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Highlands Ranch Family Law Blog

Child custody battle does not have to be a fight

Several states start with the presumption that shared parenting is the default custody scenario, provided it is safe to do so. In light of that fact, many Colorado parents involved in child custody disputes may be more willing to work out a solution that permits fathers more equal time in hands-on parenting with their children. In spite of the change in attitudes, though, it may still be difficult for parents to work together to find a way to get to a shared parenting agreement.

In years past, fathers feared that they would be counted as a secondary caregiver. It is now more clearly understood that children benefit if they have equal access to both parents -- when circumstances permit. There are steps that both parents can take that can ease the stress of a custody battle while demonstrating to the courts that they are dedicated to their children. One of the first is to attempt to see the former spouse as the parent of their child and not the partner who let them down.

Study shows several reasons cited for seeking a divorce

According to some sources, the overall divorce rate seems to be declining. Regardless, the chances of a marriage ending in a divorce petition remain relatively high. As a result, researchers often try to discern the major reasons behind why a marriage may end. Colorado residents who are contemplating a divorce may be familiar with a few of these issues. 

One of the most common complaints cited as a reason for ending a marriage is lack of in-depth preparation for effective communication as a marriage continues. Opposing religious views are another reason that couples may separate. The level of involvement of in-laws is another area of marital stress. Husbands who do not include their in-laws or wives who cannot set boundaries for their in-laws have both been cited as a cause of marital strife and friction. In addition, health complications may erode the marital relationship as does the existence of domestic abuse -- both of which lead to feelings of inadequacy and a lack of trust.

Divorce missteps that can have negative financial consequences

When one is contemplating ending a marriage, it may be natural to focus on the emotional aspects. In reality, not paying close attention to the financial ramifications of a divorce may negatively impact one's future finances. Colorado residents who are preparing to divorce can avoid several mistakes that can harm them financially.

Those who are going through a divorce may be tempted to share news, both good and bad, on their social media sites. It is recommended, however, that one uses restraint in these posts as information that is shared could be used against one in divorce proceedings. It is advised that one compile a list of both assets and liabilities, including account numbers and balances, in order to assemble a comprehensive picture of what assets will be included in settlement negotiations. The list should include information regarding a spouse's Social Security earnings and expected benefits in case one may be eligible to receive benefits based on those earnings.

Discussions about prenuptial agreement often tough but necessary

When Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos announced via Twitter that they were filing for divorce, their announcement sparked a discussion over the value of pre-marital contracts. As it happens, the couple did not sign a prenuptial agreement, which could make the subsequent process more complicated. There may be many Colorado residents who are uncertain as to whether a prenuptial agreement could be beneficial for their circumstances.

Some might feel that the idea of a prenuptial agreement is reserved for only the wealthiest of couples. However, there may be many valid reasons to enter into such an arrangement, even for those with more modest means. These contracts may be especially applicable when there is an appreciable disparity of assets between the spouses. In addition, a prenup may be helpful if there is an existing business or if either partner was previously married and has children that he or she wishes to provide for in the event of death or divorce.

A prenuptial agreement can be common sense protection

Couples heading to matrimony are sometimes advised by well-meaning friends and family to get a prenup. Some may argue they have no intention of ever divorcing, or they may feel there are not enough assets to make a prenup worthwhile. These are just some of the reasons given by people who do not have a prenuptial agreement in Colorado. One's financial status at the time of a marriage does not preclude the possibility of a high-asset divorce later in life.

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, recently announced that he and his wife are divorcing after many years of marriage. When they were married, Jeff Bezos was not worth anywhere near what he is now. According to Forbes Magazine, he is the richest man on earth.

Child custody and parenting: simple steps to help children adjust

Once parents have agreed that a divorce is the best option, there are many other issues that may need to be resolved. One of the most important is determining what child custody arrangement will best meet the needs of the children. Though many Colorado parents struggle to remain on good terms with the other parent, doing so enables children to thrive.

During the divorce proceedings, parents may be too busy to change how they parent. Once the divorce is settled, many may seek to re-evaluate their parenting roles. However, for many children who will now be splitting their time between two homes, simply having clear and consistent rules and expectations from both parents will go a long way in helping them to adjust. Parents who can effectively communicate with each other may provide the most stability for their children.

Law allows judge to determine custody of Fido in "ruff" divorce

At times, there may be no end to the issues that a warring couple can fight about when a marriage ends. Besides the division of marital assets and custody of children, another hot topic for spouses to bark about is who will get the dog. While pets have been viewed as property during divorce proceedings, for many Colorado residents, they are cherished members of their families and should be treated as such.

One state passed a law that became effective in the new year. It gives family court judges the power to decide who should get custody of the pets. Though many divorcing couples are able to arrive at their own agreement, for many, deciding such an emotional matter may be beyond their abilities during a contentious split.

1 files request for modification of divorce agreement

When a marriage ends, sometimes a higher-earning spouse may be ordered to make support payments to his or her former spouse for a specific time frame. These agreements are dependent on the unique circumstances that exist in a divorce settlement. If a Colorado resident believes that an agreement no longer meets the stipulated terms, he or she may have grounds to seek a modification.

One woman recently petitioned for a modification after realizing that her ex-husband would be receiving an amount that exceeds their former standard of living. According to the terms, the wife agreed to pay him $850 a month, along with approximately 10 percent of any amounts that exceeded her base salary at the time of their divorce. Over the next few years, her salary increased significantly, thereby requiring her to share 10 percent of the new amount, along with the same portion of any bonuses.

Parents' social media posts could impact child custody decisions

Social media often plays a significant role in people's daily lives. However, there are times when a public post can have a negative impact on the life of the one who is sharing personal details. When it comes to child custody disputes, it may be better for Colorado parents to refrain from sharing certain aspects of their personal lives.

Every state has its own child custody laws that will have an influence on how a judge will determine custody arrangements. While it is becoming more commonplace for states to ensure that children are granted more access to both parents, there are times when a judge may reconsider whether one parent can provide the best environment to meet a child's needs. If a parent is sharing photos from a party that may have taken place while caring for the child, or is posting other images of a questionable nature, then a court may take these things into consideration.

Social media may play a role in many divorce filings

There are many factors that play a role when a couple decides to end a marriage. Some of the most frequently cited reasons behind a divorce filing include infidelity and financial problems. Colorado residents who are facing an impending divorce may not be surprised that social media is also becoming a serious problem in relationships.

A divorce attorney released a book concerning some of the root causes as to why marriages end in divorce. It has been his experience that, over the past several years, there are few couples who do not cite social media as being a factor. One reason may be because those who post on these sites purposely share only the most positive aspects of their lives, which may cause others to doubt their own life choices, including their partner. Those who are experiencing a troubled time in their marriages may be more inclined to search out other avenues for self-fulfillment.

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