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Highlands Ranch Family Law Blog

An extra-marital affair may not have to affect child custody plan

Parents will usually agree that raising children is a difficult proposition under the best circumstances. In the event that there has been a divorce, then deciding who gets primary child custody can be a struggle, especially when one partner engaged in an extra-marital affair. It may surprise some Colorado parents to learn that cheating does not necessarily mean that the faithful parent will be awarded sole custody.

As society has changed over the past several years, the stigma of cheating has less of an effect on child custody than may be believed. In many situations, even though a former spouse may feel that a cheating spouse is an unsuitable parent, that parent may still be a loving and capable care provider. If the parents are able to communicate effectively, they may be able to set guidelines for when children can be introduced to a new love interest in a parent's life.

Father granted child custody after prolonged battle with mother

Once parents have determined that they are unable to maintain a relationship with one another, the toughest decision they will likely face is how to raise their children. This also includes deciding how to determine child custody in the event that shared custody is not a possibility. Colorado parents who are struggling to settle this vital issue may seek the advice of a neutral third party. 

An unusual case that purportedly drew widespread interest on social media sites was recently settled by a jury who decided that a child would be best served by residing with her father. The case escalated when the mother allegedly refused to turn over the 4-year-old girl in spite of a court order. The child was missing for approximately seven days after being hidden by her mother, who had accused the father of inappropriate contact with the young child.

Marital agreements might help prevent protracted disputes

In 2012, the Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act was proposed in order to ensure that these types of contracts would be accepted by divorce courts equally. Though the intentions behind the Act are beneficial, only two states, including Colorado, have adopted it. Couples residing here may be in a better position when they seek to have marital agreements enforced in court.

Prenuptial agreements have been utilized for years. In fact, the families of engaged couples often worked out the details of these agreements in advance to consenting to the marriage. However, the advent of post-nuptial agreements is relatively new and has a much less secure standing when challenged in divorce court. There are still valid reasons for entering into these types of contracts.

Who gets to claim the Tax credit for the Child Dependency Exemption after a divorce?

An exemption is an amount of money you can subtract from your Adjusted Gross Income ("AGI") when calculating your tax burden, which can result in smaller tax bill. Parents may be able to claim an exemption for each qualifying child, called a Child Dependency Exemption ("CDE"). A child can only be claimed by one parent per year. As such, one of the collateral issues to a divorce with children is which parent gets to claim the children as a CDE on their personal tax return.

Later in life divorce can upend retirement planning

Pew Research polls indicate that the numbers of younger couple who are ending their marriages has declined in recent years. However, for those aged 50 and over, the divorce has more than doubled. There are many reasons why Colorado residents chose to seek a dissolution, but such decisions do not come without a price tag.

Many couples may have imagined that retirement would bring the opportunity to share quality time with each other since their children would likely be out on their own. Unfortunately, many have discovered that they no longer have common interests, and they realize they do not wish to live the rest of their lives with a spouse they no longer love. However, the longer one waits to seek a divorce, the more likely it will have a negative impact on his or her retirement planning.

There are misconceptions concerning a military divorce

A marriage comes with many pressures, and when one or both spouses are active-duty service members, the stress may prove to be too much for the relationship. At that point, a dissolution may be the best option. There are some misconceptions concerning the differences between a military divorce and a civilian one. Colorado residents who may be considering filing a petition for a divorce may be tempted to believe some of the more common misconceptions.

The most commonly held myth is that a spouse who has spent at least 10 years in a military marriage is entitled to a 50 percent share of the other spouse's retirement pay. While this is a common belief, it may or may not be true based on an individual's circumstances. This fallacy is based on the regulation that was enacted to protect the financial interests of a former spouse. The statute does state that if certain conditions apply, then a spouse may qualify for direct payments of retirement monies through the Defense Finance and Accounting Service. This does not denote that a former spouse will be granted half of the other's retirement benefits.

After a divorce, settlement agreement is the solution for dispute

The process of ending a marriage is frequently an emotionally draining experience. Once the final divorce decree has been granted, it does not always mark the end of interactions with a former spouse. Colorado residents who have endured the process may find that their settlement agreement can be the best source for resolving disputes.

In many situations, a dissolution does not necessarily end the relationship -- especially when children or a business still require input from both parties. In these regular or unavoidable interactions, it is possible that either party may tend to extend courtesies that are not required by the agreement. If, over time, one former spouse demonstrates an inclination to exploit this kindness, it can become a point of contention between the two parties.

The approach to a prenuptial agreement can make a difference

The decision to propose may seem like the most difficult one in the beginning. However, that may seem easy when it comes time to planning the wedding and handling conversations concerning finances and whether a prenuptial agreement would be appropriate. Colorado residents who are wondering whether this type of contract would be useful may benefit from seeking further information.

Prenups can help a couple discuss their expectations for their marriage, particularly with regard to financial concerns. Some individuals stumble over the manner in which to approach to topic with their partner. Waiting until right before a wedding will likely only increase the stress and tensions. Ultimately, it could also call into question the validity of the agreement if one party was rushed into signing on the dotted line. It is advisable to initiate discussions well in advance of the wedding, as part of the wedding planning process.

Work-related stress may lead to increased risk of divorce

There are many reasons why a marriage may not survive. Some of the most common reasons that couples divorce are believed to be caused by extramarital affairs or by other changes in the relationship. Regardless of the reasons, Colorado residents who are considering taking this step often have many issues that may be difficult to resolve on their own.

According to some recent studies conducted over the past several years, one of the reasons that a couple may end their marriage is due to outside stresses. One couple recently spoke about how their family venture, a bakery, is believed to have been the root cause for why their relationship fell apart. Even though the couple had children together, the assistance of a relative to care for the children enabled the couple to put in long hours to keep their business thriving.

Who gets to claim the Tax credit for the Child Dependency Exemption after a divorce?

An exemption is an amount of money you can subtract from your Adjusted Gross Income ("AGI") when calculating your tax burden, which can result in smaller tax bill. Parents may be able to claim an exemption for each qualifying child, called a Child Dependency Exemption ("CDE"). A child can only be claimed by one parent per year. As such, one of the collateral issues to a divorce with children is which parent gets to claim the children as a CDE on their personal tax return.

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