A Denver Divorce Timeline

No one enjoys getting divorced. The end of your marriage may have caught you by surprise, or it could have been a long time coming. However, once divorce becomes inevitable, most people want to get it over with as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, state laws, legal procedures, and the negotiation process may slow you down on the road to newfound singledom. Find out how long a typical divorce usually takes in Denver and what to avoid if you are looking for a speedy divorce.

How Long Does a Divorce Take? Denver Divorce Laws

The timeline for divorce varies significantly from state to state. Most states have residency requirements which determine how long a person must live within its borders before the state will grant jurisdiction over his or her divorce. In Colorado, at least one spouse must have been domiciled in state for at least 90 days before they can file for divorce.

Colorado state law also requires a 90-day waiting period from the time the divorce petition is filed before the court can finalize a divorce order. At minimum, a simple, uncontested divorce will take about three months. Spouses can forego the waiting period if they have been legally separated for at least six months.

Once the initial divorce filing and summons have been submitted, both spouses have 20 days to submit their financial disclosures, although this may be extended to 40 days if a response is not received from the non-filing spouse. Couples with children will also need to take a parenting course. If all required paperwork is submitted and an agreeable divorce settlement has been reached before the 90-day waiting period is complete, a final divorce decree can be entered and signed by the judge.

The Divorce Court Process in Denver

If you have children, significant assets to disclose, or want to pursue alimony, the divorce process can take much longer than 90 days. An average divorce timeline in Denver is about six to twelve months.

Contested divorces, especially those involving child custody and visitation, may require multiple hearings and/or temporary orders. These courtroom procedures extend the length of your divorce process. If your divorce goes to trial, you can expect the entire process to take one to two years.

Negotiating a Divorce Settlement

The good news is most divorces will reach a settlement before they ever go to trial. The negotiation process can still go on for quite a while, especially if the spouses are very far apart in terms of agreement. The easiest way to speed up the negotiations process is to work amicably with your spouse and be willing to compromise. Negotiations move faster when both spouses are cooperative and motivated. Consider using alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation, to reach a mutually agreeable settlement.

Denver Colorado Divorce Lawyers

If you are considering divorce, it is important to consult a qualified Denver divorce lawyer as soon as possible. Divorce Matters is a Denver-based law firm exclusively dedicated to divorce and family law matters. Contact us today to schedule a consultation in our Greenwood Village or Lakewood locations.

Co-Parenting During the Holiday Season

Co-parenting isn’t always the easiest to navigate during normal times of the year but when you inject the holidays into the mix it can seem downright impossible. The important thing to keep in mind is that it isn’t really about you or your ex, it’s really about your children. When you remember this, it can help you through anything the holiday season might throw your way. And with a little advanced planning with your co-parent, this holiday season can go off without a hitch!

The biggest thing to remember is that your children are the focus this holiday season. Try to make things as easy as possible for them even if that means you won’t get them on exactly the days that you want. This will require advanced planning between you and your co-parent, seeing which days make sense for whom so that your children get to visit with family and still enjoy their time. This will also require some flexibility on your part in case things don’t go exactly as planned. If you need to go with the flow the stress shouldn’t felt by your children.

You will also want to make sure that you coordinate gifts with your co-parent. Not only do you not want to repeat a gift for your child, but you also want to make sure that you both agree upon a certain level of spend. You’ll want to make sure that one co-parent doesn’t feel alienated because the other buys extravagantly. You also want to show a united front and to do so you must make sure that things off limits in one household aren’t being provided in another.

Finally, make sure that you prioritize a little bit of time for yourself. If you aren’t going to have your children the entire holiday season don’t let that time alone daunt you. Use this time for yourself, to relax and enjoy yourself. Spend some quality time with friends you haven’t seen in a while and catch up. Or you can use the time to take a relaxing bath and watch your favorite movies. Whatever helps you destress, use the time you have alone to do just that and you’ll feel rejuvenated.

Coping With Divorce Through the Holidays

For most people, the holidays evoke thoughts of family togetherness. This can be hard if you’re experiencing your first holiday season since a divorce. You won’t have a partner in the home, and the children may be spending time with the other parent. This means you might be spending a day like Christmas alone.

This can seem depressing, but it doesn’t have to be that way. After a divorce, you no longer have to follow previous family traditions. Feel free to be flexible and create your own. Focus on happiness and love this holiday season and you’ll look forward to the holidays every year.

Be Patient

Things may not go as planned during your first holiday as a single parent. Emotions may be still running high. You may be fighting over custody with the other parent. Don’t get overwhelmed. Get rid of the pressure involved with the holidays and go easy on yourself. Trust that things will get better as time goes on.

Be Flexible

Don’t feel like you need to be set in your ways. For example, Christmas doesn’t have to occur on December 25. If the other parent insists on having the kids for both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, it’s not the end of the world. You can celebrate with the kids before or after. As an added bonus, your kids will get two Christmases, which might seem fun.

This means you’ll need to be flexible with your plans as well. In the past, Christmas may have revolved around the kids, so spend this Christmas doing something for yourself. Go visit friends. Go see a movie. Sart new traditions by doing something that makes you happy.

Be Cooperative

Be amicable toward the other parent for the sake of your children. Fighting during the holidays only adds more stress to the situation. Push your negative feelings aside and make the holidays a wonderful time of year for the kids. Find a way to compromise and work things out without the bitterness.

Don’t Feel Isolated

Many people want to help loved ones during the holidays, so you’ll likely get invitations to spend holidays with friends, neighbors and loved ones. Take advantage of the opportunity to get out of the house and spend time with others. It will keep you busy and get your mind off the divorce and your emotions.

Help Others

Volunteering at your church or in your community or simply helping a neighbor in need will help you recognize that there are people who are less fortunate than you. Reach out and see how you can help others this holiday season. Your recipient will be grateful to you, and you’ll feel better about yourself as well. It’s a win-win situation!

An Attorney Can Help with Holidays and Divorce

The holidays can seem lonely and depressing after a divorce. With the right attitude, you can make this holiday season a positive and memorable one. By being proactive and adjusting to the changes, you can enjoy time with friends, family members are even yourself. Contact the Aurora divorce attorneys at Divorce Matters for more help with surviving the holidays. Request a consultation today by contacting Divorce Matters online or by calling (720) 463-1232.

Domestic Violence Laws in Colorado

Colorado has a very broad criminal definition of domestic violence.  This is designed to provide the greatest amount of protection for a victim of domestic violence and gives the police the greatest latitude to arrest someone.  Colorado criminal law defines domestic violence as “an act or threatened an act of violence upon a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship.”  As you can see this is a very broad definition.

It’s Not Just Married Couples

An intimate relationship does not mean you have to be married. It applies to couples and even boyfriends and girlfriends, it even applies to past lovers as well as the present.  It also applies to children, grandchildren, and others present in the household. Again, the idea provides maximum protection to the broadest possible group living in a household or making up a domestic unit.

Recognizing Domestic Violence

Because Domestic Violence includes a “threatened act” of violence very common situations can be construed as a criminal act including:

  • Throwing things at someone
  • Grabbing or pushing
  • Following someone around
  • Threatening or harassing phone calls.

There does not have to be actual physical touching or even physical harm. The threat of harm can be enough and the threat of harm does not have to be in person. Emails, phone calls, text messages are all sufficient to be charged with domestic violence crime.   Texts to Ex’s can be domestic violence if they are threatening or harassing.

Contact a Denver Domestic Violence Lawyer for Help

If you feel like you are in domestic violence situation, call the police or reach out to the appropriate helpline to get the help you need. Don’t let an abusive partner control your life, get out of the bad situations and let the family law attorneys at Divorce Matters help!

National Domestic Violence Hotline1-800-799-7233

Ways to Unwind After Divorce

After a divorce it is important not to forget to take care of yourself and make sure that you are doing things to help propel you into your new future. Here are a few quick and easy ways you can indulge yourself just a little bit:

  • Take a day trip somewhere on your own
  • Reconnect with your friends and family
  • Buy a little something you’ve always wanted (nothing too crazy!)
  • Take yourself to the spa
  • Start working out, it reduces anxiety and fights depression
  • Try something new, whether it is a hair cut, a restaurant you’ve been wanting to try or that play you always wanted to go see

How Exercise Can Help You Through Your Divorce

Conor Stewartson

Exercise can be an immense source of relief when you’re going through a divorce. It’s a great way to keep yourself in shape and feeling confident. It also helps that exercise is known to be a reliever of stress and releases endorphins to help boost your mood. All of these benefits, AND it will reduce your risk of a plethora of diseases later on in life””so the real question is, if you aren’t already doing it, why not start adding more exercise into your routine?

It might seem difficult when you have kids to take care of, a job you work 40 hours a week at, and chores to be done. However, there are ways you can sneak in your daily dose of exercise without adding to your stress. The first one is easiest if you have children who are active themselves. Join in the play! Get outside and kick the soccer ball around with them or join in a game of tag. The easiest solution when you have kids and no time is to make it work is by having your cake and eating it too”¦figuratively, of course!

Another solution, if you are an early riser, is to set your alarm clock just a half an hour earlier and get out there and go for a jog first thing in the morning. The exercise has the added benefit of possibly kicking that caffeine addiction to the curb too, as you will feel more alert after an early morning workout.

Finally, if neither of these solutions are an option for you it might just be the case that you will have to prioritize and make time for it. Focus on all of the positive benefits just 30 minutes of working out three to five times a week will have for your present and your future. A lot of gyms actually have nurseries where you can bring your kids to stay while you squeeze in your workout. While your kids might not like it at first they will adjust, and in the long run, you sticking with your health routine is only going to benefit them.

Exercise is an important aspect of our health and creating a routine that involves incorporating it into your life is going to keep you healthy and set a positive example for your children as well. So what are you waiting for”¦get out there!

Abuse Victims Should Not Have To Continue Enduring Abuse For Fear Of Deportation

A woman in El Paso seeking refuge from her alleged abuser met with a chilling fate ”“ ICE agents waiting at the courthouse to deport her. The woman went to a courthouse to seek a protective order, but her alleged abuser had apparently reported her to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Shortly after obtaining the protective order, ICE swooped in and arrested the woman.

It’s easy to jump to conclusions about the case, but this does a disservice to victims of abuse everywhere. Domestic violence victims are entitled to protection from violent abusers and should not have to continue to experience abuse for fear of deportation. To arrest a woman in such a precarious situation after she sought help (one of the most difficult things for abuse victims to do) could set a precedent that discourages other abuse victims from seeking help.

Additionally, if ICE was indeed tipped off by the alleged abuser, then her arrest may be in violation of certain provisions of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act that protects undocumented women when reporting perpetrators, according to the director of the University of Texas’ Immigration Clinic.

If a person needs an order of protection, they should come speak to our attorneys and we can review all options they have. The attorney-client privilege applies even in cases involving undocumented parties. Our attorneys are not police officers and we are not out to get you. Everything told to an attorney is confidential and a person’s legal status will not be reported to a government agency. If you are suffering from domestic abuse, you should not be afraid to discuss protections with an attorney.

Our Denver family lawyers have seen the struggles of women suffering abuse and will use every legal avenue possible to protect them from their abusers.

How Do I Get My Name Off The House Deed During My Divorce?

Does Colorado Recognize Common Law Marriage?

Unless you’re planning a birdnesting-type situation to raise the kids after divorce, most people don’t want to live in the same home as their ex-spouse. If both of your names are on the house deed, one of you will need to take your name off the deed.

One way to do this is by having whichever ex-spouse is remaining in the home refinance the property, a common option for divorcees. However, this depends on that party’s ability to refinance. You could get a court order to have your ex refinance the home, but without the means to actually do so, it is difficult to force a hand.

If your ex does, on the other hand, have the ability to refinance but has not done so, you may be able to get a judge’s order to spur the action. This could lead to legal fees, especially if your original divorce judge no longer has jurisdiction over your case (if you have waited several years to pull your name from the deed, for example).

What Happens If I Don’t Remove My Name from the Deed?

As long as your name remains on the deed, you are considered a legal owner of that home. This means that if your ex-spouse still living in the house fails to make mortgage payments, your credit can suffer. If your ex does not have liability insurance and someone is hurt at that home, you can still be sued for damages for that person’s injuries. It’s always best to settle these types of issues while negotiating a divorce settlement, not after.

Denver family law attorneys dedicated to helping divorce clients through this intensely difficult and emotional time in their lives.

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.

Cuba Gooding, Jr. Files For Divorce After 20 Years Of Marriage

The latest celebrity marriage casualty of 2017: Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Sara Kapfer, former high school sweethearts who separated in 2014, 20 years after their marriage. Gooding finally responded to Kapfer’s 2014 separation documents with a formal divorce petition in mid-January.

The two have three children, of which one is still a minor. Gooding has requested joint legal and physical custody of the couple’s 10-year-old daughter. Gooding has expressed a willingness to pay spousal support to Kapfer, but wants his earnings since the 2014 separation to remain his own. This would include the earnings he received for his role as O.J. Simpson in the acclaimed FX miniseries The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.

How Is Spousal Support Calculated In Colorado?

In Colorado, spouses have the opportunity to request spousal maintenance (also called spousal support or alimony) in divorce. Maintenance can only be awarded to a spouse if the court finds that the spouse lacks sufficient property to meet reasonable needs AND is either unable to support his or herself financially through appropriate employment (or, alternatively, that the spouse has childcare needs that make it impossible to seek employment.

Once this has been determined, the amount and duration of maintenance will be decided. This is based on a few factors:

  • How long the couple was married
  • The age, physical and mental health of both parties
  • The couple’s standard of living during marriage
  • Each party’s separate earning capacity
  • How the couple’s marital assets were divided

Are you getting divorced and thinking about asking for spousal support? Our firm has released a free app on both the Android and iOS stores that can help you figure out how much you could receive as maintenance, which you can download here.