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Colorado Divorce And Family Law Blog

Our mediators aim to help couples resolve their divorce issues

Some couples in the Denver area may want to divorce, but they may be concerned about the costs that a lengthy litigation process would bring. They may be pleased to hear then, that there are alternatives to litigating a divorce that can save money, time and perhaps even heartache. One of these options is divorce mediation. In fact, most judicial districts in Colorado mandate that spouses seeking a divorce first try mediation before they are allowed to go through the litigation process.

A mediator is a neutral third party who helps the spouses with negotiating a resolution to their divorce legal issues. The hope is that, by working together through mediation, the final result will be satisfactory to each spouse. Moreover, whatever the spouses talk about in the mediation process will remain confidential, so even if mediation fails, the conversations therein cannot be used against a spouse. This may make spouses more apt to be open and honest in what their needs and wants are.

Is a birdnesting child custody arrangement right for you?

Parents in Colorado going through a divorce may assume that the only outcome is that there will be two separate households, with the child shuttling between homes during custody and visitation periods. However, some parents, recognizing that divorce itself brings big changes to a child's life, want to try to minimize the disruption to the child's life as much as possible. If parents in this situation are able to cooperate very well, they may want to consider an alternative child custody arrangement: birdnesting.

Through birdnesting, it is the child who remains in the family home, and the parents who will rotate between having their custody or visitation period in the family home with the child, and living on their own in a separate apartment when it is not their turn for custody or visitation. Through birdnesting, the child can have the stability of staying in the family home that they are accustomed to.

Why do I need a qualified domestic relations order?

Depending at what point you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are in the divorce process, you may or may not have come across the term "Qualified Domestic Relations Order," or QDRO, as they are commonly known.

Not all couples require QDROs in their property settlements, but those who do must be diligent and make sure that their attorneys remain on top of the situation and file the documents in a timely manner.

Can mediation help spouses entangled in a contentious divorce?

Colorado couples going through a contentious divorce may think that there is no way that mediation will work for them. They may think that the only choice is to go through a courtroom show-down. However, litigation can be costly, both financially and emotionally, and it can drag a divorce on for months or even years. Therefore, even couples whose relationship has deteriorated may want to take a second look at divorce mediation.

It's understandable that some divorcing couples cannot even be in the same room together without fighting. But, this doesn't mean an agreement can't eventually be reached. Not only is a mediator skilled in facilitating conversations, but the parties can stay in separate rooms the entire time and do not have to communicate directly with each other -- the mediator can serve as the go-between. In addition, the parties can still retain their own attorneys even if they decide to mediate, and, in fact, this can be a good way to ensure that not only are their interests represented, but that the final agreement is fair.

More people seeing the value of prenuptial agreements

Prenuptial agreements certainly have a stigma attached to them. According to some, they are unromantic and a sign that one or both of the parties do not expect the marriage to last. However, this stigma is entirely unwarranted. In fact, many people in Colorado and nationwide these days are starting to see the value in executing a prenup.

Those in the millennial generation are waiting longer to get married than previous generations have. Therefore, when they do marry, they both have often already cultivated a successful career and they may have accumulated a significant amount of assets (and, sometimes, a significant amount of debt.) They understand that they have more on the line should the slim chance occur that their marriage ends in divorce. Therefore, they may be more willing to enter into a prenuptial agreement.

What factors will a court consider in child custody cases?

When parents in Centennial go through a divorce, they may naturally be very concerned about how the process will affect their child and what rights they'll have to their child when the process is finished. While, sometimes, parents are able to work out a parenting plan through negotiations, other times negotiations fail and they need to turn to the court to make child custody decisions. Any parenting time schedules made must first and foremost meet the best interests of the child standard. In determining what the child's best interests are, the court will consider a number of factors.

First of all, the court will consider each parent's wishes when it comes to child custody. The court will also consider whether the child has a preference as to which parent they will live with if the child is mature enough to reasonably and independently express such a preference. The relationship the child has with each parent and any brothers and sisters may also be considered, as may the relationship the child has with any other individual in the child's life who has a significant effect on the best interests of the child.

Is it always worth it to keep the family home in a divorce?

Home is where the heart is, which may be why when a couple in Colorado decides to divorce, one of the most emotional decisions they must make is who will keep the family home. There are pluses and minuses to keeping the family home after a divorce, which should be taken into consideration before a final decision is made.

On one hand, there is a certain sense of security that comes with staying in the family home, especially since divorce is a time of upheaval. Especially if a spouse has primary custody of their children, they may wish to stay in the family home to provide a sense of stability and continuity for their children.

Collaborative law can lead to a satisfactory divorce resolution

Does every divorce in Colorado have to be a high-conflict courtroom show-down? Not necessarily. Through the process of collaborative law, it is possible for spouses to work together and settle their divorce in a less adversarial manner.

In a collaborative law divorce each spouse retains their own lawyer, preferably one experienced in mediation and negotiation. Each spouse will have a private meeting with their lawyer. At this meeting, the spouse will talk to the lawyer about what they hope to accomplish and areas in which they would be willing to compromise. Meetings like this help the negotiation process run more smoothly, as there is an understanding about what the spouse is willing to accept.

6 critical reasons your prenup may not be as ironclad as you hope

You told yourself you were doing the smart thing, signing a prenuptial agreement. No, it wasn't romantic. Your future spouse wasn't thrilled. But it was smart because you're a business owner with a lot of assets. You protected yourself and your company.

Now, you just trust the prenup. You feel like divorce is coming, but you don't worry. That paperwork is in place. If your spouse wants to end it, you're ready.

New app helps parents with scheduling post-divorce

Between soccer games, piano recitals, school plays, birthday parties and everything in between, parents in Colorado understand just how busy life with kids can be. Family life becomes even more complicated, however, if the child's parents divorce. After a divorce, in addition to the child's schooling and extra-curricular activities, parents will need to make arrangements for child custody exchanges, holidays and other events laid out in their parenting plan. This can become very complicated, especially if the parents are not on good terms with one another after their divorce.

However, one new app, called Fayr, aims to make co-parenting easier for parents. Through the app, parents can use a calendar to schedule who will have the child and when. Both parents have access to the calendar 24/7, so they can check it and update it at any time. This helps clarify who has the kids and when. Not only does this make co-parenting easier, but it can provide some stability in everyone's lives.

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