Family legal issues can be emotionally distressing and financially costly. The sooner these issues can be resolved, the sooner you and your loved ones can move on to the next chapter of your lives. A Denver divorce attorney at Burnham Law understands the seriousness and importance of resolving family legal issues in the best possible way. That is why we are committed to representing clients in a range of family law matters, from divorce, support payment cases, to child custody and post-decree matters. The guidance of a good lawyer can help secure the best possible outcome for your case. Our attorneys, with more than a decade of experience practicing family law, have the skills and experience to represent you effectively in any legal family matter.
We can provide you with valuable advice regarding your rights and options during your consultation. We invite your calls and emails whenever you are ready for answers about your family legal matters. In the meantime, please explore the following for additional information regarding our family law practice.
The family courts in the Denver metro area will generally not get involved in custody cases if parents can agree on division of custody on their own. In these cases, the court will usually review the agreed-upon custody arrangement and issue a final custody order to formalize that agreement.
It is important to understand that dividing child custody involves splitting both parenting time (i.e., physical custody) and decision-making authority (i.e., legal custody) of the child or children involved. It can also entail one parent being ordered to pay child support to the custodial parent.
When parents are not able to agree on one or more issues of a child custody case, the family court will take a more central role in the case by:
- Allowing both sides to present their requests, arguments and/or allegations regarding child custody
- Reviewing the facts of the case and considering the best interest factors
- Issuing a final decree regarding how parenting time and decision-making authority are to be divided between the parents.
Child support matters are closely tied to child custody cases. In the Denver metro area, family courts generally see both parents as being financially obligated to support their child or children. Consequently:
- Prenuptial and/or post-nuptial agreements cannot dictate or preclude child support payments.
- The division of parenting time between the parents may not necessarily be mirrored by the child support orders. For example, a joint division of parenting time does not necessarily mean that no child support will be ordered or awarded.
When child support is a point of dispute between parents, the court will generally use a complex (and fairly comprehensive) formula to determine if child support should be ordered – and, if so, the amount of child support to be awarded. Some factors in this formula include:
- The number of children and how parenting time is divided
- Each parent’s earnings
- The costs related to caring for and raising the child or children.
With child support orders, it is important to be aware that modifications can be pursued in the future, if or when certain circumstances for either parent change.
Division of Property
Dividing marital property between divorcing parties is commonly a contentious issue in contested divorce cases, particularly when complex and high-value assets are on the line. When dealing with this aspect of divorce, determining the following matters will typically be a priority:
- Whether (or not) a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is in place – Pre and post-nuptial agreements can define what property remains separate and/or precisely how the marital property should be divided in the event of divorce.
- The scope of the marital property – If a valid pre or post-nuptial agreement is not in place, figuring out the scope of the marital property will be necessary. This can involve inventorying and appraising the marital assets and/or determining the scope of the marital debt.
- The economic circumstances of each spouse – The family court will be focused on making an “equitable” division of the marital property. While this doesn’t necessarily mean an exactly equal split, it does mean that the financial status of each party (on his or her own) can be considered when the court is deciding who should get what as part of the divorce process.
- Either spouse’s separate property was depleted to support the marriage – If, for instance, one party drained his or her separate resources to buy the marital home, this may also be considered when determining who gets the home (or other marital assets)
Custody is an emotional and complex issue to navigate on your own. Our attorneys can guide you through the complicated legal process, help you to understand the big picture and ensure you get the results you deserve.
Also referred to as spousal support, alimony or spousal maintenance payments can be awarded temporarily, while a divorce case is pending, and permanently, when the final divorce decree is issued.
When it comes to spousal maintenance, it’s important to be aware that:
- A valid pre or post-nuptial agreement can dictate the amount and duration of these payments. These agreements (when valid) can also stipulate that neither party is entitled to alimony.
- In the absence of a pre or post-nuptial agreement, the court will step in to resolve disputes over alimony. Factors such as the duration of the marriage, each spouse’s earnings, and the standard of living during the marriage will generally be considered by the court in these disputes.
- Similar to child support, spousal support can be modified in the future when certain circumstances, for either party or both parties, change. For instance, job loss or remarriage may be grounds for seeking a modification or termination of spousal maintenance.
Our attorneys can explain whether you may be entitled to receive or are obligated to pay spousal support. Contact us for more information about this area of family law.
It is important to protect the grandparent/grandchild relationship via formal court orders when either parent or both parents are not in the picture. For example, if either parent is incarcerated, deployed, or deceased, it is essential for grandparents to seek visitation, guardianship, or custody of a child.
When you need to protect and assert your grandparent rights, you can rely on the skills and guidance of Burnham Law.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where do I file for divorce in Denver?
All divorce cases have to be filed with the Office of the District Clerk in the county where you reside. You can file for divorce at the Denver City and County Building, located at 1437 Bannock Street. Many counties, such as Denver, now require that all documents be e-filed rather than physically being paper-filed with the Clerk’s Office.
Where is your Denver office?
Our office at located at 50 S. Steele Street Suite 805 in Cherry Creek.