Common Family Law Questions in Denver: Get the Facts Straight

Uncontested Divorce Mediation

Posted January 10, 2024

General Family Law Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I Need a Family Law Lawyer?

While it is not mandatory to have legal representation in family law cases, having the help of an attorney is critical. Family law cases involve complex laws that must be followed to increase the chance of a favorable outcome. A Denver family law attorney will help you address these complexities while also protecting your rights and interests.

Q: What Is Considered A ”Family Law” Case?

Family law cases involve issues and disputes that could affect you and your spouse, domestic partner, child, or close relatives. They can include:

  • Divorce, legal separation and annulment
  • Child support
  • Child custody
  • Domestic Violence and Restraining Orders
  • Paternity
  • Step parent adoption
  • Grandparent rights and visitation

Q: How Much Does It Cost to Retain a Denver Family Law Attorney?

Denver family law attorneys in Denver usually charge by the hour, but some also have flat rates for simple services like document drafting or reviews. Usually, the rates vary depending on the complexity of the matter. Make sure to set a rate with your lawyer upfront so that you know what to expect at the end.

Q: How Do I Choose a Lawyer for Family Law Issues

Family law practice is extensive, and you need to ensure that your attorney is knowledgeable in the issue they are representing you for. In addition to experience and familiarity with the laws and legal system, they should also be reliable, effective communicators and demonstrate the utmost professional care.

Q: How Long Does the Court Process Take?

Family issues cases can take 2 to 3 years on average to finalize. The court may be able to settle and finalize a majority of matters within 12 months of commencing proceedings, but sometimes delays are involved. There is also no strict time frame that Denver family law attorneys have to stick to, and therefore, it’s impossible to give an exact answer for how long a hearing may take.

Divorce Mediation Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How Much Does Divorce Mediation?

Denver divorce mediation is an affordable option to dissolve a marriage when compared to retaining a divorce attorney. It costs as low as $750 for the entire process, although you may have to pay more or less depending on how long it proceeds.

Q: What Are Some of The Issues Decided During a Divorce Mediation Process?

Mediation is an avenue for divorcing couples to have honest and civil negotiations on some of the concerns that arise when ending a marriage. Some of the issues that can be handled through divorce mediation in Denver include the following:

  • Child custody
  • Child support
  • Parenting time
  • Division of marital assets
  • Division of dent
  • Relocation cases
  • Spousal maintenance

Q: Does The Mediator Make Decisions in My Case?

No, in mediation cases, Denver divorce mediators only serve as a neutral third party to facilitate agreements between the divorcing parties. They have no power to make decisions and are required to stay neutral and biased to allow parties to engage in free-flowing discussions of their issues.

Q: Do Denver Courts Require Mediation?

Some courts in Denver or Boulder counties require mediation before taking a request for a hearing, and others don’t. But whether mandatory or not, it is advisable to try mediation early on in the divorce process while workable options are available and before the dispute intensifies.

Q: Should We File for Divorce Before Coming to Mediation?

uncontested divorce mediation

You are not required to file your divorce before coming to Denver divorce mediation, but you may choose to do so. Once you have concluded all decisions, the mediator will draw up a tentative settlement agreement outlining all the terms discussed. Both parties can then review the agreement along with their respective attorneys. If there are no issues, the mediator will proceed to draft a memorandum of understanding outlining the terms of the settlement, which will be the basis for filing for a mutual divorce.

Child Support Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can You Modify Child Support Payments?

Yes. To do so, you will need to submit a request in writing to the county child support office handling your case. The request must include an Income and Expense Affidavit, supporting documents, and the reason for the modification. After a review, the child support order may go up or down or remain the same.

Q: My Ex Is Behind in Child Support Payments. What Should I Do?

If your ex-spouse is refusing to pay court-ordered child support, you can request the district attorney to issue a charge of contempt. The delinquent parent will be served with papers asking them to meet the district attorney to work out a payment plan. The papers also give warning that if the individual ignores the given instructions, they may be subject to jail time or other legal consequences such as withholding federal refunds and using it to pay child support, sexing property, garnishing wages, suspending occupational and business licenses and revoking the negligent parent’s driver’s license.

Q: Does Visitation Depend on Child Support?

No. Visitation, also known as parenting time, and child support are separate matters. While the amount of parenting time may determine the level of child support, parenting time awarded is based on the best interest of the child. Thus, failure to pay child support does not give you grounds to deny the other parent visitation with their child. Correspondingly, court restrictions on visitations do not relieve you from paying child support.

Q: When Will I Stop Paying Support in Denver?

If your child support was issued in Colorado, you are typically required to pay child support until the child reaches 19. Once they are emancipated, child support ends. However, if by 19, they are still pursuing a high school education or equivalent program, child support continues until the end of the month after graduation, but not beyond the age of 21.

Child Custody Frequently Asked Question

Q: Will I Get Sole Custody or Joint Custody?

Your Denver custody lawyer will help you understand how custody decisions are made. There are no set rules on who automatically gets custody of a child, as there are statutory factors that must be considered. Additionally, in the state of Colorado, there is no joint custody or sole custody, but the term parental responsibility is instead used.

If parents share in the overnight visitation of a child, they have joint parental responsibility. When one parent has less than 90 overnight visitations with the child, then the other parent is considered to have primary parental responsibility.

Q: What Is the Best Interest of the Child Standard?

This is the legal standard that guides decisions involving children, such as visitation, custody, and adoption. The idea behind the principle is that the court and decision-makers consider what will be best for a child’s overall well-being when making decisions relating to them. There is no specific definition of what constitutes the best interest of the child, and thus, it can vary from case to case. However, some of the factors taken into account while determining the best interests include the child’s age, health, emotional well-being, history of abuse or neglect, and the relationship between the child and each parent.

Q: I’m Not Being Allowed to See My Child. What Should I Do?

Get a Denver child custody lawyer to help you have the court try to enforce the order so that they can provide access as previously agreed. If that fails, your ex-spouse may be found in contempt and face a fine or jail time.

Q: What Is the Difference Between Legal and Physical Child Custody?

Legal custody gives you the right to make decisions about a minor child’s health, education, safety, welfare, and religion. In contrast, physical custody is the time a parent spends exercising custody and control over a child.

Q: Can I Take My Child Away on Holiday After a Custody Order Has Been Established?

Family issues do not have to get in the way of holiday fun with your children. However, it would help if you were careful not to infringe on the rights of the other parent. Always make a point to inform the other parent of your plans and come to a friendly agreement.

We have answers to all your family law questions. Split Simple serves clients across Denver and Boulder metros as well as up the 170 corridors to Glenwood Springs. Contact Split Simple today for a free consultation and learn more about how we can help with family law matters.

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1624 Market Street #202

Denver, CO 80202