Jefferson County Family Law Attorney

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Jefferson County Family Lawyer

Our Jefferson County family law attorneys at Woody Law Firm, LLC, focus on cases such as divorce, property division, child custody, and other family matters. Our extensive experience in family law enables us to combine legal skillfulness with sound judgment to secure positive outcomes for our clients.

We understand the long-term impact of family law decisions, and our law firm is committed to providing you and your family with passionate and comprehensive legal support.

Best Jefferson County Family Law Attorney

General Family Law Matters

General family law matters in Jefferson County include divorce, ending a domestic partnership or civil union, and mediation.

Divorce occurs when a couple decides to end their marriage. Since Colorado is a “no-fault” divorce state, one or both spouses can seek a divorce without having grounds. Although many marriages end for reasons such as domestic violence or infidelity, the only requirement is that the marriage is broken and cannot be repaired.

Besides marriage, the state of Colorado recognizes civil unions and domestic partnerships. Ending a civil union follows the same general process as a divorce and can be filed jointly or separately. Couples who are ending their civil union may need to work through similar issues, such as spousal support, child support, and child custody issues.

Domestic partnerships are not as legally binding as civil unions or marriages and are not required to be registered with the state, although not doing so can cause some confusion if the couple decides to end their domestic partnership. If your domestic partnership has come to an end, a Termination of Domestic Partnership will need to be filed together or by one partner with proof that they have attempted to notify their partner of the termination.

Mediation can be a beneficial tool for many couples to find resolutions during their divorce or the end of their civil union or domestic partnership. Mediation is a voluntary process and is often quicker, less expensive, and more personalized than going to court. It can reduce conflicts, save time and money, and promote a cooperative relationship between both parties.

Marital Agreements

Marital agreements, also known as prenuptial agreements (prenups), are created before marriage, and postnuptial agreements (postnups) are drawn up after marriage. These are legal contracts that outline the division of assets, debts, and other related matters if there is a divorce, separation, or one spouse passes away.

Creating a marital agreement could help potential future divorce proceedings by deciding on often contentious issues beforehand, such as:

  • How any future marital assets and property are to be divided
  • What property is separate
  • How future debts will be divided
  • How retirement accounts will be divided
  • Which spouse may take on the tax liabilities
  • Whether or not either spouse will remain a life insurance beneficiary
  • If there will be spousal support/maintenance

To follow Colorado law, a marital agreement must be entered into consensually, include full financial disclosure, including fair and reasonable terms, and be written and signed. It’s important to keep in mind that prenups and postnups can be modified because situations can change, and these agreements cannot include child custody and support issues.

Financial Matters

Family law comes with a wide range of financial considerations, especially when it comes to divorce, and some of the most common financial matters that arise during a divorce are spousal support/maintenance and asset division.

The division of financial assets during a divorce in Colorado follows the principles of “equitable distribution,” meaning the marital property is divided fairly, though not necessarily equally. To ensure equitable distribution, the court will consider the contribution of each spouse to the marital property value, the value of separate property, the economic circumstances of each spouse, and the duration of the marriage.

All financial accounts, such as bank accounts, retirement accounts, investment portfolios, real estate properties, businesses, and even intellectual property, are subject to financial analysis. All debts, including mortgages, credit card debts, personal loans, and liabilities, will also need to be divided equitably.

Spousal support, otherwise called alimony or maintenance, is financial assistance paid by one spouse to another after a divorce or legal separation and can be temporary or permanent. To decide whether or not to award spousal support, the court will weigh:

  • The financial resources of both parties, including marital property awarded to them and their ability to meet their needs independently
  • Each spouse’s current and future earning capacity
  • The standard of comfort that existed during the marriage
  • The length of the marriage
  • The contributions of one spouse to the education or career advancement of the other

Either party can request a modification of spousal support if there is a significant change in circumstances, such as a change in income, employment status, or medical needs.

Property Matters

One of the most difficult parts of the divorce process is dividing marital property. All of these assets will need to be assessed and divided equitably or following any marital agreement. Property will need to be decided if it is marital or separate property. Many couples will negotiate a property settlement agreement through their attorneys or through mediation. If an agreement cannot be reached, the court will decide based on the principle of equitable distribution.

Some of the most significant assets that will need to be decided upon are real estate, retirement accounts, and businesses. Real estate and businesses will need to be valued and either sold, splitting the proceeds, one spouse buying out the other’s interest, or continuing with joint ownership. Retirement assets accrued during the marriage will be divided without tax penalties.

Children

Family law issues around children can include child custody, placement, support, and non-parental rights. All court decisions will prioritize the child’s best interests.

Child custody is divided into two main categories, physical and legal custody. Physical custody is the daily care and guardianship of the child, while legal custody is the authority to make important decisions about the child, such as religion, healthcare issues, or schooling.

If one parent is awarded more physical custody than the other, the non-custodial parent will often be required to pay child support. Child support arrangements can also apply in shared custody arrangements if there is a significant income disparity between the parents. This ensures that both parents contribute equally to their child’s upbringing.

The most common custody arrangement includes the parents sharing both physical and legal custody. However, court rulings can also grant various custody arrangements or even no parental rights if one parent is deemed detrimental to their child’s well-being. Colorado aims to support both parents in maintaining a meaningful relationship with their children unless it is not in their best interests.

Parenting time, otherwise known as visitation, is the time each parent is allowed to spend with their child. It is preferred by the court system for parents to agree on visitation arrangements, but if they cannot come to an agreement, the court will decide based on the child’s best interests. Some criteria that will be considered are the following:

  • The current relationship the child has with either parent
  • The potential history of domestic violence or substance abuse
  • The child’s relationship with the community
  • Health issues the child needs attention to
  • Each parent’s capacity to provide for the child’s needs

Other Family Law Matters

Other family law matters include grandparents’ and stepparents’ rights, paternity disputes, domestic violence protection orders, LGBTQ+ family law issues, adoption, and surrogacy or assisted reproduction. While these are less common issues, they are still important parts of family law.

Limited-Scope Representation

In addition to conventional representation, Woody Law Firm, LLC offers limited representation services for clients who wish to handle certain aspects of their case independently but may still need some legal assistance and support, not an ongoing attorney-client relationship. Services include:

  • Legal advice and consultations
  • Official document and settlement agreement drafting
  • Review of previously prepared documents
  • Attorney presence at settlement conferences and/or mediation
  • Court representation

How Can Our Jefferson County Family Law Attorneys Help You?

Our family law office provides a range of services that can support you and your family during one of the most challenging times of your life. Woody Law Firm, LLC can assist with:

  • Providing knowledge and experience to boost your case with our understanding of the statutes, case law, and procedural rules of family law
  • Developing a personalized legal strategy
  • Preparing and filing legal documents
  • Ensuring your case is compliant with court deadlines and requirements
  • Providing support for you to make rational decisions
  • Ensuring your rights and interests are protected
  • Lessening the burden of stress that family law matters often bring to families
  • Providing support and representation during court hearings, negotiations, and mediation
  • Enforcing court orders
  • Filing modification requests or appeals

Contact Woody Law Firm, LLC

Our team of Jefferson County family lawyers at Woody Law Firm, LLC, exclusively practices family law and mediation. We understand how important it is to protect and preserve your family’s well-being, no matter what challenges you are facing.

For your Jefferson County family law issues, you can trust Woody Law Firm, LLC. We have confidence that our experience, and unmatched attention to detail can benefit your case. Contact us today for a consultation.

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