Colorado Domestic Relations Law and Statutes explained by Arnold and Associates, P.C.
Looking for an experienced family law attorney? Our office has a family law attorney standing by to help you. We manage family law issues of all types throughout the Denver Metropolitan area, and throughout the State of Colorado. Call us for a free consultation or to arrange a visit with our attorneys. You can also request information at the bottom of this page or by clicking the contact us link above.
Our Colorado domestic and family law attorneys are prepared to battle for your legal rights in your legal disputes. We understand the procedures of the Colorado court system, have over 25 years of litigation experience, and most importantly we know how to fix your legal issues. We are conveniently located in the Denver area and are ready to help you!
We understand that going through a separation or fighting for your legal rights after a divorce (and sometimes for many years after) can be a mentally straining experience. Our legal representatives are trained to handle a wide range of Colorado domestic relations cases. “Domestic Relations,” or Family Law, includes issues such as divorce, allocation of parental responsibilities, child support, spousal maintenance (often referred to as spousal support), protection orders, adoptions, and grandparent rights issues just to name a few. We understand that many of these issues usually occur during very trying times in client’s lives; others like adoption can be rather joyous events. Our family law firm allows you to concentrate on what is important to you throughout these events. Our goal is to work hard to help you through these events in your life in the least stressful manner feasible and to make sure that you can start carrying on with your life.
Divorce and Separation:
A wedding is a time for joy and celebration, unfortunately the fact is that some couples will discover that their marital relationship can not proceed and needs to be dissolved. Bad things do happen to good people and it is during these stressful times that it is imperative that good decisions are made by you or on your behalf. Whether you and your partner can agree on the terms of your divorce or legal separation or if there is disagreement about some or all of the terms of the termination of your relationship, it is always in your best interests to seek advice to help you with all the legal subtleties that go along with acquiring a legal separation or divorce in Colorado. Our attorneys have experience with all types of family law cases, both those that are highly contested as well as those where the parties agree with each other as to the terms of dissolving their marriage; we will defend your legal rights throughout the divorce or separation procedure.
Child Support and Parenting Time:
Do you have a problem in Colorado with child support? Are you in arrears with your child support or does somebody owe you back child support? In either instance, Arnold and Associates can help. We can aid if you feel that the amount of child support in question is excessive or not sufficient. In many instances agreements can be reached between the parties so that the child’s right to support is protected and the parties are both satisfied with the amount of support that is paid and received. It is also possible to negotiate how child support arrears will be repaid or, in some cases, forgiven.
In addition to addressing child support matters, we assist in developing parenting time schedules between parents and children. If you have children and are considering getting divorced or separated the most important aspect of your case will be the life that your children have during and after the court proceedings are over. Which parent will the children live with? What type of parenting time will the other parent have? How will the divorce affect the children? These are questions that require more than an attorney that knows the law, these questions require a professional that has seen the impact of divorce on children and how to best fashion agreements that impact the children the least. If you are currently divorced or separated and are not pleased with your current order relating to parenting time or if the children are not doing well with the current parenting time order we can also help. If you are being marginalized from your children by your ex-spouse or kept from your child’s life involuntarily, please call us and we will help you.
Spousal maintenance or spousal support are two terms that mean the same thing, one spouse paying money to the other spouse for support either during the divorce proceeding or after the proceeding is over, and sometimes both during and after the proceeding.
There are two types of maintenance, temporary and permanent. Temporary Maintenance is designed to help a lower-earning spouse, or a spouse who’s been out of the workforce while raising children or taking care of the household. It is called Temporary maintenance because it terminates at the end of the divorce process. Permanent Maintenance begins with the Decree of Dissolution of Marriage being entered by the court, and lasts for a period of time depending on a number of factors.
“Under current Colorado law there is a presumed level of temporary maintenance or alimony in Colorado, in cases where a couple’s combined gross annual income is equal to or less than $75,000. If you and your spouse’s gross yearly incomes added together equal $75,000 per year or less, then it is likely that the Colorado court will apply the mandatory formula and award maintenance equal to 40% of the higher income earner’s gross monthly income minus 50% of the lower income earner’s gross monthly income on a temporary basis.
Under this scenario, this Colorado alimony formula applies regardless of the length of the marriage. Also, C.R.S. 14-10- 114(4) requires that maintenance be determined “without regard to marital misconduct.” In-other-words, it does not matter if a spouse committed adultery or other moral wrongdoing.”
Until January 1, 2014 Colorado courts had discretion when considering whether to award permanent maintenance, as a consequence, maintenance awards varied greatly among judges and jurisdictions. In an effort to “standardize” maintenance awards legislation enacted on January 1, 2014 require all family law courts in the state of Colorado to follow maintenance guidelines that standardizes both the duration and amount of alimony awarded. However, a court must first review the financial circumstances of both parties before deciding to award alimony to the lesser earning spouse. The new standard applies to all parties that meet an earnings limit of $240,000 or below. If a couple makes a combined monthly income of $240,000 or below, then the spousal maintenance formula is 40 percent of the higher income earner’s gross income, less 50 percent of the lower income earner’s income per month. However, other a court can consider other factors depending upon the circumstance. If the combined income is greater than $240,000.00, courts have more discretion especially with longer duration marriages.
The new law also provides guidelines according to the duration of the marriage. The term of maintenance is calculated in whole months of a minimum of three years to up to 20 years. For example, the guideline duration is 31 percent of the length of the marriage for three years of marriage. The court is given discretion to award maintenance for marriages under three years in length. For marriages exceeding 20 years, the court may use its discretion to award maintenance for an indefinite term or for a specific term of years.”
In general, maintenance can be awarded if a spouse lacks sufficient property, including marital property, to provide for her reasonable needs and expenses, and is unable to support themselves through appropriate employment. There are designated factors that the court must consider in determining whether or not to order maintenance.
Generally courts usually consider the following when determining maintenance:
Length of the marriage;
Age and Health of the parties;
Division of property;
Education level of each party at the time of the marriage and at the time the action is commenced;
Earning capacity of the parties;
The likelihood that the party seeking alimony/maintenance can become self-supporting;
The standard of living enjoyed during the marriage and the time needed to achieve this goal;
Pre-marital and post-marital agreements;
Contribution of one party to the education, training to the other; the earning capacity of each.