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If you are thinking about divorce, there’s a lot to consider. To begin, divorce puts your financial and parental rights on the line, but there are also significant emotional consequences that can be just as challenging. If you are facing a divorce, you may not have any idea about what to expect – much less how to protect your rights along the way. If this is the difficult position you find yourself in, there are several primary points to keep in mind as you move forward, and one of the most important is that having an experienced divorce attorney in your corner is in your best interest.

 

Seek help from the right divorce law firm near Aurora today. 

It’s Important to Be Sure

If you are on the fence regarding divorce, throwing yourself headlong into the divorce process is not the best use of your time and energy. The fact is that if your marriage can be saved, it is almost certainly worth saving. The ramifications of divorce are so far-reaching that availing yourself of all available options, including marriage counseling, is worth the effort. If, however, your efforts do not prove fruitful or you are certain that divorce is the right choice for you, to begin with, you will not be burdened with lingering doubt as you push forward. 

Know the Applicable Terms of Divorce

Every divorce comes down to resolving the terms that apply to each specific situation.

The Division of Marital Assets

Virtually every divorcing couple faces the matter of dividing their marital property, which refers to those assets that the couple came to own while they were married. Generally, the only exceptions when it comes to assets acquired over the course of a marriage are gifts and inheritance that either spouse received in their name alone. In Colorado, marital property must be divided between divorcing spouses in a manner that is considered fair – or equitable – given a range of applicable factors. 

 

Those assets that either spouse owns prior to marriage and keeps separate throughout remain the separate property of the original owner, but the boundary between separate and marital can be far less clear than you might think. Further, when a separate asset increases in value over the course of a marriage – such as a retirement account – that increase in amount is treated as marital property.

Parental Responsibilities and Parenting Time

Colorado divides child custody into both legal custody, which it refers to as parental responsibilities, and physical custody, which it refers to as parenting time. Parental responsibilities determine how both parents will handle big-picture parenting decisions, such as the following:

 

  • Decisions about healthcare
  • Decisions about schooling
  • Decisions about extracurriculars and travel
  • Decisions about religious education

 

Both parents can hammer out these decisions between themselves, but one of them may be granted the authority to break a tie if their good-faith efforts to reach a consensus fail. Additional options include one parent being awarded sole parental responsibilities or each parent making specific decisions on their own – based on the category of decision that needs to be made. 

 

If parents are able to design a parenting time schedule that works for their family, their options are nearly limitless, but all such schedules can be classified in one of the following two ways:

 

  • Both parents are awarded a nearly equal number of overnights with the children.
  • One parent becomes the primary custodial parent and has the children for the majority of overnights. 

 

Child Support

Colorado uses a carefully calibrated child support calculation process to help ensure that financial support for shared children is balanced fairly between both parents – while supporting the best interests of their children. While many factors go into this important determination, the parent who earns more typically makes child support payments, and this is true even when child custody is shared equally.

Alimony 

When divorce leaves one spouse financially disadvantaged and unable to continue supporting themself at or near the same standard of living achieved during marriage while the other has the ability to help, alimony may be awarded. Alimony is generally intended to afford recipients the ability to gain greater financial independence via education or job training. 

Know Your Options Regarding Resolving Divorce Terms

Resolving your divorce terms is key, but toward this end, you have options. Those terms that you are unable to negotiate between yourselves can be handled by your respective divorce attorneys. If obstacles remain at this point, mediation may help. At mediation, a professional mediator acting as a neutral third party will help you better understand all the following:

 

  • Your best options
  • Potential compromises that may work for both of you
  • How the court can be expected to rule in your case

 

Mediation can help you dial down emotions and look at the matter at hand from a more critical perspective, which may help you find common ground – or at least an acceptable resolution. 

Any terms that remain unresolved after you’ve exhausted your ability to negotiate will need to be finalized in court. 

Recognize What Going to Court Means

If you have a divorce term that you have been unable to resolve despite your best efforts, you’ll likely need the court to intervene. It is important to recognize, however, that – when you turn to the court – you give up your ability to make these primary decisions between yourselves. Being told what to do by the court can motivate a spouse who is holding out in terms of negotiating fairly to make a more sincere effort. Even if your case is headed to court, you retain the right to resolve any sticking points between yourselves up to the time that the court rules, and many divorcing couples avail themselves of this opportunity. 

Recognize When a Spouse Is Not Interested in Fair Negotiations

Divorce is undeniably stressful, and with all that stress, it can be difficult to predict how your spouse will react. If your divorcing spouse is far more interested in making you pay than in resolving the applicable terms of divorce, no amount of negotiation is likely to help. If your spouse refuses to engage in reasonable negotiations, proceeding to court sooner rather than later may be in your best interest. 

Think about Your Divorce Priorities

The swell of emotions that tends to accompany divorce can leave you in a defensive position in which you are solely focused on protecting yourself from the blows that keep coming your way – rather than on strategizing a path forward. Fighting off attack after attack can deplete your financial and emotional resources without doing much to protect your rights and best interests. Taking the time to consider and rank your divorce priorities can leave you far better prepared to proceed with purpose and intent, which helps to ensure that you make strategic moves rather than merely react. Knowing where you are willing to bend can play a pivotal role in leveraging your divorce priorities. 

Know How to Put Your Kids First 

Parenting is all about putting our children first and making every decision with their best interests at the forefront. As a parent, you naturally recognize that divorce is hard on your children, which can make finding your way forward without getting lost in waves of guilt difficult. This is one of those situations in which you really do need to take care of yourself in order to ensure you’re able to take care of your children throughout the divorce process, which includes all the following:

 

  • Talking to each of your children about the divorce in an age-appropriate manner
  • Answering your children’s questions and letting them know you’re there for them
  • Ensuring that your children know what to expect as the divorce proceeds
  • Demonstrating that you are not putting them in the middle by refraining from bad-mouthing their other parent and by refraining from communicating with your soon-to-be-ex through them
  • Helping to ensure that your children experience as little flux – in terms of their home life – as possible as the divorce proceeds
  • Focusing on being the most effective co-parent you can

 

Regardless of your differences with your divorcing spouse, you both want what’s best for your children, and you letting this be your guide will help. 

An Experienced Aurora, Colorado, Divorce Attorney Is Standing by to Help

If you are going through a divorce, you’re facing a challenging path forward, but the better prepared you are, the likelier you are to prevail with terms that support your rights and work for you and your children. Chris Little at CNL Law Firm, PLLC, in Aurora, Colorado, is a trusted divorce attorney who dedicates his imposing practice to skillfully guiding complex cases like yours toward favorable outcomes, and we’re here for you too. 

 

Our dedicated legal team has the experience and compassion that you are looking for, so please do not wait to reach out and contact us online or call us at (720) 370-2171 for more information about what we can do for you today. We are ready to help.

 

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