Understanding the Scope and Function of Family Law

Uncontested Divorce Mediation

Posted April 18, 2024

In general, people think that family law only covers marriage, divorce and child custody issues, but it can also cover real estate and child fertility issues. Basically, anything that concerns the family unit and is legal in nature is covered by family law. So domestic violence issues fall under the purview of family law. Reproductive procedures such as IVF can lead to legal issues in case the couple separates and both parties want to claim the resulting embryos. These issues will all be covered by family law and can be handled by a Denver family law attorneys.

However, the main issues covered by family law are still divorce, custody, alimony, adoption and premarital (also known as prenuptial) agreements. Keep in mind that each state also has different laws with regard to all these issues, which can make things complicated in the field of family law. For example, every state has a no-fault divorce, but not every state has fault-based divorces, such as divorces caused by adultery, desertion or cruelty.

Given the complexity of family law, it’s a good idea to hire a Denver family law attorney. In case you’re interested in a low-stress, low conflict approach, you can also get Denver divorce mediation near you. This Dewill help you to come to an agreement about various family law issues. If you get an attorney-mediator, then you’ll be getting the best of both worlds.

What Is the Scope of Family Law in Divorce Cases?

When a couple is getting divorced, family law can help them to figure out what grounds to use to establish a divorce. In Colorado and Illinois, for example, you can get a no-fault divorce if you show that the marriage is “irretrievably broken” or that there are “irreconcilable differences.” In Colorado, you can also claim economic fault if it seems like your spouse is deliberately squandering money or running their business into the ground because they know they’re going to get a divorce.

Denver family law attorneys can also help you to establish how much one spouse will be paying the other in terms of alimony and child support. It will also help in establishing whether one spouse or the other is going to get full custody of the children or if there will be joint custody. It can help to determine whether the parent who doesn’t have custody will get visitation.

Family law will also help in determining how the assets gained during the time that the couple were married will be divided between them. To do this, you’ll need to consider the cost of the assets at the time when they were purchased as well as the present. The idea is to distribute the assets in a fair and equitable way which may not necessarily mean going 50/50.

Of course, you can choose to go to court when you get divorced, but Denver divorce mediation may be a simpler method of working out the custody and economic issues that arise when you file for divorce. If you get an attorney-mediator, they’ll be well-versed in the ins and outs of family law. They’ll work with you as well as your spouse to ensure that the two of you come to an agreement without too much conflict.

What Is Family Court?

In general, family law cases are heard in family court which consists of a judge and a court clerk. In addition, there may also be social workers and psychologists allied with family court. The judge in family court will make their ruling based on the law of their state or their own discretion. Of course, the judge will listen to what both parties have to say before making a decision.

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All decisions about child custody, child support, divorce, alimony etc. will go through family court. Of course, keep in mind that you also have the option of working with a Denver divorce mediator—a neutral third-party who will work with you and your spouse in order to come to a just and fair agreement. An attorney-mediator will also help you prepare all the divorce documents and make sure that they are approved by the court.

How Are Divorce Cases Handled in Family Law?

Divorce cases are perhaps the most common type of case handled in the field of family law. In a divorce case, one spouse has to file a petition with the court and the other spouse has to be served with this petition. Both spouses might also have to go to a number of hearings such as a settlement conference and a trial. Once the process is over, the court will issue a divorce decree which indicates that the couple is now divorced.

When you choose to go with a Denver divorce mediator instead of taking the issue to family court, the process of getting a divorce becomes a lot shorter. In just a few meetings, the couple might make a decision on all the major issues concerning their divorce. This ends up making the process of getting a divorce much easier and less contentious. It can also help ease the process of co-parenting which will start after the divorce.

How Is Child Custody Handled in Family Law?

One of the main issues that arises when a couple gets divorced is who will get custody of the child. In all child custody cases, the court tries to do what’s best for the child. In order to do this, many things have to be considered, such as the age and health of the child, whether the child has been used to living in a certain city/neighborhood and which of the two parents has mostly been raising the child so far.

Often, the judge in family court will appoint a GAL, a guardian ad litem, who will look into the circumstances of the divorce, speak to the child, speak to other witnesses, review documents, and make a recommendation in terms of child custody. The judge will make their ruling based on this recommendation.

Child custody can turn into a prolonged battle between the spouses, each of whom will have a Denver custody lawyer. However, this can be avoided by getting a Denver child custody lawyer who is also a Denver divorce mediator. By opting for the process of Denver divorce mediation, you can come up with a parenting plan which takes the needs of the child into consideration. Rather than battling things out in court, it might make more sense to sit down with your spouse and come up with a child custody agreement that suits both of you and is also best for your child.

How Does the Court Make a Decision About Child Support?

When a couple gets divorced in family court, the parent who gets primary custody of the child usually receives child support from the other parent. However, in certain cases, where the court decides to give child custody to a third party, both parents might have to pay child support to that third party. The amount of child support depends upon the income of the parents, the number of children and whether the children have any medical needs.

Once the court makes a decision about how much child support needs to be paid, it is usually enforced by wage garnishment i.e. withholding the amount from the person’s paycheck. It may also be enforced by seizing that person’s assets.

If you decide to go with a Denver child support lawyer who is also a mediator, you can sit down with your spouse and the Denver divorce mediator and come to a decision about how much child support needs to be paid. By doing this, you are sending your spouse the signal that you want to come to an amicable decision rather than going through the adversarial court process. And since you’re going to need to be in contact with them for as long as you’re both co-parenting your children, it makes sense to start things off on a cordial note.

Contact us to learn more about family law and whether Denver divorce mediation is right for you.

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Denver, CO 80202