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Highlands Ranch Family Law Blog

Making sure that divorce is the best path forward

Very few people expect to receive marital advice from a legal professional whose line of business is processing the end of marriages. In reality, however, very few divorce attorneys relish the thought of ending a marriage that could possibly be saved. Most approach their role as facilitating a fair and favorable divorce for couples who have exhausted all efforts to remain happily married. To that end, the following advice is offered in the hopes of giving Colorado spouses the tools needed to determine if divorce is truly the best course of action.

Simply considering divorce does not necessarily mean that a relationship is doomed to fail. Marriages go through ups and downs, and many issues that seem incredibly important at the time can be worked through and moved past. An important part of preserving a healthy marriage is making one's concerns clear as they arise. That means discussing issues with each other, instead of masking displeasure and making passive-aggressive attempts to remedy the situation.

Alex Jones of InfoWars asks to set aside child custody verdict

Some Colorado readers are familiar with the work of Alex Jones, the man behind the controversial website known as InfoWars. The site has made headlines over extreme claims and dubious conspiracy theories, some of which played a minor role in the recent presidential election. Jones and his former wife recently appeared in court on a child custody matter, and Alex Jones was unsuccessful in his efforts to maintain full custody of the couple's three children. Now, Jones has asked the court to set aside the recent jury verdict, prompting his ex-wife to speak out on the matter.

At issue in the case was the idea of parental alienation, which is defined as the act of one parent intentionally alienating a child or children against the other parent. It can take many different forms, and is a practice that can be difficult to prove in a court of law. In the case of Alex and Kelly Jones, the mother was able to present a list of actions to support her claim that her children had been turned against her by their father.

Is the Trump administration responsible for increased divorce?

Even in a healthy marriage, Colorado spouses will often fail to see eye to eye on certain matters. Being in complete agreement on every issue is not a requirement for a long and happy union. When spouses stand in firm opposition on certain topics, however, the marriage can become highly contentious under certain circumstances. According to some researchers, the Trump administration has provided the conditions under which some couples will move toward divorce.

The research looked at survey responses that probed participants' political preferences and their marital health. While the full results have not yet been made available, researchers have stated that couples appear to be arguing more over the Trump presidency than over financial matters, which is often cited as a top cause of divorce. Approximately one third of Americans report encountering problems in their relationships, based on opposing political views related to the current administration.

Prenuptial Agreements

May 2017

In Colorado, parties contemplating marriage may enter into a prenuptial agreement. Prenuptial agreements can address property and financial issues in the event of a divorce, and are generally entered into when one party has substantial property and desires to keep their property separate from the marriage. When contemplating a prenuptial agreement, it is imperative to confer with an attorney to make sure the prenuptial agreement complies with Colorado Law and will make it more likely to be upheld when needed.

A domestic relations court in Colorado may void a prenuptial agreement based on the following non-exhaustive list of factors:

Can a prenuptial agreement work for startup founders?

The landscape of the American workforce is changing, as technology fields continue to expand and grow. That has led to a plethora of startups and other ventures in the area of technology, in Colorado and across the nation. These jobs can be very lucrative, especially for the founders and those who are able to get in on the ground floor. When it comes to protecting that wealth from loss due to divorce, a prenuptial agreement may not provide full coverage on its own.

A critical element of a prenup is a full and truthful disclosure of each party's financial standing. In order for a couple to discuss the terms under which wealth would be divided in the event of a divorce, both parties must be fully aware of the scope of family finances. In other words, it is difficult to release one's claim on assets that do not have a firm dollar value.

Do mandatory waiting periods reduce rates of divorce?

For many Colorado residents, the realization that their marriage was heading toward a conclusion was readily apparent for some time prior to the paperwork actually being filed. Few people throw in the towel on a marriage without a significant amount of deliberation, as well as plenty of work to make the relationship better. In some states, however, mandatory waiting periods prevent spouses from obtaining a divorce in a timely manner, despite the amount of time they have already put into trying to save their union.

One state is currently debating legislation that would shorten the mandatory waiting period for a divorce from one year to six months. That proposed change is being heralded by some as a win for individual spouses, while being decried by others as a loss for the traditional family structure. Regardless of where an individual sits on the subject, it is important to consider the ramifications that a lengthy waiting period could impose on spouses.

Understanding how debt can impact a military divorce

The division of marital assets is a primary focus for most divorcing spouses, in Colorado and across the nation. Property division can be complicated, especially for military families in which there are complex retirement and other benefits to consider. One of the biggest mistakes that spouses can make, however, is to fail to consider the role that debt plays in a divorce. Debt must be divided much the same as assets, and the effects of that division can have a lasting impact.

A divorce agreement is only binding to the parties listed within. That means that, even if spouses agree to divide existing credit card debt, the credit card issuer is not obligated to comply with the terms laid out in the divorce agreement. As far as the credit card company is concerned, any party listed on the account can be pursued for payment, if that need should arise.

Judge suspended in controversial child custody matter

When it comes to a parent's biggest fear, having their child fall ill or suffer a serious injury is often at the top of that list. Close after that would be losing their right to parent their child, and having a son or daughter removed from their home. While this outcome may seem unlikely for most parents, it is important to understand that a child custody matter can quickly change direction, and can have unintended and unexpected results, in Colorado or elsewhere.

An example is found in the removal of three children from their parents' home, and the subsequent suspension of a family court judge. The matter began when the court found that because the parents had allowed their children to witness acts of domestic violence, the children should be placed in foster care. That led to the removal of 5-year-old twins and their older half-sister.

Immigrant couples seeking prenuptial agreement assistance

Love him or hate him, our new president has certainly garnered the attention of both the media and the nation's population. For undocumented immigrants, fears over Trump's immigration policies have led to a great deal of stress. Some Colorado couples in which one party is undocumented have decided to step up their existing engagement in order to move closer to a green card, and the resulting security that the couple will be able to remain together. That has also led to an increase in the number of prenuptial agreement consultation requests to family law attorneys.

Couples who are thinking about accelerating their engagement should take care to avoid any action that could give the appearance of a marriage that is anything other than "real." That includes hastily drafting and signing a prenuptial agreement, which can be construed as a rush to the altar. As part of the process of obtaining a green card, immigration officials will carefully review all aspects of a couple's relationship. In some cases, a prenuptial agreement can be seen as a sign that the union is not legitimate.

Child custody matter has unusual outcome

When faced with an unconventional lifestyle, many family courts are uncertain how to handle a custody fight. For those in Colorado and across the nation who are raising a child in a non-traditional family, it is important to understand that a child custody matter could have an unpredictable outcome. An example is found in a recent case in which custody rights were divided among three parties.

The case centered on a husband and wife who were unable to conceive a child. They entered into an intimate relationship with a female neighbor, and eventually the three began living as a family. When the neighbor became pregnant, they all agreed to raise the child together. About a year after their little boy was born, however, the two women decided to end their relationship with the man. They moved out of the shared home and took the child with them.

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Brandon Ceglian

Brandon Ceglian's practice focus is family law, landlord-tenant law / real estate, civil litigation, criminal / DUI, and collections. View Attorney Profile

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J. Adam Beckman

Adam is a deeply talented and dedicated attorney. He truly cares about his clients and the outcome of their cases. View Attorney Profile

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Domenic Nicotra

Domenic Nicotra’s practices primarily in the areas of Landlord-Tenant, Family Law, Criminal, Protection Orders, and Civil Litigation. View Attorney Profile