Boulder Family Law Attorney
Family law cases can be emotionally intense and personally challenging. At Dolan + Zimmerman LLP, our Boulder family law attorneys are skilled at assisting our clients through these difficult issues while working toward resolution in an efficient and conscientious manner. Family law deals with all family and domestic relationships, including divorce, child custody, paternity issues, and corresponding financial issues. For assistance with your serious family law matter, contact our Boulder family law lawyer today.
We Handle All Aspects of Family Law
When working with you, we listen to you, ensure you are advised of the law, and advocate for your interests while seeking to find resolutions that are best for your family.
We are experienced in representing clients in all stages of family law proceedings, from the initial divorce or child custody proceeding through modifications, including alternative dispute resolution such as mediation or arbitration, and in litigation when necessary. Whichever path your case takes, we strive to obtain the outcome you desire in the most efficient manner possible.
We assist parties throughout Boulder and surrounding counties of Colorado with family law issues, including:
- Divorce and property division
- Establishment and modification of maintenance
- Parenting rights and responsibilities, including child custody
- Establishment and modification of child support
- Domestic violence and protection orders
We Work to Ensure Your Future is Secure
Divorce and Separation
There are few life events more impactful than divorce. Along with the emotional impact of separating a family, divorce carries important financial implications.
These are not issues that you can try to navigate alone. It is important to consult an experienced attorney to learn about your rights. From property division to maintenance and child support issues, we have experience handling many types of cases, including:
- Legal separation
- Common law marriage
- Same-sex marriage
One of the most contentious parts of a separation or divorce is child custody. Colorado’s phrase for child custody is parental responsibilities, and there are two types, physical and legal. Physical refers to custody or visitation rights, whereas legal refers to a parent’s right to make important life decisions on the child’s behalf. We can help make sure custody and parenting time are determined with your child’s best interests in mind and with as minimal stress as possible.
Marital Asset Division
An important aspect of ending a marital relationship is reaching an equitable property division. Colorado courts use the principle of equitable distribution, meaning the courts determine property division in a way that is fair to both parties. However, fair doesn’t always mean equal. We can help you determine what that means in your case and advocate for a fair distribution.
Maintenance is awarded in many cases; however, it is not automatic. Whether a judge will grant spousal maintenance depends on a factual determination where the court considers factors, including the length of the marriage, earning potential of each spouse, and the asset division.
Child support will typically be an issue in any divorce case that involves children. According to Colorado statute, children are entitled to appropriate financial support from each parent. This is true even if one partner does not have physical or legal custody. Income is the most significant factor when determining if one parent will pay monthly child support and what the amount will be. Other factors, such as the visitation schedule and the number of children, can also impact the calculation. We will use our extensive experience in handling these cases to help you establish, modify, and enforce child support orders.
Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
Before or after marriage, some couples desire to make agreements that explain how property and debts will be divided, whether maintenance will be paid, and if each person will pay their own attorney’s fees should their relationship end in divorce. We can talk about your options and the best way to structure any agreement to ensure it is legally effective.
Why You Need a Boulder Family Law Attorney
Dealing with family law matters is always a troubling time, and navigating the legal details of these situations is tricky and often frustrating. It is highly recommended to seek professional representation and let a family law attorney handle your case. That way, you have peace of mind knowing that the legal aspects are handled appropriately, giving you the freedom to focus on the challenges you and your family are facing.
The divorce process may appear simple at first but can quickly turn complicated. For instance, the proceedings can seem matter of fact, but properly drafting legal documents regarding support, custody, and division of assets is difficult to accomplish on your own. An experienced Boulder divorce lawyer can handle the legal work with relative ease, even if complications arise.
Furthermore, a Boulder family law attorney has a deep understanding of the formulas used and how calculations are made by the Colorado courts to determine support. Based on that knowledge, they can determine an adequate amount of child support or spousal maintenance, as well as verify the accuracy of the proposed payouts. If they are too high, they will negotiate a reduction in payments, and similarly, if it is too low, they will fight for your right to further compensation.
Understanding the Colorado Divorce Process
The divorce process takes a minimum of 91 days in Colorado, starting from the filing of the initial petition. However, it can take longer or shorter depending on your specific circumstances. Proceedings can be delayed if there are disputed issues, for instance, related to asset division or child custody. Every case is different, but here is a general timeline for a Colorado divorce.
- Initial filing and service. Before filing for divorce, you must be a Colorado resident for at least 91 days. To begin the divorce process, one of the parties must file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the court. Once your spouse is served, the 91-day waiting period begins until the court decides on your request for divorce.
- Response. Your spouse has the opportunity to file a response to the petition within 21 days of being served. Those served outside of the state of Colorado have 35 days to respond.
- Financial disclosure and initial status conference. Within 42 days from the initial filing date, you and your spouse must submit your respective financial information to the court. This deadline can be extended with the court’s permission. Within this timeframe, both parties are also mandated by law to attend the initial status conference (ISC), which will be your first appearance in front of a judge.
- Temporary orders. The court may issue temporary orders regarding spousal support, child support, temporary use of the marital home, attorney fees, and other relevant issues.
- Settlement efforts. Both parties must engage in required mediation to attempt to resolve the divorce case amicably. If you settle your case at mediation, a stipulated agreement can be created that the court can approve as a final order. On the other hand, if you cannot successfully resolve your disputes, the case will move to trial. Going through divorce litigation will typically extend the process by over a year.
- Final hearing. The final hearing will be scheduled after the 91 days or later. The attorneys for each side will present evidence, call witnesses, and make their arguments. The court will make permanent orders regarding support, asset division, custody, parenting time, and other unresolved issues. The judge or magistrate will then grant a Decree of Dissolution of Marriage.
Generally, the more you and your spouse compromise and work together to settle family matters, the faster you can finalize your divorce and move on with your lives.
What You Can Expect From Us
We will handle all the legal work involved in your family law matter, which can include:
- Discussing your case and goals, assessing your options with a strategic eye, and standing your ground.
- Calculating the proper amount of support you are entitled to in an agreement.
- Drafting custody or property agreements, filling out and filing divorce forms, financial statements, and any other necessary legal forms.
- Explaining and representing you throughout the mediation process, assessing any settlement opportunities, and informing you of potential benefits or pitfalls. Additionally, we can assist with drafting a binding agreement between you and your ex.
- Helping you resolve child custody disputes by agreement or in the courtroom.
- Successfully negotiating a divorce settlement that is fair and equitable.
Each family law situation is unique. Contact us today to talk about your specific needs with a Boulder family law attorney.