Name Change After Divorce

Changing your name after a divorce became easier in Colorado last year. The relevant statute is C.R.S. §14-10-120.2.  One of the goals of the law, which became effective September 1, 2016, was to allow you the time you need to decide whether to change your last name. A name change affects your social security, your professional licenses, and more. The process is simple if you have been divorced in Colorado. To restore your previous name, such as your birth name or “maiden” name, all you have to do is file a Verified Motion and Affidavit for Name Restoration After Dissolution of … Read more

What to Do When You’ve Been Served

First – take a deep breath. Yes, it’s upsetting to be served with legal papers. The best divorce or legal separation is going to be difficult and painful. The truth is that there is no way to avoid the emotional hurt that the end of a relationship causes. This is a hurdle like many others that you have already faced in your life. Now it is time to get information and move forward. Second – you have time to make decisions. Do not panic. Definitely do not take any immediate action you will later regret. Avoid threats, ugly voicemail or … Read more

What if We Were Never Married

Allocation of Parental Responsibility (APR) is becoming more and more common in the courts across the country. As society changes, there are more couples who live together or have children without getting married. Upon the breakup of their relationships these couples with children are faced with three issues: 1) Decision Making, 2) Parenting Time and 3) Child Support allocation. In addition, if one parent wants to move because of family ties or economic necessity there is further stress on the family and this issue will need to be addressed. Just as with divorce, the situation can be more complex when … Read more

A Guide to Additional Roles in Family Law Matters

A Guide to Additional Roles in Family Law Matters

Attorneys and Mental Health Professionals sometimes serve in special capacities in family law matters. In this post you will learn about those roles and the where to find the legal authority for each. Guardian ad litem This term means “guardian at law” and is often abbreviated to “GAL.”  When a party is incapable of understanding and/or acting in his or her own best interest because the party is an infant or an incompetent person, then, for purposes of the litigation only, the Court may appoint a guardian ad litem. The guardian ad litem will not be a general guardian or … Read more

What Happens to My Pet?

Intro Many people express great concern over what happens to their pet in a contested divorce. This can be particularly worrisome if the relationship has been abusive and one party fears for the safety of the pet. In that event, Colorado law provides some special protections. One state, Alaska, has now codified the rights of parties about their family pets upon dissolution of their marriage. The law became effective in January of 2017. If you want to read the text of their statute please check the Alaska State Legislature HB 147 which was signed last October. Colorado Law In Colorado our … Read more

Child and Family Investigators

Child and Family Investigators

The court may, upon the motion of either party or upon its own motion, appoint a neutral third person to serve the court as a Child & Family Investigator. The relevant statute is C.R.S. §14-10- 116.5 which can be found online at the LexisNexis website. The CFI must also comply with directives handed down from the Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court, specifically Chief Justice Directives (CJDs) 04-05 and 04-08. Those directives cover everything from how an investigation must be conducted to disciplinary procedures for a CFI. The CJDs are also available online. The Role of a CFI The CFI … Read more

Alternatives to Court Post-Decree

Alternatives to Court Post-Decree

Fortunately, if you have a post-decree dispute there are alternatives to court. This can be an opportunity to hit the “reset” button on your relationship with the other party. You can choose not to make it a fight. It can be a particularly important turning point if the issue involves children. You will likely have many challenges as parents well into the future. Learning to manage bumps in the road and resolve issues out of court can greatly improve your life and the lives of your children. Research shows that children suffer long-term effects from prolonged court battles between their … Read more

Parenting Time Disputes

Parenting Time Disputes

When the parents disagree, trouble follows. If you are getting sideways with the other parent about parenting time, try first to work it out. An amicable solution may seem “pie in the sky” but please try in good faith. Keep copies of all your communications. Parenting Time Disputes There are a number of common scenarios that result in parenting time disputes. It may be that one parent consistently drops a child off late. Or perhaps one parent is consistently refusing to comply with a holiday or vacation parenting time schedule. Sometimes a parent consistently schedules extracurricular activities (like club soccer) on top … Read more

Child Support Enforcement

Child Support Enforcement

Are you having trouble collecting the child support due to you? This article should help! First Steps You will need to gather up your paperwork: find your most recent Child Support Order. If you are paid through the family support registry, get a print out of payments. Figure out how much is due to you, and what day it was due. Be sure to check whether the amount of child support due to you changed at any point. Has interest accumulated? The statute is 12% compounded monthly beginning as the date the payment was due. Software is essential to make … Read more

Community Resources for Divorcing Parties

Community Resources for Divorcing Parties

Legal System Resources The Colorado Judicial Branch Website has invaluable information. Look here for forms and instruction for use of the forms. There is also a section with Educational Resources which has material on the legal system and the Colorado Judicial Learning Center. You can also find brochures on child support enforcement, parenting time, restraining orders, Family Mediation, Paternity, and more. Each judicial district has a self-help center staffed by a self-represented litigant coordinator, aka “Sherlock.” The self-help center will contain all kinds of forms for self-represented parties, as well as videos and other instructions on how you might proceed on … Read more