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Broomfield Family Law Blog

Divorce and legal separation: the separation agreement

For some Colorado couples, the decision to end a marriage is not as simple as getting a divorce and moving on. Some will want to separate for a time to see if they are happier outside the marriage or would like to try to repair it. This is one situation in which it can be beneficial to have a separation agreement. There are other reasons why a couple might want to separate. Certain legal factors should be considered in the context of a legal separation. This is why understanding divorce and family law can be critical to a case and whether a legal separation leads to divorce or not.

With a legal separation, there can be an agreement between the parties as to how maintenance will be handled, property division, parental concerns, child support and parenting time. When negotiating a separation agreement, the terms will be binding except for parenting time, parental responsibilities and support. The economic factors of both sides will be assessed as part of the agreement. The court will also consider evidence that is presented. This is to decide if the agreement is unfair (unconscionable).

Certain assets require skilled handling in a divorce

A previous post on this blog talked about how it can be difficult for Colorado residents going through a divorce or legal separation to put an accurate value on their investment real estate.

As this prior post discussed, a number of factors come in to play when valuing property that is not used exclusively as one's private residence. Because of the complexity, there can also be serious disagreements about how this property should be divided.

Review of how holiday parenting time works

Many residents of Broomfield and the greater Denver area are no doubt preparing for the major holidays that are upcoming in the next several days. Likewise, this is the time of year when Colorado parents may start looking ahead to 2020 and planning vacations, holidays and the like. For those who are parents raising children separately, this time may be a good opportunity to review how holiday parenting time works in Colorado.

It is always a good idea for parents to have a clear plan as to who is going to have the children on what holidays. Otherwise, what is supposed to be a happy time with family and friends can get marred by conflict, which could even result in a trip to the courthouse.Because everyone's family has different needs and circumstances, coming up with the details of a holiday parenting plan is really a task best discussed with one's child custody and parenting time law firm.

Grey divorce rates have doubled in recent years

The impact of going through a divorce can be difficult for anyone to deal with. It can be even more challenging if you are getting divorced later in life. While older adults might have more nuanced relationships, they also tend to end their marriages for the same reasons as younger couples.

Common legal traps to avoid during a divorce

Many people may still have the image of a divorce as a court proceeding in which lawyers duke it out to see how much of the marital property their client can take at the other person's expense. In real life, much of a family lawyer's best work is done behind the scenes, helping his or her client make smart legal decisions in the midst of what is no doubt a very stressful time.

With that in mind, there are some common legal errors that a Colorado resident may make during their divorce or legal separation. These errors frequently prove to be costly. For example, some people make the mistake of trying to ignore the fact that splitting up has profound financial consequences for which they will need to adjust.

What is a QDRO?

In the world of family law, the acronym QDRO stands for Qualified Domestic Relations Order. QDROs often play a very important role in a divorce and family law firm or legal separation, as even couples of relatively modest means often will have thousands or tens of thousands of dollars invested in a 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement plan.

Like other property, 401(k)s and the like are subject to equitable division between the two spouses, so long as the retirement plan indeed qualifies as marital property under Colorado law. On a practical level, this will often mean that the account itself will need to be split in some fashion between a couple who are divorcing or legally separating.

Putting a value on investment real estate

Many couples in the Denver, Colorado, area may make some extra income, or even support themselves, through rental property or investment real estate. Owning extra property can be helpful to a family in two respects. It can be a source of income, and it can also yield a return on the investment as housing prices increase.

However, for these same reasons, investment property can present complications in a high-asset divorce or legal separation. Specifically, it can be difficult to put a precise value on rental property, which in turn means that the property is more difficult to divide up.

We offer a range of mediation services

This blog has discussed how many Colorado couples in Broomfield and throughout the greater Denver area often find mediation a beneficial way to resolve a divorce, legal separation or other family law issue.

While not right in every case, mediation gives a person a golden opportunity to deal with oftentimes highly emotional and complicated family law issues at relatively low costs in terms of time, money and emotional stress. Moreover, mediation can reduce the tool a divorce or custody fight takes on minor children.

How can I resolve my divorce through mediation?

Going through a lengthy and combative divorce can be emotionally and financially draining. If your divorce ends up going to court, you might have to pay attorney’s fees and court fees. If you and your spouse can resolve your matters outside of court, your divorce might not be as expensive.

The cost of an average divorce in court is about $15,000, depending on the state you live in. The financial savings are apparent when compared to the cost of an average mediated divorce, which is about $1,500.

How does mediation work?

While many residents of Broomfield and the greater Denver area may have heard about family law mediation, some people who have never experienced the process may have little idea of how a mediation actually works in a family law setting.

Much of what happens at a mediation depends on the individual practices of a mediator and, in many cases, the rules and expectations of the court which orders the mediation. As such, perhaps the first thing a person should be aware of is that the choice of a mediator is important.

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