Motion to Modify was filed.  It will not apply to payments due prior to filing, regardless of when the change in salary (or any other change in circumstances) took place.

If your salary or your ex’s salary has changed and you’re considering whether it should affect your maintenance, a good place to start is the Divorce Matters Calculator App.  Using our app to determine what your modified maintenance might be can help you determine if seeking maintenance modification is makes sense for you.

What are Some Good Reasons to Reduce the Amount of Alimony I Pay?

When the court calculates your spousal maintenance order, it does so using all relevant factors about you and your spouse’s incomes, financial needs, and lifestyle at the time of your divorce. But as the years pass and your lives change after the original order is signed, your needs and financial realities can change dramatically. When this happens, you can modify your maintenance order by filing a motion to modify it with the court.

The court has the discretion to determine whether or not to grant the modification you request. If it determines you have a valid reason for seeking the modification, it will likely approve the request. Below are a few good reasons to pursue a modification. In some cases, you can even request that your order be terminated before completing its originally stated term.

You Lost Your Job

Staff reductions happen. Layoffs happen. Terminations happen for a wide variety of reasons. The point is, if you lose your job against your will, you can state this as a valid reason for seeking a modification to your alimony order. Similarly, having to accept a pay cut is a valid reason to cite for needing an alimony modification.

The key phrase here is “against your will.” Voluntarily quitting your job is not a valid reason for pursuing a change to your spousal maintenance order.

Your Former Spouse is Cohabitating

In Colorado, spousal maintenance automatically terminates when a recipient remarries. With this in mind, many recipients choose to cohabitate with a new partner instead of remarrying. If your spouse is living with a new partner, provide proof that they are living together in your motion for a modification to prove that he or she no longer needs the amount of support outlined in your agreement.

You Become Ill or Disabled

The reality of living in the United States is that when you get sick, your medical expenses can put you into severe debt. When you are facing substantial medical expenses or the inability to work due to an illness or disability, you can cite this as a reason for seeking a modification.

You Have Another Child

Raising children is expensive. The court understands this, and it also understands that people move on after their divorces and often, moving on means remarrying and having children with a new spouse. In your motion to modify your spousal maintenance order, stating that you have a new baby to support is a valid reason to reduce your financial obligation to your former partner. Typically, this only applies to your own children, not your new partner’s children who move into your home.

Work with an Experienced Denver Divorce Lawyer

To learn more about the process of modifying an existing spousal maintenance order, schedule your legal consultation with a member of our team of Colorado divorce lawyers at Divorce Matters. Our team is here to answer your questions and help you achieve your post-divorce goals.

How Taxes on Alimony Will Be Calculated Differently for Denver Residents in the New Year

If you filed for divorce recently in Denver, or if you are considering filing for divorce once the holidays are over, you may know that changes to federal tax law will impact how alimony or maintenance payments are taxed beginning in 2019. More specifically, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), most of which took effect earlier, flipped the tax implications of alimony and maintenance payments, meaning that the party who used to pay taxes on maintenance no longer will be taxed, and vice versa.

We will say more about the TCJA implications for alimony and maintenance payments in 2019, and then we will explain how changes to Colorado alimony law are intended to offset the federal tax law changes.

Federal Tax Law Changes to Alimony and Maintenance Payments

An article in CNBC explained how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will eliminate the alimony tax deduction for payor spouses beginning on January 1, 2019. If you are currently in the process of getting divorced and could finalize the divorce before the New Year, then you will not be subject to the new system of taxation. However, all divorces finalized on January 1, 2019 and afterward will have to use the new model.

Under the federal tax law prior to the passing of the TCJA””the law that remains in effect until 2019–the payor spouse (the one making the payments) is permitted to deduct alimony payments from his or her income prior to paying federal income taxes. In other words, The spouse who pays alimony has not been paying taxes on the amount of income earned that goes toward alimony. Instead, the payee spouse (the one receiving the alimony payments) pays federal taxes on that money as if it were income.

The TCJA changes this. Starting on January 1, 2019, any divorces finalized in which alimony or maintenance is awarded will result in the payor spouse being taxed on alimony payments and the payee spouse being allowed to deduct the alimony payments. In other words, the alimony payments will be taxed as part of the payor spouse’s income instead of the payee spouse’s income. Since the payor spouse earns more money than the payee spouse, and higher incomes are taxed at higher rates, the new system means that the federal government will be able to collect more in income taxes for the alimony when it is taxed from the payor spouse’s income.

How Colorado Maintenance Law Has Changed in Response to the TCJA

Recognizing that the TCJA will affect Colorado residents, the Colorado legislature revised the state’s maintenance law. These changes aim to offset the TCJA shift in taxation.

Under Colorado law (C.R.S. § 14-10-114), a maintenance cap was instituted for couples whose divorces were finalized on August 8, 2018 and after. Then, largely in response to the TCJA changes that will take effect for divorces finalized in 2019 and afterward, the payee spouse (the one receiving the maintenance payments) will only receive 80 percent of the maintenance amount calculated if the parties; combined gross income totals $10,000 or less. If the combined gross income of the parties is between $10,000 and $20,000, then the payee spouse will receive 75 percent of the maintenance amount calculated under the cap formula.

The idea is that awarding only a percentage of the maintenance calculation to the payee spouse will offset the tax that the payor spouse will be responsible for paying.

Contact a Denver Alimony Lawyer

If you have questions about alimony or maintenance payments in Colorado, a Denver divorce lawyer can assist you. Contact Divorce Matters today to speak with an experienced advocate.

Debt after Divorce

As married couples navigate life, it is common for them to incur various forms of debt. To be sure, a couple may purchase a house together and have mortgage debt; may buy a car and be liable for car payments; may go to graduate or professional school and incur student loan debt; may suffer a health scare that results in medical debt; or may even just be poor at budgeting and incur credit card debt as a result.

If a couple decides to divorce, this debt must be dealt with. To be sure, the divorce agreement must include a determination about who is liable for which forms of debt and how much debt. If you are getting a divorce in Colorado, here’s a look into how marital debt may affect your divorce settlement–

Marital Debt – How’s it Divided?

Colorado is an equitable distribution state, which means that marital assets must be distributed equitably among the spouses at the time of divorce. This rule also applies to debt; debt must be equitably distributed, but not equally distributed, amongst the two parties during a divorce.

Marital debt is typically considered debt that is incurred during the course of the marriage, whereas separate debt is debt that’s incurred prior to a marriage’s formation. Assets acquired during the course of the marriage include those that are only titled in one spouse’s name. For example, if your spouse purchased a new car during your marriage and the car is only in their name, you will likely still be liable for this debt.

With this standard in mind, the court does not always hold that all debt accumulated during the marriage is marital debt. In fact, the court may assign debt to one party depending upon the type of debt. For example, if your spouse took frequent trips to Vegas and blew thousands of dollars while there, the court may not hold you liable for this debt.

Reaching a Property and Debt Division Agreement

You and your spouse have the opportunity and the right to come to an agreement about how marital debts will be divided rather than turning directly to the court for a decision. This is strongly recommended; reaching an agreement together is typically less expensive, and there is a greater chance of you both getting a little bit of what you want. When negotiating your debt settlement agreement with your spouse, consider the following:


  • Compromise. Be willing to give up something to get something that you want. The more flexible you are, the better the chances of reaching an agreement out of court.



  • Be amicable. It can be difficult to negotiate with your spouse with a smile on your face. While kindness may feel elusive, try to be amicable. This will encourage your spouse to be amicable as well, which can make reaching an agreement more plausible.



  • Work with a professional. It’s smart to know exactly what your options are, and what the consequences of your divorce settlement will be. A professional accountant or lawyer can guide you and help to protect your best interests.



  • Hire a lawyer. Negotiations can be trying – hire a lawyer to represent you during the process and ensure that you don’t end up with a settlement that unfairly leaves you with mountains of debt.


Call Our Denver Divorce Attorneys Today

To learn more about debt in a Denver divorce, call our professionals at Divorce Matters today. We are a team of experienced lawyers who work hard for our clients.

Navigating Divorce when You Co-own a Business

Navigating Divorce when You Co-own a Business

In a divorce, a judge unwinds a couple’s financial entanglements. But what happens if you own a business together with your spouse? In addition to being co-owners, you probably both contribute to the business, and it will suffer if either one of you disappears altogether. For this reason, unwinding a couple’s finances when they own a business together presents unique challenges.

Decide What to Do with the Business

Divorcing couples have options for what happens to the business. For example, you can:

  • Sell the business to a new owner.
  • Buy out your spouse’s share of the business.
  • Continue owning and running the business jointly.
  • Close the business down entirely.

If the business is profitable, closing it down is probably not the best option. However, you should take a close look at how much money the business makes. Also assess your own desire to continue working in the business. A divorce might be the right time to cut the cord to your business””along with your spouse.

How to Sell a Business

If you want to sell to a new owner, you need to value how much the business is worth. This might be tricky. Many business owners hire a valuation company, but both spouses should agree on the company hired. Valuation companies charge high fees, and you want each spouse to trust the valuation report issued. What you should avoid is each spouse obtaining their own valuation, which simply creates another disagreement.

After valuing the business, you can advertise it for sale. You might also want to jointly hire a lawyer or broker to manage the sale. Again, both spouses should agree on who to hire. Disagreements about whether to sell can actually cause buyers to flee.

Buying Out Your Spouse’s Share

You will also need to value the business so that you know how much your spouse’s share is worth. If you cannot obtain a loan to buy your spouse’s share, you should discuss giving them marital assets of equivalent value. For example, you might take the business while your spouse receives the home and other assets.

Running the Business Jointly

This option, though not ideal, is also possible if you can separate your personal issues from business ones. According to Michelle Crosby, CEO of Wevorce, you should clearly define your business roles so that there is no confusion. You should also protect yourself by drafting a buy-sell agreement in the event one ex wants out of the business at some point in the future.

Speak with a Fort Collins Divorce Lawyer Today

At Divorce Matters, we help divorcing couples divide property, including family businesses, in a way that works for everybody. Contact us today, 720-580-6745, to schedule your free consultation with one of our Lakewood divorce attorneys.


What Do I Get to Keep After My Divorce?

When couples get divorced, one of the first things on their mind is: What do I get? Divorce is a stressful situation, so knowing that you’ll get something softens the blow a little. But still, you want to make sure you get your fair share based on what you contributed to the marriage.

Marital property division is complex, especially when the couple has been married for decades and has accumulated numerous assets during that time. Ultimately, marital property is divided in an equitable manner as the court sees fit. However, there is no formula for determining who gets to keep what assets. To be clear, you and your spouse may agree on property division during mediation. If you can’t agree on your own, though, a judge will. You may or may not receive the assets you deserve, which is why it’s a good idea to have a lawyer on your side.

What is Considered Marital Property?

Just about everything acquired during the marriage is subject to split in a divorce. This includes not only cash but also homes, vehicles, boats, furniture, antiques, collections, businesses, stocks, retirement accounts and pensions. This is referred to as marital property.

It doesn’t matter if a certain asset””such as a home, vehicle or 401(k) account””is titled in one person’s name only. If one spouse has a sports car in their name only, the other spouse still has the rights to it in the divorce regardless of titling.

What is Considered Non-Marital Property?

There are some exceptions to the above, though. Not everything acquired during the marriage may be marital property. For example, gifts and inheritances given to one person from a third party are considered separate property. The same goes for pain and suffering payments from a personal injury award. Property that a person bought before the marriage is also considered non-marital property.

It’s important to understand, however, that separate property can easily become marital property if it’s not protected. For example, if you receive an inheritance and put it in your joint checking account, it can now be used by the other spouse. This process is known as commingling.

The same applies to property owned before marriage. If you bought a house before you were married, but your spouse has paid to maintain it, then it is now marital property and subject to split in a divorce.

Contact a Highlands Ranch Divorce Attorney Today for Help

Dividing property can be tricky during a divorce since not all assets are worth what they appear to be once you factor in taxes, fees and other things that can decrease an asset’s value. It’s important that you understand what you’re entitled to receive in a divorce while protecting non-marital assets.

If you are going through a divorce, make sure you get your fair share. The Highlands Ranch divorce attorneys at Divorce Matters can help. We can assess your assets and help you make the right decisions. Schedule a consultation today by contacting us at (720) 408-6595.

When Can I Stop Paying Alimony?

In many cases, upon divorce, one spouse may be ordered to pay alimony to the other for a set period of time. To be sure, alimony is given from one spouse to another in order to balance out things financially. Ultimately, the goal of alimony is to help the lower-earning spouse move forward after divorce in a similar position as before.

Alimony laws vary from state to state. In Colorado, neither spouse has the right to automatically receive alimony. It is something that must be requested and approved by the court. Under Colorado law Section 14-10-114, C.R.S., the court looks at many factors to determine if a person is eligible to receive alimony. These factors include financial resources, required education or training, the length of the marriage, the age and health of both spouses, the standard of living the spouses enjoyed during the marriage and the income of the spouse who would be required to pay alimony.

Those married for long periods of time are more likely to receive alimony than those married for just a few years. In fact, Colorado does have guidelines in place for marriages lasting three to 20 years. For example, for a marriage lasting three years, the amount is 31 percent of the gross income of the payor for a term of 11 months.

Alimony Lengths

There are two main types of alimony that a court can award: rehabilitative and permanent. Rehabilitative alimony is given to spouses who have the ability to work, but may require a few years of training or education. In these cases, alimony would not last forever. The judge may order alimony for a set period of time, such as three to five years. This would give the spouse enough time to get back on his or her feet following the divorce.

Permanent alimony is awarded in cases where one spouse is unable to work, due to a disability or advancing age. A judge may also award alimony after a long-term marriage (20 years or longer) when a spouse makes significantly less money than the other spouse. Permanent alimony may be awarded in a lump sum or monthly payments. Typically, it ends upon the death of either spouse, or when the recipient remarries. Again, though, the judge has the discretion to end the alimony payments at a certain date. If you wish to make adjustments to the alimony payments or eliminate them altogether, you must fill out the appropriate forms.

Reach Out to Our Englewood Alimony Lawyers for Help

Alimony amounts and durations vary widely, depending on the circumstances of both spouses. Some people pay alimony for a few years; others pay for the rest of their lives.

Alimony is used to balance out financial differences between the two spouses. If you think you may be entitled to receive alimony or want to know more about the process, contact the Englewood divorce lawyers at Divorce Matters. We can assess your case and look at all the factors involved. Schedule a consultation today. Contact us at (720) 408-6595.

Why Selling Your Engagement Ring Might Be A Good Idea After Divorce

Divorce can be full of challenges. Both emotionally and financially, this can be a stressful time and you will likely be looking for ways to overcome these difficulties. One of the most practical steps you can take is to sell the engagement ring. Why?

Financial benefits of selling your engagement ring

With the costs associated with divorce and juggling finances alone instead of as a couple, it can be important to generate additional income. Selling your engagement ring can help you quickly raise money to put towards any legal costs or simply adjust to your new life. Taking the pressure off of your financial situation can bring a lot of relief and reduce stress.
Your engagement ring may be one of the most expensive items that you own, but it is also the most disposable in the sense that it no longer adds value to your day-to-day life. Unlike a house or a car, it is highly unlikely that you will be inconvenienced by no longer owning your engagement ring. The bottom line is that selling the ring is a practical financial decision.

Emotional benefits of selling your engagement ring

What have you done with your engagement ring? Hidden it in a drawer to gather dust? Are you aware of where it is but avoiding looking at it? Or are you still wearing it because you don’t know what else to do with it at this point? Whenever you feel ready to deal with the ring, selling it can be a great way to move on emotionally.
The ring now symbolizes your previous relationship and is a constant reminder of something that you are likely looking to move on from. Letting go of something steeped in emotional baggage and history can be cathartic and allows you to symbolically put your past behind you. So why not trade it in to buy new jewelry or sell it and put the money towards your divorce costs, a vacation or simply treat yourself? It is time for new beginnings and holding on to your past may hold you back from starting over.

How to sell your engagement ring quickly and safely

When to sell the ring is an entirely personal decision. You will want to make sure that you are comfortable with the idea of selling your engagement ring, but also comfortable with who you are selling to. There are a variety of ways you can sell your engagement ring, but in order to sell safely and quickly for the best price, working with a reputable and established diamond buyer is your best bet. WP Diamonds can help you sell discreetly in as little as 24 hours, online or via appointment. Get a price quote for your engagement ring today to start the selling process. You can also trade it in for a new piece of jewelry that represents this new phase in your life.

What Happens To Your Credit Card Debt In Divorces?

A 2013 study showed that nearly 40 percent of U.S. households have credit card debt, with an average of $5,700 in debt. When a couple is getting divorced, credit cards are one of the many things that need to be taken care of. Who gets the debt? Who keeps the card?

Like property, debt in Colorado is divided equitably, not necessarily equally. The courts will look at the total assets and debts of the couple, among other factors, to determine what the fairest split would be.

The first step in solving this issue is identifying which debts you are responsible for. Your credit rating and debts are allocated to your name, and the only way to view this is by requesting your credit report from one of the three major reporting bureaus. This report will inform you which debts are yours and which ones you share with your spouse. From there, you can start the process of removing your name from those joint accounts and closing them where necessary.

A word of warning: you should be diligent in paying all your bills, including those you share with your spouse, both before and after your divorce filing. Divorces can get contentious, and if you name is on an account and your spouse stops paying for it, that can hurt your credit. While many card companies will not allow you to close an account with a balance on it, you may be able to have the company freeze any joint accounts to protect your credit until divorce is finalized.

Denver divorce law attorneys assisting clients in Colorado in matters of property and debt division during divorce.