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We practice family and estate law, including divorce, custody, child support, adoption, dependency and neglect, guardianships and estate planning. Our team will work with you to bring your case to the best possible outcome.
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Family law includes divorce (with or without children), parental responsibility (custody) cases, adoption, dependency and neglect cases, guardianship cases, and other cases where the courts become involved with a family.
The goal of child-centered family law is to make sure that the children involved in a family-law case have as much healthy access to each party as possible, and that the children (and clients) go through as little trauma as possible
Adoptions in Colorado can be achieved through an agency adoption, or without an agency in step-parent, kinship, custodial, or second parent adoptions. Once an adoption is complete, the adoptive parents have all the rights and responsibilities of a biological parent.
In Colorado, a couple may get a divorce from a typical marriage (with a marriage license), from a common law marriage, or from a civil union. The purpose of a divorce, aside from ending a marriage and allowing remarriage, is to determine the contents and division of the marital estate (the couple’s assets and debts) and to determine how parental responsibilities will be allocated if there are children of the marriage.
When two parties have children together without being married, either may seek the Allocation of Parental Responsibilities. This term encompasses what many people think of as “legal custody” (decision making) and “physical custody” (parenting time), and also includes child support.
Parental Responsibilities, whether established through a divorce or through an Allocation of Parental Responsibilities case, are not set in stone. Parents can seek to change child support, parenting time, decision making, or all three, based on a change in circumstances and a court’s determination of what is in the child’s best interests or whether the current situation endangers the child’s health or well-being.
Child Support may be established through a divorce or parental responsibilities case, or it may be filed through the juvenile courts when a party seeks a paternity determination. Child support amounts are based on a number of factors, including how many overnights the child spends with each party, the incomes of the parties, and how much the parties spend on medical care and child care.
The courts allow parties to modify their child support obligations any time that there is a change in circumstances which would raise or lower child support by 10%. Those circumstances include, changes in one or both parties’ incomes, a change in overnights, or a change in medical or day care costs.
When someone is brought to court for violating a previous order (such as a child support order or a parenting time order), they risk being found in contempt of court. The penalties include fines, payment of attorney fees, remedial actions, and even jail time.
Dependency and Neglect cases are opened when a county finds that a child is unsafe in the care of their parents. At the beginning of the case, the child may stay home with a parent, or may be placed with a relative or in foster care. The purpose of the dependency and neglect case is to establish a plan for the child to be back with their parents, while resolving the issues that opened the case.
Colorado recognizes the importance of grandparent relationships, and allows grandparents to seek court assistance for visitation with grandchildren if one or both parents are not allowing it. Grandparents can seek visitation when there is a custody case involving the family or when a parent passes away.
Estate Planning and end of life planning include drafting wills and trusts, establishing powers of attorney, and preparing living wills. Wills and trusts may be necessary if you have any assets, such as a home, and if you have children. Powers of attorney and living wills allow your family to take the best care of you should you become incapacitated temporarily or permanently.
When someone is not able to make their own decisions on a long-term basis, the Court can appoint a conservator to take care of financial issues or a guardian to take care of medical and other needs. The Court can appoint family members or professionals to fill these roles.
We are happy to meet with you in person, by phone, or by Zoom. We can begin your case contact-free.
Part of a consultation is getting to know each other, so we can determine whether we’re a good fit. We will also discuss what’s happening with your case, and determine our strategy moving forward.
If a court case has already been filed, please provide any current orders or case information. Otherwise, we’ll determine at the consultation what documents we’ll need.
Once you contact us, we can generally schedule a consultation within a week.
For our family law cases, we work in Jefferson, Denver, Adams, Douglas, and Arapahoe county cases. For adoptions, we work throughout Colorado.
Many people struggle with deciding whether to change their names as part of a divorce. The Court will change your name if you request it, but
Communication is a two-way street, so set up a call if there are things you’d like to discuss.
Colorado is one of nine states that recognizes common law marriage. This is an area of the law that seems simple, but can be very challenging to deal with when a divorce is looming.