Littleton Divorce Law Blog

How a protective order helps you leave an abusive marriage

It is frightening and difficult to leave a physically, financially or emotionally abusive spouse. Statistically, abused partners are at their highest levels of risk in the two years after ending the relationship. Once you file for divorce, while you may be safer in your immediate surroundings, the statistical risk to you increases.

That doesn't mean you should stay with an abusive partner just to avoid the potential conflict of leaving. Instead, it means you should take steps as soon as possible to start ensuring your safety as you leave this abusive relationship behind and move on to something healthier in your future. Thankfully, the state of Colorado allows those experiencing domestic violence to seek protective orders that will create legal consequences for your ex if they harass you or hurt you.

Shared custody is the most likely outcome in Colorado divorces

When parents decide to divorce in Colorado, the biggest concern is usually what will happen with the children. Historically, parents have been willing to battle in court in the hopes of securing primary or sole custody. The Colorado court system, however, does not prefer sole custody arrangements except in extreme cases.

Generally speaking, they prefer to arrange for a more even allocation of parental rights and responsibilities during a divorce with minor children. In other words, Colorado courts prefer to establish shared custody arrangements, a situation which is also referred to as co-parenting. Understanding that this is beneficial for your children may help you embrace the idea that shared custody is the most likely resolution to your divorce proceedings.

A Colorado divorce means you should revisit your estate plan

Divorce often results in radical changes in many different areas of your life. The average person can expect their living situation to change, as well as their financial situation. Those are just the most common issues, but there are many other transitions and changes that often take place during and immediately after a divorce in Colorado.

With so much going on, people often overlook important considerations that are not officially part of the divorce process. Your estate plan is a perfect example. Far too many people simply overlook adjusting their estate plan during a divorce. They are so focused on the end of their marriage that they overlook this critical area where adjustments and changes should occur to reflect their new life situation.

These tips will help you prepare for divorce

Even if you think you are 100 percent prepared for divorce, you never know how you will feel as the days go by. Some people realize that divorce feels better than expected, as they are finally free from a marriage that was dragging them down for so long.

There are also people who think they'll be okay during the divorce process, just to find that it's taking a toll on them.

What is the best thing you can do for a child after divorce?

You and your spouse have two children under five years old. As you move toward divorce, you worry about the potential impact for the kids. How will it make them feel? How will they adjust?

You do not worry so much about losing the relationship yourself. You can deal with that. You just do not want the kids to suffer.

Drafting a parenting schedule in Colorado

One of the key ways to have a successful relationship with the other parent of your children after you have separated is through a parenting plan. It is likely that you and your ex do not see eye to eye on all arrangements concerning your children. If you share custody, there might be minor disputes regarding who will pick up your child from soccer practice, who should help them with homework, and where they should stay on weeknights versus weekends.

While all of these minor conflicts are normal and natural in a coparent relationship, they can be successfully solved through the creation of a robust parenting plan.

There are steps you can take to prevent a contest to your will

If you've spent your life building up valuable assets, you probably have strong opinions about what happens to them after you die. After all, bequeathing those assets to loved ones, family and even charitable organizations can be a way to build a lasting legacy after you pass on. Unfortunately, even if you take the time to carefully plan your estate and create a last will, your family members and heirs can challenge your plan and drag your estate through probate court.

There's no reason why you simply have to accept that a will challenge could change your legacy. If you have reason to believe that your heirs or family members may fight over your assets or disagree with the terms of your will, you can take steps now to reduce that risk.

How do the Colorado courts handle your home during divorce?

For many couples, their family home is the single biggest asset they've invested in over their adult lives. As much as a third of your monthly income may go directly to a mortgage payment. Even more may get spent to upgrade and beautify your living space. It's only natural, then, to worry about what will happen to it in a divorce. Educating and informing yourself about Colorado divorces can make your divorce easier on everyone involved.

Despite what you may have heard from other people, there's no absolute means of predicting how the courts will rule in a divorce. Colorado is a marital property state, meaning that the courts seek to fairly divide your marital assets between both spouses in a divorce. Generally speaking, that will include the home you purchased with your spouse.

Signs that it's time to contest the administration of an estate

When a loved one dies, the last thing you want to do is focus on money and possessions. Grieving the loss of a family member or spouse may even prevent you from handling practical matters, like bills and other financial concerns. However, over time, you may notice that something simply isn't right as far as the administration of the estate.

For many people, a carefully crafted estate plan is their final legacy, a way to give back to their loved ones, closest friends and even charities. When you believe that the person charged with handling the estate has failed to uphold the responsibilities of the position or if there's cause to worry about undue influence on the final estate plan, it may be time to consider contesting the estate.

Worried your spouse is hiding assets during your divorce?

Divorce can often bring out the worst in people. Emotions run high, and otherwise law-abiding, decent people can become angry and aggressive. In some cases, both spouses feel desperate to "win" the divorce by seeking full custody of the children or more assets when the property gets split up by the courts. This urge can lead some people to try to hide assets immediately prior to or during a divorce.

The higher your overall marital assets, the greater the potential motivation for your spouse to try to hide some of those assets from you and the courts during the divorce. After all, if certain assets don't get reported to the courts, the courts won't be able to divide them between you both. If you suspect hidden assets, you need to inform your attorney and take action as soon as possible.

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