In Part One of our Marriage Equality in Colorado series, we focused on how Colorado came to the point where we had two institutions that reflect the formal and lawful union between two people.  In this segment, we’ll address the lawsuits and rulings that have had an impact on same-sex couples in Colorado.

 

United States Supreme Court Finds Federal Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

On June 26, 2013,by a 5-4 decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman, is unconstitutional.  The court struck down the federal law because it denies same-sex couples the “equal liberty” guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment.  Section 3 of the law defines marriage as “a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.”  That provision had been struck down by eight lower courts before the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in United States v. Windsor settled the matter for good.

 

This Windsor decision means that legally married same-sex couples are now entitled to the same federal benefits as married opposite sex couples. The decision does not, however, apply to the States.  Therefore, the ban on gay  marriage remains on the books in Colorado.

 

Colorado State Court Finds Colorado’s Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

On October 13, 2013 a couple in Adams county filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn Colorado’s ban on same-sex marriage.  On June 25, 2014 nine same-sex couples filed a similar lawsuit in the Denver District Court.  The two cases were consolidated into one case in Adams County, the Honorable Judge C. Scott Crabtree presiding.

 

On July 9, 2014 Judge Crabtree ruled the ban violates the state and federal constitutions. In his decision, he stated that the law ”bears no rational relationship to any conceivable government interest…. [and] violate[s] plaintiffs’ due process and equal protection guarantees under the Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution….”  Judge Crabtree went on the say that the existence of civil unions is further evidence of discrimination against same-sex couples and does not ameliorate the discriminatory effect of the Marriage Bans…. If civil unions were truly the same as marriages, they would be called marriages and not civil unions. If they were the same, there would be no need for both of them.”

 

He immediately put his ruling on hold pending an appeal.  Judge Crabtree said he was issuing a stay to “avoid the instability and uncertainty which would result” without a stay.

 

On July 14, 2014 Attorney General Suthers appealed the decision to the Colorado Supreme Court.  Ordinarily, the process would at least take several months, but the state supreme court can decide to move faster if asked by the parties involved.

 

Federal Courts Find Marriage Bans in Colorado, Utah and Oklahoma Unconstitutional

 

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals is a federal court which has authority over Colorado, Utah and Oklahoma and three other states.  On June 25, 2014, the 10th Circuit found that Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional (Kitchen v. Herbert).  That decision has been appealed to the United States Supreme Court.  Three weeks later, on July 28, 2013, it found that Oklahoma’s ban on gay marriage is also  unconstitutional.

 

On July 1, 2014, six same-sex couples filed suit in the US District Court for the District of Colorado Colorado alleging that Colorado’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional as well.

 

A status conference in the federal case was a held on July 15, 2014.  Attorney General John Suthers is willing to admit that the ban is unconstitutional but he wants the decision stayed.  Mari Newman, attorney for the plaintiffs argues that “justice delayed is justice denied.”  Judge Moore asked for further briefing on the issue which is due on Friday, July 18, 2014.  Oral arguments will be held on July 22, 2014 and the court will issue it’s ruling by July 25, 2014.

 

***Update***

On July 23, 2104, District Court Judge Raymond Moore declared Colorado’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional as well.  The decision is stayed pending appeal to the 10th Circuit.  Since the 10th Circuit has already determined that Utah and Oklahoma’s bans are unconstitutional, it must find the same for Colorado as well.

The case from Utah has been appealed to the U.S. Court.  The next term begins in October, and at that time the Court  will decide whether to take up the gay marriage issue.  If it refuses to do so, the  rulings from the 10th Circuit will stand and gay marriage will become legal across the 10th Circuit – including in  Colorado.  If the U.S. Supreme Court does take the case, it could be a year or more before a final decision comes down.

Stay tuned for more details as we wait for the Colorado Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court to settle the question of gay marriage in Colorado for good.

 

If you have questions about how the current state of same-sex marriage relates to you, your relationship or your kids, Rachel Catt and the family law attorneys at the Johnson Márquez Legal Group are here to help.  Call today to schedule your free consultation.

Categories: colorado family law, Current News, Same Sex Marriage
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CoMarriageSlider 300x184 Marriage Equality in Colorado   Part One: Marriage vs Civil Unions Denver divorce lawyerThe legal landscape for same-sex couples in Colorado is changing at a rapid rate.  The recent whirlwind of activity places the relationship status of many same-sex couples in a state of legal uncertainty.

 

Colorado Gay Marriage Ban

In November 2006, the Colorado gay marriage ban was voted into law.  The constitutional amendment, called the Colorado Definition of Marriage Initiative, was approved by 56 percent of Colorado voters.  It defined marriage as only a union between one man and one woman.

 

Colorado Civil Unions

On May 1, 2013 the civil unions law took effect.  Gay rights activists say that the civil unions law is a step in the right direction, but that civil unions still treat gays and lesbians as second class citizens.  Civil unions are currently in effect in Colorado.  Civil unions provide almost all of the same rights and benefits as marriage, such as taking leave to care for a partner, making medical and end-of-life decisions for a partner, and adopting children together.  In the event of a breakup, people in a civil union are afforded the protections and dignity of divorcing in the family court.  If you were married in another state, or have a substantially similar relationship such as a domestic partnership, your relationship is recognized as a civil union in Colorado.

 

However, civil unions are not recognized by the federal government.  People in a civil union are not eligible for the 1,138 benefits, rights and protections provided on the basis of marital status in federal law such as those related to social security, taxes, immigration and health insurance.

 

In our next segment, we’ll address the Lawsuits and Court Rulings that have an impact on same-sex couples in Colorado.

 

If you have questions about how the current state of same-sex marriage relates to you, your relationship or your kids, Rachel Catt and the family law attorneys at the Johnson Márquez Legal Group are here to help.  Call today to schedule your free consultation.

Categories: colorado family law, Current News, Same Sex Marriage
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 Marijuana Use in Custody Battles Denver divorce lawyer

In many ways, Colorado is a testing ground for the expansion of marijuana usage and many other states are watching closely to see how legalization effects cases like driving under the influence, underage drug use, robbery and violent crimes, and custody fights.  Both sides of the recreational use battle have their opinions and come armed with early studies, but there is, as yet, no clear study on the impact the new laws are having on society.

 

In Colorado family law cases, lawyers have been dealing with recreational marijuana use for years.  What’s new for these attorneys and judges is that it’s now legal activity and not so easy to bar outright.  There’s no doubt that a parent’s recreational use of legal marijuana complicates parenting time disputes – much the same as the use of alcohol can – but because a judge is charged with determining the “best interests” of the child in these disputes in Colorado, their own personal views of Colorado’s liberal marijuana laws can greatly impact their orders.

 

The difficulty is that this otherwise legal activity may not be in the best interests of the children.  It’s legal to drink alcohol excessively in the privacy of your own home and in the presence your kids, but it may very well be that a court determines your excessive use of alcohol impacts your ability to parent and that the other, sober, parent would be a better choice for that parenting time.

 

The same is true with the legal use of marijuana.  Exposing the children to marijuana usage, or your own excessive use, might be used by a court, when considering the best interests of the child with the result being more time being award to the other parent.

 

A court can also order you to abstain from otherwise legal activity if it determines that activity adversely impacts the best interests of the children.  For example, courts have ordered parents not to smoke around children with health issues, drink during parenting time, relocate, change schools, change doctors, and even ordered parents not to engage in relationships with certain people.  Of course, if you don’t want to have parenting time with your kids, then the court may lack jurisdiction to enter these types of orders, but since most parents will do anything to preserve time with their kids, compliance with these orders becomes a huge issue.

 

So when I see a parent take the stand in a court proceeding and tell the judge, “hey, it’s legal now and I’ll smoke if I want to,” I cringe as a sly smile creeps across the judge’s face.  We’re about to see some restrictive orders coming out, which probably include a hair follicle test for a baseline, random urinalysis, direct reporting of results to the court and an immediate suspension of parenting time upon a positive urinalysis result.  The judge will give that parent just enough rope to hang themselves.

 

In cases that can be controversial or highly contested, it’s critical that you have an attorney who can advise and prepare you.  If you, or a loved one, need assistance with this type of case, or any family law matter, please call our office to set up a FREE consultation with one of our attorneys.

Categories: Allocation of Parental Rights, colorado family law, Current News, divorce, Divorce Talk Blog, M David Johnson, parenting time, Parenting Time - "Custody"
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If you ask anyone, divorce ranks as one of the most stressful events in anyone’s life.  Regardless of whether or not you have kids, or how long you’ve been married, dividing up your assets and starting over is a harrowing experience.

 

If you’re considering filing for divorce in ColoradoConsidering Divorce What To Expect When Youre Expecting... A Divorce Denver divorce lawyer, here’s what you can expect the process to look like:

 

The first stage is the pleading or filing stage.
A Petition for Dissolution (with or without children) is filed with the court as well as a response from the opposing party. Although the Court offers boilerplate forms to initiate a divorce, we have seen our fair share of clean-up projects in which we have had to amend pleadings to assert or defend against claims or requested relief (child support, spousal maintenance, military retirement division). Sometimes the ship has sailed and it’s impossible or extremely expensive to right the wrong or omission from the original pleadings. If nothing else, an attorney can provide the reasonable buffer between the filing party and the opposing party. After all, some comfort in challenging times is warranted by simply telling your ex, “Please contact my attorney because I don’t want to talk about this.”

 

The next stage involves assembling documents and financial data for an Initial Status Conference or Court Facilitator meeting.
This is a meeting where deadlines for your case are set so the Court knows your case will move along. The average divorce case in some Colorado counties can take over 4 months, depending on the assigned division and the court’s docket. More complex cases involving experts or hotly contested issues result in longer case duration and can last for several months or a full year after filing. The quickest a divorce can be completed is 91 days (Colorado recognizes a statutory 90-day cooling off period). At the Status Conference, the Court may set additional deadlines in the event the parties have not completed the disclosure and financial exchange process.

In some cases, informal or formal discovery is necessary. Discovery is the process of collecting evidence by way of subpoena, depositions, written interrogatories (questions to be answered under oath). Disclosures (discussed above) are required and must conform to the court’s orders and standard rules of procedure. Discovery on the other hand is initiated at the request of either party. Rest assured, discovery can be managed by the parties with the court being available to resolve any discovery or disclosure disputes.

 

After disclosure and pertinent information is gathered, the case is normally set for a four-way settlement conference (you, us, the opposing party and opposing counsel).
There is no requirement that you must settle your case but the opportunity is valuable because contested issues will be identified while other issues may be resolved entirely (this is a great way to reduce legal fees where it makes no sense to argue about resolved issues!). In some cases, we are able to resolve all issues, enter into a written separation agreement and can even file everything with the court for final approval. It’s possible to complete the divorce process without having to appear in court for a contested hearing. Ask the attorneys at the Johnson Marquez Legal Group about your specific case and settlement potential, in full or in part. The legal process should never be a process that infuses conflict where none exists. If the issue isn’t contested, watch out for the attorneys who try to force you to argue about resolved issues just to add legal fees and cost to an already painful process.

If the settlement conference doesn’t resolve all of the issues between the parties, you can proceed to a Temporary Orders Hearing. Be careful though, it may or may not be to your advantage to request a temporary orders hearing during the Initial Status Conference (discussed above). Temporary orders hearings are exactly what they sound like: a heading to resolve temporary parenting time issues, temporary responsibilities for paying bills, temporary child support, temporary spousal maintenance (or alimony), and temporary use and possession of the marital home and other marital property.

 

The next stage involves a required mediation.
This is similar to the four-way settlement conference; however, a fifth party is added, an independent mediator or neutral who does not represent the parties but instead works with the parties and counsel to determine issues for resolution and to explore settlement possibilities. A mediator is useful if offering candid opinions on important matters: Are you or the opposing party being unreasonable? Is the other side analyzing the issues correctly? Is your particular judge inclined to rule a certain way based on a set of facts or circumstances? Is there an outside-the-box way to achieve the same result to the benefit of both parties? Can the mediator assist the parties in setting aside the emotions of the divorce process for the benefit of achieving an acceptable outcome? Is the other party so fixed on going to trial that the mediation session can be used to gather information and discuss additional case strategy with the candid input of the mediator? Rest assured, just like the settlement conference, the parties do not need to be in the same room and the mediator will walk back and forth between the parties. If you can resolve all issues, you can complete a signed settlement agreement or memorandum of understanding to be used to formally draft the complete agreement.

 

If mediation is not at all successful or fully successful, your case will proceed to a Final Orders Hearing (which is a terrible name of a hearing involving children by the way since custody or parenting time order and child support are often modified in the future so there’s nothing really final about the final orders).
The final orders hearing is again exactly what is sounds like – with the caveat just mentioned of course. The court will likely enter the decree of dissolution that same day and will further provide orders as to the division of all marital property, assets and debts and will issue the Initial Child Custody Determination – the first “final” or non-temporary orders regarding parental responsibilities (parenting time, child support and decision making). Final orders hearings are not without significant risk. You will be in front of a different judge than you were for the temporary orders hearing and the judge will review the pleadings filed in your case. The judge will conduct a seemingly brief hearing (in most cases 4-8 hours but rarely multiple days) and then decide critical and significant matters that may affect you for life. In essence, a judge could know you for four hours and then decide a portion of the rest of your life. This may have you thinking more seriously about resolving your case when you have a bit more control. Many cases settle at settlement conference and mediation sessions. Also, there is no limit on the number of mediation or settlement sessions if the parties agree to keep pursuing settlement talks. The reality is that most cases settle in full or in part; however the other reality is that many cases require full contested hearings based on either the particular facts of a case, complex legal issues that the parties are unable to agree on or, quite frankly, unreasonable and unwavering positions held by a party.

 

The above synopsis of the divorce process in most Colorado courts is not comprehensive by any means and we don’t expect our clients to attend law school and start practicing during one of the most challenging times of the clients’ lives.  However, knowing what to expect may offer comfort when making the decision to file for divorce.

 

Call Haily Kolberg or one of the other attorneys at The Johnson Marquez Law Group for a FREE consultation to determine if we are the right fit for you and your case. We pride ourselves on working to achieve results in an affordable manner.  Rest assured, you are in great hands with our Domestic Relations Team at the Johnson Marquez Law Group.  We look forward to navigating you through the divorce process while being your advocate, legal advisor and sounding board.

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JM Blog July 2014 300x150 Does Online Dating Lead to a More Successful Marriage? Denver divorce lawyer

Individuals no longer have time to meet their spouse at work, school, bar or any other social public place. The world we live in is fast and we no longer have time to meet people through everyday social engagements. Before work, you need to go to the gym. During lunch, you have a meeting with a potential client. After work, you need to catch up on all of those shows you recorded on your DVR or new shows you haven’t seen on Netflix (Who else is going to watch the entire 2nd season of “Orange is the New Black?”). And even while you are watching your shows at home, you are probably sitting in front of your computer. In fact, more time is being spent on the computer in general whether you are watching a movie, downloading music or checking emails. But what about dating?

With all of this time being spent on the computer, more people are turning to online dating to find their significant other. With the online dating industry skyrocketing, researchers have begun to study the long-term effects of this form of dating and how it affects divorce rates. The University of Chicago recently conducted a study of 19,131 people who were married between 2005 and 2012. Here are the quick stats of the study:

  • 1 in 3 met their spouse online
  • Half of those people met their spouse through online dating sites
  • Statistics showed that marriages that began with online dating were “less likely to end in separation or divorce”
  • Marriages that resulted from online dating were associated with higher marital satisfaction

Do you think online dating creates happier marriages? If you are a single parent, there are many sites to try including eHarmony, Match.com, Plenty of Fish and more waiting to help find you the love of your life. However, like any relationship, marriages resulting from online dating can possibly end in divorce. If you or someone you know needs assistance with any facet of family law, please contact the Johnson Marquez Legal Firm for a free consultation with a Denver family law attorney.

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wakeupsleepsurvive 300x193 Budgeting for the Single Parent Denver divorce lawyerThere’s no question that being a single parent is one of the most challenging roles to handle. The pressure of handling homework, friends, activities, illness, child care, school vacations, as well as actually being available and present for your child can be overwhelming, to say the least!  Factor in your job, errands and a sometimes-non-existent-social-life, and you’re pretty tapped.

 

We haven’t even gotten to your finances, yet.

 

Managing your income and expenses is an entirely different ballgame.  With one income (and possible support from your co-parent), you’re still responsible for housing, utilities, food, clothing, plus entertainment for yourself and your child. How can you plan for all of that without pulling your hair out?

 

1.  Sit down and take an honest look at your bills.
Figure out what are requirements and what can be scaled back or removed.  Once you determine what your budgeting situation actually looks like, you can begin to make a plan.

2.  Write down every expense for the month (be sure to include food and fuel for your car).
Most people are on a semi-monthly or bi-weekly Seeing everything on paper gives you a clear visual so you can determine which bill will get paid from which paycheck.

3.  Begin it now.
Pay every bill you get from today forward, even if you already have a past due balance.  Use any extra monies to pay those down. (Many companies are willing to help you with payment plans.)

4.  Buy food last.
It sounds counter-intuitive, but grocery purchases can get out of control if you shop hungry, with your children, or when you’re in a hurry (and let’s be honest, who isn’t in a hurry when you’re a single parent). As long as you have some money budgeted for food, you can figure out ways to make your dollars stretch.  Meal plans, planning for leftovers, and using grocery coupons can help this area even more!

 

Creating a budget will allow you to focus on other areas of your life.  When you know what needs to be paid, when, and how much, you can direct your attention to other things.

 

If you are a single parent and need help establishing or updating a child support order for your children, call for a FREE consultation with one of our attorneys at the Johnson Marquez Legal Firm.  We have the experience and passion to ensure that your children have the support they need to grow and flourish.

Categories: Child Support, Custody Blogs, divorce
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10502253 10152106886542676 329080912778606963 n 300x148 Even Celebrities Struggle With Divorce Denver divorce lawyerIt’s not easy, and it doesn’t matter how rich or poor you are. Getting divorced isn’t easier when you have a lot of fans. As in Halle Berry’s case, divorce is difficult, even when you’re gorgeous and talented.

 

In 2005, after her marriage to David Justice fell apart, Berry almost gave in to the crushing weight of failure by attempting suicide with carbon monoxide poisoning.  After imaging her mother finding her body, she reconsidered.

 

“I was sitting in my car, and I knew the gas was coming when I had an image of my mother finding me. She sacrificed so much for her children, and to end my life would be an incredibly selfish thing to do. It was all about a relationship. My sense of worth was so low. I promised myself I would never be a coward again.”

 

Being well connected, attending red carpet functions, and having the accolades of thousands of admiring fans doesn’t offset the pain of losing a relationship.  In some ways, it helps level the playing field to know that everyone experiences loss in similar ways.  It helps alleviate some anxiety to know that it wouldn’t matter if you were famous, or rich – you’d still grieve.

 

Grieving is part of the process.  Just hold on.  You will get through it.

 

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, or you’re worried that they are suicidal, please reach out for help. Click or call the Suicide Prevention Line. 
http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

You can even live chat with someone.
http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/GetHelp/LifelineChat.aspx 

Categories: divorce, Divorce Health, Divorce Survivor Center
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boyalone 300x227 6 Ways Your Abusive Relationship Is Hurting Your Kid Denver divorce lawyerMost healthy, responsible parents don’t set out to hurt their child, either physically or emotionally.  We know that our job is to protect, nurture, and unconditionally love them.  We work hard to show them that we love them.  We hug, talk, laugh, play, and guide them through their lives.  We even shelter them from behavior that we know is detrimental to their development.  We’ll even act as a shield, thinking that taking the brunt of a negative behavior will prevent it from having any impact on our children.  We couldn’t be more wrong.

 

When a child is sheltered from emotional abuse, their opinions and ideas begin to skew.  Like looking through a foggy window, their vision is limited to what they can see.  And not being able to see will make them anxious about themselves, their parents, and their future.  The impact of that anxiety will be felt for many years, and can manifest itself in a multitude of ways:

 

Your child will be distrustful of you and/or your partner.

Even if your child never sees or hears an argument or fight, he will know when things aren’t okay between the two of you.  This will lead to behavioral problems as he tries to get an answer to the mystery.  As you continue to shield, he’ll continue to act out, creating another cycle of dysfunction that is difficult to break, and may very well continue into adulthood.

 

Your child will think that relationships are supposed to be painful.

Even if you don’t outwardly show any signs of abuse or neglect, your child is very intuitive and will read between the lines and believe that the dynamic in a relationship is one of tension, uncertainty, and pain.

 

You teach your child to accept a life of unhappiness.

When your child grows up, watching you go through the motions, she may pick up on your dissatisfaction.  Couple that with the mantra “life isn’t fair” and you’ve got something to be concerned about.  The last thing you want is for your child to think, “Life isn’t fair, so I should take what I get and not expect or ask for more.”

 

Your child is at risk to be emotionally abused by the same person who is abusing you.

The number one predictor of child abuse is spousal abuse.

 

You’re not fooling anyone.

Even when the parent tried to keep the abuse “quiet”, 80-90% of children are aware of it.

 

Your child is more likely to be abused, or be the abuser.

Gender roles play very heavily into this. Although it is well-documented that women engage in abusive behavior, boys who see their father abuse their mother are more likely to grow up to be the abuser.  Girls that witness abusive behavior by their mother are more likely to be abusive in their own relationships.

 

 

If you or someone you love is in an abusive relationship, with or without children, please do not wait to get help.  Get to a safe place, file a protective order (if necessary), and talk with one of our attorneys to begin the legal process of separation and/or divorce.

 

It will not get better.  You cannot protect your children from the indirect or direct damage resulting from abuse.  The best chance at a healthy and happy life for yourself and your children is to be in a safe and nurturing environment.

 

Don’t wait.  Get help today.

 

Safehouse Denver – 24-Hour Crisis and Info

303.318.9989

Categories: colorado family law, divorce, domestic violence, parenting time, Protection Orders
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DomesticViolence 300x194 What Constitutes Domestic Violence? Denver divorce lawyerIn today’s politically correct world, classifying any activity or behavior as abuse has become a slippery slope, threatening to engulf every behavior that isn’t preferred or tolerable. Heavy drinking has long been correlated with alcohol abuse. However, in a recent report released by the CDC, “heavy drinking” is determined to be much lower than what most people consider problematic (8+ a week for women and 14+ for men). This report has generated quite the buzz, with some referencing other studies which point to a much higher threshold and/or flat out disagreeing with the report.

 

Domestic abuse, on the other hand, doesn’t lend itself to much ambiguity.  The categories are well-defined and the impact of these behaviors are well-documented.  Domestic abuse doesn’t discriminate.  It’s seen in all income brackets, in both same and opposite sex relationships, and in all religions.  One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.  Men are victims, as well.  Statistical evidence has been doubted, however, due to the stigma of being a male victim and under-reporting.

 

There are 6 types of abuse:

 

Physical Abuse

Well known forms:
hitting (with hands or items used as weapons), punching, slapping, choking, kicking, scratching, cutting, stabbing, burning, murder

 

Lesser known forms:
intimidation (even if the abuser never physically touches the victim), breaking things, punching walls/doors/other objects, throwing things, restraining/confining, preventing the victim from seeking medical care, driving recklessly

 

Emotional Abuse

Well known forms:
insults, public embarrassment, talking down, dismissing or disrespecting feelings, making threats, jealously, shaming, controlling, isolation

 

Lesser known forms:
excessive voicemail/texts, stalking, accusations of infidelity, wanting access to messages/social media/email, absence of privacy, demanding justification

 

Verbal Abuse

Well known forms:
yelling, shouting, constantly arguing or picking a fight, insults, abusive language, threatening language or tone to cause fear

 

Lesser known forms:
name calling, mocking, interrupting, talking over

 

Economic Abuse

Well known forms:
withholding money, opening a joint account but refusing access to the victim, preventing the victim from having credit cards

 

Lesser known forms:
not allowing the victim to work or get an education, shaming the vicim for how money is spent, preventing the victim from getting credit cards/bank account/car, putting all bills in the victims name

 

Mental Abuse

Well known forms:
playing mind games, denial or refusal to take accountability, lying, manipulation, accusations

 

Lesser known forms:
threatening to “out” the victim for a “shameful” behavior to family and friends, distorting reality so the victim believes he/she is crazy, power struggles

 

Sexual Abuse

Well known forms:
rape, unwanted touching, forcing the victim to have unprotected sex, forcing sexual relations with other people on the victim, forcing the victim to participate in pornography

 

Lesser known forms:
withholding sex, using sex to manipulate the victim, sexting, vulgar comments or gestures

 

**If you, or someone you know, needs help getting out of an abusive relationship, please get help.  Get to safety and seek a protective order.  Visit www.JohnsonMarquez.com for more information about how to get the help you need to remove yourself from an unhealthy and dangerous relationship.

Categories: domestic violence, Protection Orders
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 Can Men Be Victims of Domestic Abuse? Denver divorce lawyer

Like women, men can also be victims of domestic abuse. It isn’t as easy to identify, for a number of reasons, but it can be a serious threat. If you are being abused, or if you know someone who is being abused, there are ways to identify the signs. There is also help. You or your friend can contact our law firm, Johnson Márquez Family Law today to speak with a domestic violence attorney of Denver.

Domestic abuse can take many forms including physical, sexual and emotional abuse and can occur to people who are involved in heterosexual or same-sex relationships. When first entering a relationship, your partner may seem protective, attentive and generous. At first, you may not think much of it, but over time, it can progress to be frightening, resulting in abuse.

After the first incident of abuse, your partner may apologize and even make a promise never to hurt you again. However, what may have seemed like an isolated incident of slapping or shoving, turns into a continual pattern of violence. Before it’s too late, you can save yourself physical and emotional damage by identifying the signs of abuse and asking for help. Your partner may be domestically abusing you if you notice:

  • Insults you
  • Prevents you from going to school or work
  • Stops you from visiting family members and friends
  • Controls how you spend money, where you go in your free time, or what clothes you wear
  • Acts in a jealous or possessive manner
  • Accuses you of being unfaithful
  • Threatens you with violence including weapons
  • Physically harms you with kicks, slaps, or chokes
  • Forces you to engage in sexual acts against your will
  • Blames you for the way she acts

The most important thing to realize is that you don’t have to stay in your abusive relationship. If any of these signs register, please feel free to contact us for help.

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s HUNGRY CHILD large Summer Means Free Lunch For Kids In Colorado Denver divorce lawyerIn Colorado, summer is a magical time of year for kids.  School is out.  The weather warms up  Swimming pools open.  The sun sets somewhere around 9pm.  It’s a magnificent time of year.

It isn’t as magical for all children.  Some kids rely on school breakfasts and lunches to get through the day.  When school is out for summer break, these children may not know where their next meal is coming from.

The Summer Food Service Program is doing something about it.  Over 450 locations, across the state of Colorado, will provide meals to children between the ages of 1 and 18 at no cost.

Supported by the Colorado Department of Education, the Colorado No Kid Hungry Campaign, Hunger Free Colorado, the USDA, as well as those providing the meals, this program aims to fill the nutritional gap during the summer months for children eligible for free or reduced-priced lunch.

The meals provided are nutritious and free.  Sites where they are being served include schools, churches, recreation centers and other community based locations safe for children.  Additionally, there are no income or registration requirements.

Want more information?

Call Hunger Free Colorado: 855-855-4626

Text “FOOD” to 720-432-3285

Click www.SummerFoodColorado.com

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file8081300163487 197x300 7 Reasons You Should Evaluate Your Child Support Order Denver divorce lawyerGoing through a divorce or parental responsibilities (child custody) case can be emotionally, financially and physically exhausting. Even the “easiest” of cases aren’t easy.  Each case has a certain amount of complexity that muddles all areas of your life for varying time periods.  If you have one child or several, you’re still forced to change routines and take on more responsibility.  It doesn’t matter how much money you have, you’re forced to shuffle your funds to adjust for the proceeding.  Even when things go smoothly, getting and delivering information can be challenging when there is litigation involved.

At some point, though, the adjustment is made and life goes on.  The kids’ lives stay just as busy, although you’re working harder to keep up with their pace.  Doctor appointments, school functions, football games, recitals… you’re awfully busy now!

The new normal is gradual.  You may not even realize that it’s taken hold until you look back, prompted by a memory or an item or an unfortunate run-in with the ex.  Then it all comes rushing back, and you remember what things were like in the distant or not-so-distant past.

In that moment, when you see how things have changed so much in your world, you may wonder how it’s changed for your ex. In the hustle and bustle of life, you may not have noticed that they got a promotion.  Or that they rent the house you used to share together, and now has a new one.  Or that your recent job change has resulted in lower pay.

How do you know when it’s time to re-evaluate your child support order?

Here are 7 reasons to consider modifying the order:

1.  You utilize child care for your child(ren).  Costs for child care are not always divided equally, however, any amount paid should be given credit for.

2.  Your co-parent rents the house you used to live in together.  That rental income should be included in the calculation.

3.  Your ex quit his job so the child support order wasn’t as high.  You can request that the court order a vocational evaluation to determine the appropriate fields of employment and how much they should earn.

4.  Your ex took a lower paying job to avoid paying as much in support.  You can request that the court impute income to them and your support order will be calculated as if they were earning to their potential.

5.  You and your co-parent agreed to child support without using the state-mandated computer program.  You can return to court and request a modification to the agreement, regardless of whether the support amount is above or below what the state-mandated computer program says it is.

6.  Your co-parent insists on child care or school that is exorbitant.  If you can show that there are other, similarly run programs, the court may order the co-parent concede (or to cover the extra cost on their own).

7.  Your co-parent now owns his own business.  You may ask the court to appoint a forensic accountant to review the business to make a determination of the income of the business.

The fundamental principle here is that there has to be a substantial (which has been determined to be 10%) and continuous change in circumstances that warrants the change in child support.  So the change in job has to be somewhat permanent or at least indefinite for some period of time.

When you realize that life has changed while you were making the adjustment, it’s time to have your support order reviewed.

Call the Johnson Marquez Legal Group at 720.863.6331 for a FREE consultation with one of our experienced lawyers.

Categories: Child Support, colorado family law, divorce, Modification of Support
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Frustrated Student boy 300x300 10 Signs Your Kid Needs Summer Tutoring Denver divorce lawyerWe see signs of burnout in just about every child as summer break approaches.  Parents are excited to get a break from the daily (and sometimes stressful) routine of school and homework.  Kids are excited to get to sleep in, play more, and have less structure to their day.

In those blissful first days of summer vacation, you are relaxed and relieved to not have to fight against the current.  Then, you look at the report card.  You’re stunned to see lower grades than you saw at the beginning of the year.  Reading the notes, you see, “Billy has been reluctant to participate.”  Or, “Started strong, but lost his drive as the year came to an end.”

You think back to the hustle and bustle and think, “How did I miss that?”  And the red flags that you once overlooked seem brighter and much more alarming now.  Then it occurs to you: What if he forgets everything he learned last year and starts next year at a disadvantage?  Does he need a tutor?

Here are 10 signs that your kid might need a tutor:

  1. His grades were less than stellar on his last report card. If they surprised you, or you know he can do better, a tutor can get him back up to speed.
  2. Teachers have complained that he isn’t behaving in class.  This could be because he doesn’t understand the concepts being taught.  Generally, kids will act out if they are uncomfortable.
  3. Motivation is out the window.  At first, you chalked it up to end-of-the-year burnout.  Looking back, though, he really was uninterested in everything school related.
  4. Tutoring has already been recommended.  The teacher suggested it at the last meeting, but you thought that you could get it under control with a little extra attention at home.
  5. His confidence is showing signs of decline. Maybe it’s as obvious as him parroting, “I’m stupid” after a small mistake.  Or it could be less obvious.  Maybe he’s saying, “it’s too hard” or “I can’t” more often than he used to.
  6. Homework sessions were marathon events where no one came out the winner.  Whining. Crying.  Tantrums.  Not to mention how he was behaving.  And in the end, the work was poorly done and incorrect.  And both of you are exhausted.
  7. He doesn’t want to go to school anymore.  This might be another sign you missed because you were tired of it, too.  But if he was making excuses, complaining he was sick, or otherwise acting out, it could be because he was starting to fall behind.
  8. He’s just not focused in class.  He’s been caught doing other non-school related tasks like reading comic books, playing games on his phone, or simply zoning out.
  9. He has test anxiety. Headaches, stomach pain, nail biting, over-emotional: these are all signs of anxiety.  He may feel unprepared and knows he won’t perform as well as he’d like.
  10. “I need help.”  Sometimes, even when we hear these words, we dismiss them.  Not because we don’t want to assist our child, but more because we think that if he’d just focus, or apply himself more, he’d be okay.  The truth is that he may have identified that the concept is over his head.

There are a lot of tutors out there to help you and your child over the summer.  Interview as many as possible and pick the tutor with the right experience, best manner of communicating, and enthusiasm for helping your child.

You’ll look back when school starts and be confident that it was one of the best decisions you’ve made.

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 Three Questions to Consider When Contemplating Divorce Denver divorce lawyer

One thing still rings true in today’s society. Couples will have rough patches every so often. Whether you argue about putting the dishes away, taking out the trash, or about constantly coming home late from work during the week, having a few arguments is normal. However, if these little arguments manifest into grudges, and then transcends into resentment, you may want to consider alternative options.

Even if you are serious about keeping your relationship alive by seeking marriage counseling, your effort may be for naught and you may need to consider speaking with a Denver divorce attorney for men. Before jumping into the divorce bed, by consulting with a divorce attorney, consider these three questions:

Are negative interactions outweighing the positive?

Disagreements should not dominate your entire relationship. Nobody likes coming home from work at 5pm and by 5:01, you are in a full blown argument about the fight that was had the night before. For a stable relationship, consider the “magic ratio” determined by Relationship Expert, John Gottman. Positive and negative interactions should be 5 to 1.

Are your core beliefs being compromised during arguments?

Even though opposites attract, it doesn’t mean you have to give up your beliefs to make your significant other happy. Before getting married, you may have though that your significant other would cave on a political or religious issue. But, by this time, if you guys are still arguing about the same thing, you could be doomed. If you aren’t willing to give up on one of your beliefs, how can you expect the other person in your relationship to?

Are there already threats of divorce?

You don’t have to be a divorce attorney for men in Denver to realize that if there are already talks of divorce, the actual divorce isn’t far away. Threatening divorce is a common tactic used by those who want to turn the tides on a heated argument. But if your spouse is going so low as to threaten you with a divorce, you may question how strong your marriage is in the first place. Remember that time-honored code amongst hunters: “Never point a gun at a person, unless you have every intention of shooting him? The same can be said about divorce.

It may be impossible to fix a broken marriage; however, you can heal from a divorce over a period of time. This is especially true with the guidance of Johnson Márquez Legal Group. Call us today for a free consultation.

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Falling out of love Common Reasons Couples Turn to Divorce When Evaluating Their Marriages Denver divorce lawyer

When a marriage is troubled, the last thing people want to do is worry about divorce. Just the thought of splitting up a marriage may be too much for some to handle, however, it is important to take a break and evaluate whether or not you want to continue down a troubled road, or move on with divorce. There are many important reasons why women turn to divorce and we have listed the most common. If you read on, and notice that you are experiencing any of the reasons listed, you may want to think about the ending your marriage before it becomes worse.

Commitment is missing

73% of couples surveyed in the National Fatherhood Initiative, said that commitment was the number one reason their marriage didnt work. If you notice that your significant other does not seem interested in you anymore, or does not make an effort to spend time or make plans with you, he or she may be lacking commitment.

Arguing all of the time

If the time you spend arguing with your significant other is more than time spent relaxing, you may want to consider divorce. One reason why arguments continue is because your partner is not understanding, appreciating or validating your perspective. If you feel you are constantly being shot down and continue feeling unappreciated, it can wear down your relationship in an instant.

Cheating

Cheating can not only play a significant role in your current relationship, but can have a negative effect on your future relationships as well. Often times, flirting can begin as an emotional affair”, but can heat up quickly and begin to become physical.

Too young to marry?

Age is a factor on a marriage. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that nearly half of teen marriages fail within the first 15 years. People who marry early in their life may feel trapped a few years into the relationship and look for a way out. This can be infidelity or divorce.

Unrealistic Expectations

Marriage is a lot to handle for some and often times, people jump into proposing or saying, I do” to their loved ones. Conflicts go unforeseen until the marriage begins to heat up. Work must be done on both ends of the marriage to navigate these conflicts, or else it can end in divorce.

You dont feel like an equal

It is no secret that when an individual doesnt feel like an equal in their relationship, they can leave feeling depressed and unwanted, which are two emotions that shouldnt be experienced in a marriage. Eventually, this inequality will lead to divorce. As soon as you feel that you are experiencing an unfair amount of responsibility, your relationship may be in danger.

Not fully-prepared for marriage

It is common for people to jump into a marriage before they fully understand exactly they are getting themselves into. Marital counseling can help couples ensure they are equipped to handle the responsibilities that come with marriage. Before deciding on calling it quits, you can try counseling.

Abuse

29% of divorces are caused by abuse. If you have already been abused, do not wait for the situation to become worse. Contact help and make sure you are safe before instigating divorce. Because divorce can be complex for victims of abuse, we recommend you also contact our Denver family law firm for the proper legal assistance.

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domestic violence Domestic Violence Attorneys in Denver, CO Denver divorce lawyer

As national divorce attorneys, we have seen many legal situations that deal with domestic abuse. It is a fact that 1.3 million women are victims of domestic abuse in their lifetime, a statistic that needs attention. Most of these domestic violence cases are not reported to the police because usually the person involved is embarrassed about the situation. If you don’t have the police protecting you, then who will?

It is up to you to get out and be free from a violent relationship. This is especially true if you have loved ones who are being harmed as well. If you decide to stay, you may be asking for negative long-term effects that can wear on your mind, body and soul. Or, you can decide to take action. To understand how staying in an abusive relationship can affect your life, Johnson Márquez Legal Group has listed some long-term effects:

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) - A terrifying event, such as an abusive relationship, can trigger this devastating mental health condition. Common symptoms that are associated with domestic abuse can include flashbacks to a time where the situation got out of control, nightmares, anxiety and uncontrollable thoughts. It can take time and support to cope with this condition, but with professional help and support from friends and family, the reactions will become better.

Depression – The feeling of depression can result in a person feeling hopeless, sad and feeling like they have nowhere to turn. This feeling can also result in weight loss and loss of energy. When the feeling is severe, many people may experience suicidal thoughts. It is important to understand that there is professional help. If you or someone you know is experiencing these thoughts, please refer to National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-TALK.

Along with long-term mental conditions, people who are experiencing an abusive relationship may also sustain painful injuries. Evidence of domestic violence can include bruises that may seem like they have come from punching or choking. There may also be bruises from defending oneself. Bruises may be hidden; however, they may also be seen on a person’s wrists, arms, face and neck.

Even after the abuse has ended, a person may experience trauma after ending the relationship. Physical affects that are common amongst domestic abuse survivors include muscle tension, changes in sleeping patterns, loss of appetite and chronic fatigue.

If you or someone you know is, or has experienced physical or mental abuse from their spouse, it is important to understand that it is possible to overcome violence. The first step in recovery is to call 911. From there, you can request a temporary protective order in the Denver County Courtroom. You can also attend a protective order clinic at the courtroom for Project Safeguard. There are many resources for victims of domestic violence in our area:

Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence: 303-831-9632

Project Safeguard (protective orders): 303-863-7233

Colorado Bar Association — Family Violence Program

There are many more resources out there, and if you need legal assistance with your family matter, please do not hesitate to contact Johnson Márquez Legal Group today.

 

 

 

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Have you ever worked with an attorney doesn’t return phone calls? This can be a main complaint for many clients when dealing with lawyers. When you are embroiled in a complicated and touch a court case, you want a Denver Lawyer who is available and who can return your calls in a timely manner so that you are up to date on everything going on in your case.

If that is what you’re looking for, contact The Johnson Márquez Legal Group. We handle the family law cases, and we pride ourselves on listening to all of our clients deeply so that we understand what they are going through. We also get that it is necessary for you to receive phone calls to fully understand the inner workings of your case and how things are proceeding.

A Denver lawyer from our firm would like to give you a free consultation so you can see just how serious we are about listening to our clients. During your free consultation, we cannot give you legal advice, but we can listen to your case details and give you a good idea of what we can do for you. For a real, quality Denver Attorney who listens, returns from calls, works for you, and doesn’t overcharge, give us a call today to learn more about our services and to schedule your free consultation.



 

 

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[Posted on July 11]

Written by: Rose Rodriguez

The second you enter into a Military Divorce you will probably have questions that must be answered, and the truth is that some of them can be quite complicated when one party is a member of the military. A divorce can always present difficulties, however military pensions and disability from the VA can lead to a multitude of questions regarding distribution of funds. The Johnson Márquez Legal Group is a group of attorneys who is more than happy to discuss your divorce details during as well as offer you a free consultation.

The Johnson Márquez Legal Group is a Denver family law firm that is very familiar with the ins and outs of military divorce and Colorado divorce laws surrounding same. Your Denver lawyer will meet with you during your free consultation to discuss the specific details of your case and lead you in the right direction. A retainer agreement will be agreed upon and signed. After the agreement is signed, your complicated divorce will be in our hands.

To contact the Johnson Márquez Legal Group, all you have to do to get your free appointment today, is give us a call or visit us on the web at www.johnsonmarquez.com. Take a moment to peruse the website because we keep a lot of valuable information there for our clients to read and educate themselves with. We look forward to meeting with you.

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[Posted on June 27]

Written by: Kevin Kramer

Do you have a lot of questions about your up-and-coming Military Divorce that you simply cannot find the answers to? This is a common complaint among clients who are going through the divorce process with one or more of the parties in the military, either currently or in the past. While it does add a certain degree of difficulty, being a military member certainly does not exclude you from having a good outcome at the end of your divorce.

We can help you answer your military divorce questions at the Johnson Márquez Legal Group. Our firm specializes in family law matters, and military divorce falls under that category. We have experienced Denver Attorneys who have dealt with all of the specific Colorado divorce laws that are involved in a divorce with one or more service member. We know what is required, what documents need to be filed, and how the process will differ from a traditional divorce.

For a free consultation with one of our lawyers who can help you work through a plan to address all of your concerns regarding your Colorado divorce, contact the Johnson Márquez Legal Group today by giving us a call or visiting us on the web. At our website, you can find a lot of useful articles that will give you some information while you wait for your consultation appointment. Educate yourself and come prepared to your consultation. Working together, we can get you the end result that you need.

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[Posted on June 21]

Written by: Roy Miller

Is your divorce complicated and filled with multiple assets and liabilities? Perhaps you have many children of different ages or with disabilities. If you have a volatile relationship with your spouse, or other difficulties involved in your impending divorce, you need a Denver Lawyer who can be aggressive in the courtroom. What you need is the Johnson Márquez Legal Group on your side.

All of the attorneys working for the Johnson Márquez Legal Group are family law attorneys who are experienced in handling difficult divorce cases. Whether you are experiencing difficulties with domestic violence, disagreements over the marital home, child custody fights or more, our attorneys have seen it all. We have experience dealing with the most difficult and complicated Colorado divorce cases imaginable, and we can help you reach an acceptable outcome in your situation without a doubt.

When it comes to Colorado divorce laws, all of our attorneys are extremely well-versed on the different laws and rules that will affect many different family law matters, including: military divorce, child custody, child support and adoption. We are well known in the Denver area for providing superior service without a high price tag. Most importantly, we have a reputation for being aggressive litigators, which is exactly what you want in the case of a difficult divorce. To learn more about our Denver attorney choices, call us at the Johnson Márquez Legal Group today.

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[Posted on June 20]

Written by: Seth Greener

Are you looking for a Denver Attorney to represent you in a divorce? Do you know what you are looking for in a family lawyer? Remember that you definitely want an attorney with some experience in cases that look like yours for the best chances of getting what you need at the end of your divorce case. Hiring someone disreputable is not a good idea because it will look bad to the judge, and of course, your attorney needs to be someone that you feel comfortable with.

The attorneys at the Johnson Márquez Legal Group are all family lawyers. We are all quite experienced in a variety of cases regarding family law matters of various types, including divorces of many different varieties.  At the Johnson Márquez Legal Group, all of our Denver Lawyers will offer new clients a consultation that will cost nothing so that you can see if the fit is a good one before you make a commitment. A retainer agreement will be drawn up after your consultation if both of you agree to work together.

Take the time to research your Denver attorney well before choosing who will represent you in court.  The more aggressive the attorney is in the courtroom, the better. Choose someone who is not afraid to stand up for your rights, and someone who explains things in such a way that they are easy for you to understand. To find out more, give the Johnson Márquez Legal Group a call today to set up your consultation meeting.

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[Posted on June 18]

Everyone who is going through a divorce has about a million questions that they want answered. A divorce is an extremely trying time in anyone’s life and is fraught with worry and stress. You’re not only leaving your spouse, but you are leaving a lifestyle, and possibly a home and children as well. This can be extremely stressful and trying on any individual and most people want to reach out for an attorney at this point but do not know where to turn. If you are contemplating or have been served in a Colorado divorce matter, you want the best attorney working with you so that you can understand the process and be happy at the end of it.

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[Posted on June 14]

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The Johnson Márquez Legal Group is a Denver-based family law firm who specializes in all types of family law matters. We believe in giving our clients our full attention and an affordable price. All of our attorneys offer first time consults free. If you are going through a family legal matter, including: adoption, Military Divorce, child support, visitation or domestic abuse, our firm can definitely help you.

We believe in a strong work ethic and that hard work pays off. Our attorneys are known in Denver to be quite successful in front of any judge. Our former clients rave about the Denver Lawyers at our firm, relieved that they were able to get what they deserved from their military divorce or other family matter. Most clients are also extremely pleased with the fact that we don’t charge astronomical prices for our services. We are not in the law business to take your money. We are in this business to help you.

If you would, please visit our website johnsonmarquez.com. There, you will be able to read some valuable information that will answer some of your questions and help you make certain decisions as you prepare to enter into a legal matter. From our main page, you can also read details about each Denver attorney here. Give us a call when you’re ready to schedule your free consult meeting and we will get you started on the right track.

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[Posted on June 13]

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Going through a divorce with children involved means that one of the top things on your mind is money. How will you be able to support yourself and your children on one income? Luckily, in Co, Child Support payments are calculated by a formula created by the Colorado legislature. This guarantees that single parents of primary residence will be able to live comfortably after a divorce. There are a variety of factors when calculating child support in Colorado, and they include: income of the parties, number of overnights spent with each party, health insurance payments, child care payments, other child support payments outside of the relationship, and more.

In order to fully understand all of the factors involved in determining a child support obligation, you will need to consult with a Denver Attorney who is familiar with Colorado divorce laws and has worked with numerous CO child support cases before. The Johnson Márquez Legal Group is a firm of qualified family law attorneys who are well-versed in child support calculations and they can easily help you sort out all of your questions.

If you are on the other end of the child support spectrum, and you are afraid that you will not be able to afford your obligations, you also need to speak to an attorney to fully understand how to modify your budget in order to make the payments. It is a very important thing to have a clear understanding of, as child support is a legal judgment that cannot be ignored.

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[Posted on June 11]

Family Lawyers in Colorado may be something that you’re looking for if you are involved in a domestic court case, such as a divorce, child custody dispute, domestic violence case, visitation debate, adoption case and more. It can be hard to discern which attorneys are in the legal field for all of the right reasons and none of the wrong ones. You must do your research before hiring anyone to handle this very important life-changing matter. Everyone should take hiring an attorney very seriously and do their homework before signing an agreement.

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[Posted on June 7]

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When two people decide to end a marriage, it is not always the dramatic event depicted in movies and on television.  In many cases it is the calm, rational decision of a couple who no longer see the emotional or financial benefit in remaining married to each other.  Your Co Divorce does not have to include screaming or fighting, and it can be amicable with a good result.

Harry Husband and Wendy Wife have been married for five years.  Wendy works as a project manager consultant; Harry drives a cab downtown.  They do not have any children and very few assets.  Harry and Wendy did not have a big fight about money, nor was there infidelity or lying in their marriage.  Harry and Wendy have grown apart and realize they no longer have similar goals, so they have decided to get a divorce.  While Harry and Wendy have made some big decisions, they have no idea how to proceed.  They have questions and they need a Denver Lawyer to guide them through the process.  Wendy wonders how much the fees and costs will be.  Harry wonders how to fairly divide their retirement accounts.  They both wonder how long the divorce process will take.

If you have questions about a CO divorce, call Johnson Márquez Legal Group.  Get answers and get on with your life, and ensure that your life will move forward in the right direction after your divorce process ends.

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[Posted on June 6]

Written by:

Even in the best of circumstances, divorce is painful and stressful for everyone involved.  The complicated legal system and your heightened emotions don’t make it any easier.  In times like these you need an experienced Denver Attorney to guide you through the process.  The last thing you want to do is make a critical mistake that may affect your emotional and financial future.

Johnson Márquez Legal Group has experienced litigators that have your best interests as their first priority.  There are a multitude of concerns when dealing with a divorce.  Where will the children live?  What will the visitation arrangements be?  Who will pay child support in Colorado and how much?  Is either party entitled to alimony?  What about assets?  What does “no fault” mean?  A professional will explain everything you need to know and help you throughout the process from the initial filing of the Complaint to the Final Decree.  Along the way you may need advice on property distribution, possible settlement, or even expert testimony at trial.  You need answers; you need a trusted team of Denver attorneys working to get the best possible results for you and your family.

This is not the time to guess about how to proceed.  You don’t want to gamble with your family’s future.  You want vigorous representation.  When it’s time to call a Denver attorney, it’s time to call Johnson Márquez Legal Group.

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[Posted on June 04]

Anyone looking for dependable Lawyers in Colorado has probably seen about a thousand or more repetitive endorsements for lawyer services everywhere they turn. How are you supposed to know which ones are legitimate and which ones are all hype? How do you tell if the attorneys will overcharge you and if they know what they are doing in the courtroom? Here are a few things to look for when you are beginning your search for legal representation in Colorado, regarding a family law matter such as divorce, adoption or child custody.

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[Posted on May 29]

Many people don’t know what to look for when it comes to choosing a Colorado divorce lawyer, simply because this is something that they never imagined going through and had not thought about before. Divorce is something no one plans for or wishes for, but if the inevitable does happen and you find yourself in the middle of what may turn into a divorce, you will need to know what to look when choosing an appropriate attorney to help you through the process, explain divorce laws to you and make sure that you will be okay after the divorce is over.

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[Posted on May 24]

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When looking for excellent Lawyers in Colorado, there are a few things to keep in mind. Most people who are looking to hire a family lawyer are interested in finding someone who is compassionate and cares about the outcome of their case. They are often dealing with extremely personal issues in the family law division, including divorce, child custody battles, adoption, domestic violence, fathers’ rights, visitation and many more. When looking for an attorney to represent you in your time of need, come to the Johnson Márquez Legal Group.

All of the Denver Lawyers here are extremely conscious of our clients’ needs and feelings at all times. We also take your case extremely seriously, as we realize the deep impact it will most likely have on your life. We set aside time each week to update you on the status of your case, and we are ready and willing to answer your phone calls should you have any questions at any other times.

The legal staff members who support our attorneys are extremely talented and well-versed in all areas of Colorado family law. You definitely want to find lawyers in Colorado who have a strong support team working behind them, as it makes it much more likely that paperwork will be filed in a timely manner and your attorney can devote his full attention to arguing your case. If this is the type of attorney you are looking for, don’t hesitate to ring us up today!

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[Posted on May 23]

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If you are going through a divorce and you or your spouse is a member of the military, you may be wondering if this will lead to a more complicated divorce proceeding. The answer is dependent on your attorney. You want to look for a family law attorney who has a great deal of experience handling Military Divorce matters. The Johnson Márquez Legal Group is a law firm full of lawyers who are extremely familiar with divorce laws surrounding a military pensions and other military financial information that they become relevant in a divorce.

Our attorneys understand the ins and outs of the Colorado divorce laws so well that we have a great success rate for our clients in getting them what they need and deserve from their military divorce. Rest assured that we know how to fight for your rights and we are quite aggressive until we see that have gotten the outcome that you deserve. We take our clients’ needs very seriously and we also know how the courts work. You can rest assured that all documentation regarding your divorce proceedings will be filed in a timely manner.

The knowledge of our Denver attorneys and the dedication they display by consistently getting the results their clients want repeatedly causes more and more Denver residents to choose the Johnson Márquez Legal Group for all of their divorce needs. Additionally, our clients are always thrilled that we do not overcharge. Call us up today for your free consultation!

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[Posted on May 21]

The Colorado divorce rate is dropping, in line with worsening economic conditions. The divorce rate in Colorado has dropped to 4.2 percent per 1,000 people, which has happened only once in the past twenty years.  In 2007, the Colorado divorce rate was 4.4 percent, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. The latest data available are from 2009, and that news isn’t good. Lawyers, investment advisers and marital therapists, all professions familiar with divorce, claim the drop is simply due to the fact that people can’t afford to maintain two households, pay alimony or child support or pay an attorney to get a divorce.

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Categories: Current News

[Posted on May 17]

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During your divorce, financial issues are always at the forefront of your mind, and even more so when it comes to hiring a lawyer. Many people are hesitant to retain an attorney because of the cost associated with retaining one. It is true that many attorneys overcharge their clients and are in the business simply to make money. To find a Denver Lawyer who is not in it for the money and will never overcharge you, take a look at the Johnson Márquez Legal Group.

Our Denver law firm is a group of experienced family law attorneys. We pride ourselves on taking our clients’ needs seriously at all times and providing Colorado divorce advice and legal services without charging too much. Our clients are extremely happy with the results that we get and even happier with the cost of our representation. We assure you that we are one of the most recommended family law firms in the Denver area.

You can contact us today to set up a free consultation with a Denver lawyer from our firm. While it is extremely important to hire a quality attorney to handle your divorce case, you do not have to go broke in the process. Let the Johnson Márquez Legal Group take care of filing all of your legal paperwork, representing you in the courtroom and dealing with communication from your spouse and/or opposing counsel.

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[Posted on May 16]

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The amount of child support you will receive during your divorce process is always a scary and unknown element. It can cause a lot of stress for many parents, wondering how they will support the children without the help of the other spouse. If Co Child Support questions are riddling your brain, please see us as soon as possible so that we can put your worries to rest.

Here at the Johnson Márquez Legal Group, we have a complete team of experienced Denver lawyers who specialize in many areas of family law, including all types of divorce In Colorado, domestic violence issues, child-support, spousal support, parental visitation, custody, adoption and more. We can get to the bottom of all of your child support questions and we can communicate with your spouse’ s attorney, getting answers that you deserve.

We will also handle all communications with the court system for you, filing all paperwork on time and correctly the first time. We know that going through a divorce is not easy and is extremely nerve-racking, and we would like to offer you a free consultation in this time of uncertainty. We will work with you to create a retainer agreement that is appropriate and affordable. Give us a call today to set up your initial free appointment. Don’t wait to get answers to your CO child support questions. There is no reason for you to be in the dark any longer with us on your side.

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Categories: Marketing

[Posted on May 14]

The Johnson Márquez Legal Group is a Denver based law firm that will fight for you in your quest for child support in Colorado. If you’re in the middle of a difficult divorce life can be excruciating enough without having to deal with all the legal jargon that you’re unfamiliar with. Let the skilled attorneys at the Johnson Márquez Legal Group take care of all your legal needs so you can get on with your life.

Continue Reading this Article on child support Colorado:

Categories: Current News

[Posted on May 10]

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If you are going through a divorce In Colorado and you require an aggressive litigator to help you through your case, the Johnson Márquez Legal Group has the Denver lawyer you are looking for. When you need representation in a difficult divorce, you should look for an attorney with experience handling complicated cases involving numerous and varied assets and liabilities, complicated child support calculations, domestic violence or other details that relate to your case. You should always review your attorney’s experience before hiring him to determine if he can adequately represent you.

Take a look around our website at www.johnsonmarquez.com to review our attorneys bios and background information as well as their experience and personal client reviews. We also have a plethora of information regarding divorce in Colorado so that you can educate yourself and be prepared for your free consultation. We are all family law attorneys who have been representing clients regarding divorce in Colorado for years.

We have had immense success in the courtroom and have reputations as an extremely aggressive firm who get their clients the end results that they need. Additionally, you will find that we do not overcharge for our services, and when compared with many other Denver Lawyers, we are extremely affordable. To get the most for your money, call us at the Johnson Márquez Legal Group today.

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Categories: Marketing

[Posted on May 9]

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Without an experienced family law attorney working for you, going through a Colorado divorce will only leave you in a poor financial state and with less than you deserve. Many people feel that hiring an attorney is too expensive and they would rather do without. However, the cost of hiring an attorney is small compared to the benefits you will receive through their expertise and aggressive litigation skills.

You need someone who can adequately filed paperwork with the courts in a timely manner and who has experience dealing with all aspects of Colorado divorce laws. Make sure that your attorney is familiar with and has worked on Colorado divorce cases that are similar to yours, ensuring that will be able to get you the end result that you desire. One firm with a large number of experienced family law attorneys is the Johnson Márquez Legal Group.

All of the attorneys at the Johnson Márquez Legal Group offer you a free consultation in order to review your Colorado divorce case and the details surrounding it. At this consultation you can also get a feel for your attorney and determine if he or she is a good fit for you and your case. Make sure that you feel comfortable working with your attorney, as he will be sharing intimate details of your life with him or her. To learn more about our firm and to schedule your free consultation, give us a call today.

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Categories: Marketing

[Posted on May 07]

Are you in the middle of a divorce? Is the battle for the right to see your children one that seems like it will never end? At the Johnson Márquez Legal Group you have a friend on your side. We will work with you to make sure your family receives the least amount of interruption and hassle as possible. We know this can be one of the most difficult times in your life, so why make your choice of Denver Lawyer anything but the very best?

Click here to continue reading.

Categories: Current News

[Posted on May 3]

Written by:

Going through a divorce in Colorado is easier if you have an attorney from the Johnson Márquez Legal Group by your side. Our firm is made up of qualified and experienced family law attorneys who have experience in all areas of family law, focusing on divorce, child custody and alimony. We offer all of our clients a free initial consultation so that you can find the attorney at our firm that works best with your personality and your needs.

We have represented many clients in court and have been extremely successful in getting them the results that they need and deserve from their CO divorce. If your case involves Colorado child support , or alimony payments and these are worrying you, please give our firm call today to set up your free consultation with one of our Denver lawyers. We can put your mind at ease about your CO divorce and child support concerns.

We want to help you through this difficult time in your life by reassuring you that we will never overcharge you for our services and we will work as hard as possible to get you the outcome of your CO divorce and child support matter that you want. We want you to be successful and live a happy life after divorce, and we will do anything we can do to get you there. Give us a call today and let us start working together with you to improve your future.

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[Posted on May 2]

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Going through a divorce is a painful and difficult process. To make things go smoother and to end up with the outcome you desire, you will need a Denver Attorney with a lot of experience handling divorce cases like yours. Not all attorneys are created equal, and some are in their profession for the wrong reasons. Make sure you do your research before choosing to hire a Denver attorney to work on your case. Look for an attorney that is not in it for the money.

The Johnson Márquez Legal Group is an entire family law firm of Denver attorneys who do not overcharge our clients and are not in the legal world because of the money. We are here to help and we love helping people find an appropriate and suitable outcome to their sometimes difficult and complicated Colorado divorce cases. It is not hard to find a Denver attorney that you trust at our firm.

If you are suffering and going through emotional turmoil involving your divorce process, rest assured that our attorneys can help you reach the light at the end of the tunnel with a caring hand by your side along the way. They are known as being quite aggressive in the courtroom in order to get their clients the results that they want. However, in the office with their clients, they are caring and kind. Call the Johnson Márquez Legal Group today and get the Denver attorney that you’ve been looking for.

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Categories: Marketing

[Posted on April 30]

The Johnson Márquez Legal Group is a Denver based national family law firm that will fight for you in one of life’s toughest moments. If you’re in the middle of a difficult divorce life can be excruciating enough without having to deal with all the legal jargon that you’re unfamiliar with. Find your Denver attorney at Johnson Márquez Legal Group and let him take care of all your legal needs so you can get on with your life.

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Categories: Current News

[Posted on April 26]

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Taking the time to research attorneys before making a choice is a good idea. This ensures that your attorney has the experience needed to handle your case’ s specific requirements. When looking for lawyers, Colorado divorce law knowledge is a must to guarantee that you will get what you deserve out of your divorce. Also, be sure to look for an attorney with a record for filing papers on time and without errors. Hiring an inexperienced divorce lawyer will only lead you to disappointment and frustration.

Your Colorado divorce is bound to cause you stress and finding a high-quality attorney is probably adding to your stress level, but putting the time in now to find a quality Denver Lawyer will save you hassle and heartache later on in your divorce proceedings. Make sure that your attorney is in his chosen profession for the right reasons and that he has compassion and cares about his clients.

To explore and learn more about high-quality lawyers, Colorado firm Johnson Márquez Legal Group can be contacted through their website at www.johnsonmarquez.com. Learn about your attorney before you hire him, and take advantage of the free consultation offered by this firm. Make sure that your attorney is a good fit for you and your divorce matter, because working as a team is the most successful way to proceed through your divorce.

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Categories: Marketing

[Posted on April 25]

Written by: Roy Miller

If you’re going through a divorce and you or your spouse is a member of the military, chances are good that you are concerned about the financial ramifications of a divorce. Naturally, financial concerns are always at the top of everyone’s list when they are moving forward with divorce proceedings, but a Military Divorce can complicate separating the finances. You need an experienced attorney to help you navigate the rules and regulations when it comes to military pensions, military compensation and VA disability.

Not all attorneys are qualified to handle the details surrounding a military divorce and the military compensation involved. Because there are so many unique aspects to consider when a member of the military goes through a divorce In Colorado, look for an attorney who has a lot of experience handling divorces for service members in the past. An ideal Colorado law firm to explore is the Johnson Márquez Legal Group. Our attorneys have experience handling multiple military divorce matters and have been called aggressive in the courtroom.

Our attorneys have a great understanding of all Colorado divorce laws and we can educate you on them as well. We offer our clients a free consultation so that you can share all details of your military divorce with an attorney from our firm. Your attorney will present you with an appropriate retainer agreement, and when that agreement is signed and the retainer fee has been paid, your attorney will begin representing you in your military divorce.

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Categories: Marketing

[Posted on April 19]

By Roy Miller

The attorneys at the Johnson Márquez Legal Group have extensive experience handling family law matters of all kinds, ranging from child custody and child support to military divorce and complicated retirement divisions. When you want a Denver Lawyer with the experience behind his degree, you want to hire one of our attorneys to handle your legal matter. All of our lawyers are known as aggressive in the court room and can get you the results that you want and need.

Your Denver lawyer from our firm will give you innovative and aggressive legal representation in all of your divorce related matters. Our clients know that they can trust us to provide honest and straight forward answers to all of their questions so that they can fully comprehend the details of their Colorado divorce case and the Colorado divorce laws surrounding it. We are leaders in the family law field and we can help you through any situation.

At your free consultation, your Denver lawyer from the Johnson Márquez Legal Group will discuss importation aspects of your case with you, including attorney’s fees, retainers, and ways to save you money on your legal costs. We all work hard to supply you with reliable answers to difficult questions during a difficult time in your life. Call our office today to schedule your free consultation and let us help you get through to the other side of your divorce.

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Categories: Marketing

[Posted on April 18]

By Roy Miller

Sometimes you may not agree with a Colorado child support order, but if a court has ordered you to pay child support to your former spouse, you are required to make payments in a timely manner. Even if you feel that the judgment is in error or that you should not be required to make payments, the CO child support order will not be erased or likely changed anytime soon. CO child support needs to be taken extremely seriously by all parties involved.

If you are not paying your CO child support, you may end up with liens placed on your properties and any real estate or personal vehicles that you own may be repossessed if you continue to fail paying your required child-support amounts. Ultimately this will end up causing your credit rating to decline and you will have problems with future lenders. Tax refunds can also be intercepted for the purpose of paying down your overdue Colorado child support payments.

All of your professional licenses are also affected if you are delinquent in paying your child support. Your driver’s license can also be suspended. CO child support is definitely something to take seriously and should be paid on time every time to avoid causing major problems for yourself. For more information about the child support process or your obligations, feel free to contact the Johnson Márquez Legal Group today.

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Categories: Marketing

[Posted on April 16]

Many times, Colorado child support guidelines can be confusing and overwhelming when you first begin the divorce process. In order to fully understand all of the laws surrounding CO child support and spousal support, you need a quality family attorney who is experienced in the areas of child support and alimony. The Johnson Márquez Legal Group is a firm of extremely experienced and aggressive litigators who specialize in family law matters ranging from child custody to military divorce. They have a lot of experience dealing with child-support, alimony, visitation and children’s rights.

Click here to continue reading this article.

Categories: Current News

sc01b289a8 187x300 Sad Goodbye Denver divorce lawyerEarlier this month, our marketing director, Andy Caress, passed away after a 2 year battle with melanoma. Andy was only 24 at the time but those of us that knew and loved him saw a young man who lived a life more full than many who lived 3 times longer. A professional tennis player, Andy brought his sense of competition to work where we worked tirelessly to improve this website and our other projects.

Andy was most proud, though, of his efforts to raise awareness of the risks of skin cancer, including melanoma. He developed a foundation, raised money, donated to national research projects and helped thousands understand the need for better prevention and protection. You can see some of his efforts at www.mela-KNOW-more.org and www.andycaress.com.

Our firm hosted a memorial for Andy last weekend at one of Andy’s favorite spots, Hamburger Mary’s. His parents attended from Ohio where they hosted a memorial with 900 people in attendance. Later next month, Andy’s friends in Steamboat will hold an event at the tennis center. Andy changed so many lives and reached so many people, it’s hard for all of us to say goodbye. We’ll miss you Andy.

Categories: M David Johnson, News at JMLG

Johnson Márquez Legal Group is proud to announce the formal launch of our new, redesigned website! Six months in development, the new site represents a fundamental shift in legal online presence. While other sites are designed as electronic business cards, providing information only about the firm and it’s lawyers, the new Johnson Márquez Legal Group site is designed to provide visitors with help.

The help may come with our “Do-It-Yourself” section of free forms, our free child support iPhone app, “iSupport”, or it may simply be an education about the divorce process in Colorado. Our objective is to use the amazing experience of our lawyers in and out of the courtroom to help visitors walk through family law cases.

Not only do we provide vastly more information than any other Colorado divorce law firm’s website, our site customizes itself as you move through it to better provide you focused information. It’s designed to help you answer the most important questions, not overload you with irrelevant information. The first of it’s kind, this site redesigns itself with each selection you make to better help you learn about your Colorado family law case.

And we’re just getting started! Exciting new elements are still in development, with roll-out over the next six months. We’d love to talk about them but until they’re ready for prime time, we want to be sure our developers have the opportunity to get it right.

Helping people is our business. This new site makes that objective obvious. It’s this commitment to providing as much helpful information as possible that sets Johnson Márquez Legal Group apart from our competitors.

It’s what makes Johnson Márquez Legal Group Denver’s Premier Family Law Firm.

Categories: News at JMLG
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iPhone App for Colorado Child Support Cases

At JSLG, we’re excited to begin the testing of our new child support calculator iPhone app, iSupport. iSupport will help those involved in child support cases accurately gauge their potential support obligation or entitlement. A fully functional calculator based directly on CRS 14-10-115, iSupport provides for the federal tax credit, support for other children and even directly links to video information on our YouTube channel designed to help users understand the complexity of accurately calculating child support under the Colorado guidelines.

Look for iSupport to be available for free download in the coming weeks.

Categories: News at JMLG, Technology

At Johnson Márquez Legal Group, our divorce lawyers know that not everyone can afford lawyers to represent them in their Colorado family law cases. Sometimes, the issues are straightforward and lawyers aren’t needed. Other times, the parties expect to be able to work things out. In these cases, this free form section may be all you need.

Categories: Free Forms

The JSLG “Divorce Survivor Center” is another unique feature of our world-class website. While some law firms just prepare paperwork and appear in court, our firm knows that the responsibility we owe to our clients is broader. Using our incredible experience of helping people through thousands of Colorado family law cases, our lawyers provide insight and helpful resources that go beyond just a “form practice”. The Divorce Survivor Center is a place we offer resources to provide balance and perspective on the difficult issues in family law cases.

Categories: Divorce Survivor Center

shelley pic Mother’s Rights and Parenting Time: Do Moms Have the Advantage in Colorado Courts? Denver divorce lawyer

Clients faced with parenting time issues often ask where the court’s loyalty lies when it comes to who gets custody – does the court favor mom or dad? Today, the term “”custody” has been replaced with “parenting time”, and it’s not just the terms that are changing with the times. Although fathers are often quick to raise a suspicious eyebrow, the answer is the same no matter who asks the question. Colorado Courts are remarkably gender-neutral, and the most important factors used to determine which parent is entitled to more parenting time really depend on each family’s specific facts.

Mothers may seem as though they have an advantage before the court in terms of parenting time because moms tend to be the primary caretaker in the household, especially in terms of caring for infants and younger children. However, having a stay-at-home mom is no longer the norm. In many Colorado homes, the economy has forced both parents into the workforce, or in the alternative, fathers are taking off their ties and pushing up their sleeves as stay-at-home dads.

So how does the court decide who gets how much parenting time? The standard the court uses, and which every parent should plant firmly in their head, is that of the best interest of the child. The court gives principal consideration to the child’s physical, mental and emotional needs. Courts also want to encourage frequent and continuing contact between each parent and the child.

By Colorado statute, the court considers a myriad of factors for establishing parenting time, including, but not limited to: the parents’ wishes, the child’s wishes, the child’s involvement with family, school and the community, the ability of the parents to encourage the sharing of love and affection between the child and the other parent, the health of the parents and the child, and which parent has primarily cared for the child in the past. Other factors the court will consider are whether one parent perpetrated spousal or child abuse, or abused drugs or alcohol.

The best parenting schedule really depends on each family’s particular situation. In a great many cases, splitting a child’s time equally between parents may be the best thing for a family going through a divorce. Depending on the proximity of each parent’s home, it may be in the child’s best interest to have portions of the week split between each parent, such as the child spending school nights at one parent’s home and weekend nights with the other parent. Splitting parenting time during the week gets significantly more difficult the farther apart parents live. That distance may warrant a parenting schedule where the child lives with one parent during the school year and the other parent during vacation time.

Whether parents are able to reach a parenting schedule negotiating and agreeing between themselves, or whether parents require a court to help make those decisions for them, each parent should understand that their children are not something to be won or lost in the divorce.

If you are considering a divorce or separation, consult a family law attorney experienced in parenting schedules to advise you as to what kind of plan would best suit your family’s needs.

Categories: divorce, Divorce Health, domestic violence, Infants and Toddlers, parenting time, Parenting Time - "Custody"
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Set against the colorful backdrop of New Orleans, SOUTHERN FRIED DIVORCE raucously recounts the author’s divorce from “That X”-a classic bad boy-and the unpredictable roles he plays in her life afterward. The book opens with his showing up on her doorstep, in mid-Spring, covered in red and green ribbon, smelling of Jim Beam, and bearing a belated Christmas gift-a home security package in the form of a .38 revolver and a brown puppy. After wondering what kind of ex-husband gives his wife a gun, she gives the puppy back and the adventures with that ex-husband and the brown dog, who are soon inseparable, begin.
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Laura Dave is widely recognized as an up-and-coming talent in women’s fiction. Now, with her characteristic wit and warmth, she captures a much-discussed cultural phenomenon that has never been profiled in fiction before-divorce celebrations. Set in Hamptons high society, The Divorce Party features two women-one newly engaged and one at the end of her marriage-trying to answer the same question: when should you fight to save a relationship, and when should you let go?
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In this funny and fascinating guide for women, thousands of men confess what turns them on, what turns them off, and what turns “for now” into “forever.” With shocking and never-before seen statistics and powerful confessions, Men’s Health editor-in-chief David Zinczenko presents a funny and fascinating guide for women into the inner workings of the male mind.
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If you grew up as a child of divorce, you may find yourself asking: Why am I so afraid of conflict? Why do I have such a fear of commitment? Why am I always waiting for the “other shoe to drop,” even at moments of success? You may be surprised to discover how common these feelings are for children of divorce, especially as they get older. Dr. Judith Wallerstein has been studying the effects of divorce on children for 25 years, but even she wasn’t expecting the findings presented here: that while children learn to cope with divorce, its greatest effects don’t emerge until adulthood
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gavel and cash Sworn Financial Statement Schedules Denver divorce lawyer

In addition to completing the Sworn Financial Statement, if either party has the following:

  • Investments;
  • Employment Savings Accounts; or
  • Separate property — meaning property acquired before the marriage, or by gift or inheritance

Then that person must file an additional document known as a Supporting Schedule, which is a form that details this information.

Download the Form

You must read and agree to the terms and conditions.

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Categories: Financial Forms

In a Colorado family law case, including divorce actions, both parties have the responsibility of exchanging necessary financial documents with each other. In order to determine which financial documents must be exchanged, please see the link below to Form 35.1 which is a reference to C.R.C.P. 16.2(e).

This process is known as discovery. In a divorce action, discovery is the process by which each side has the opportunity and right to see the financial information that they are preparing to bring before the Court. Discovery is defined in C.R.C.P. 26. Moreover, this process creates an avenue for settlement and also puts both parties on an equal playing field.

This process is mandatory under C.R.C.P. 16.2. In order to fully complete this process, both parties must fill out a Sworn Financial Statement and a Certificate of Compliance. These documents must be filled out before you exchange the mandatory financial disclosures with each other.

A Sworn Financial Statement is a form which requires each party to provide information regarding:

  • Monthly Income;
  • Monthly Deductions;
  • Monthly Expenses;
  • Debts; and
  • Assets

Furthermore, if either divorce party has the following:

  • Investments;
  • Employment Savings Accounts; or
  • Separate property — meaning property acquired before the marriage, or by gift or inheritance

Then that person must file an additional piece of paper known as a Supporting Schedule, which is a form that discloses this information. After you have filled out your Sworn Financial Statement, you must then complete a Certificate of Compliance.

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You must read and agree to the terms and conditions.

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Categories: Financial Forms

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Since a Protective Order is usually enforced by the police, it is very important to register the Order with the proper authorities should you need to enforce it. You should always keep a copy of the order with you as well.

Download the Form

You must read and agree to the terms and conditions.

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Categories: Protective Order Forms

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Along with your Motion for Protective Order, you must submit an incident checklist. This checklist is critical to the court in determining the extent of protection required.

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You must read and agree to the terms and conditions.

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Categories: Protective Order Forms

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This set of helpful instructions for obtaining a Protective Order in a Colorado family law or divorce case was prepared by the State of Colorado.

These instructions can help walk victims through the process and can answer many questions about the various stages of obtaining a Protective Order (formerly called a restraining order) in a domestic violence or other family law case.

Download the Form

You must read and agree to the terms and conditions.

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Categories: Protective Order Forms

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This notice advises a party’s employer to begin withholding a certain from any funds owed by the employer to an employee who owes a support obligation.

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You must read and agree to the terms and conditions.

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Categories: Income Assignments

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This notice advises an employer that an income assignment has be ordered and implemented.

Download the Form

You must read and agree to the terms and conditions.

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Categories: Income Assignments

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Advance notice of a pending wage assignment is a means by which the party owed the money can be certain that there is no delay in obtaining payment directly from the employer.

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You must read and agree to the terms and conditions.

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Categories: Income Assignments

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Advance notice of a pending income assignment is a means by which the party owed the money can be certain that there is no delay in obtaining payment directly from the employer.

Download the Form

You must read and agree to the terms and conditions.

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Categories: Income Assignments

gavel and rings1 Instructions Denver divorce lawyer

This set of helpful instructions for filing an income assignment in a Colorado family law or divorce case was prepared by the State of Colorado.

These instructions walk parties through the process and can help answer many questions about the various stages of implementing an income assignment in a Colorado divorce of other family law case.

Download the Form

You must read and agree to the terms and conditions.

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Categories: Income Assignments

wedding ring Instructions Denver divorce lawyer

This set of helpful instructions for filing a contempt action in a Colorado family law or divorce case was prepared by the State of Colorado. It walks parties through the process and can help answer many questions about the various stages of a contempt proceeding.

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You must read and agree to the terms and conditions.

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Categories: Contempt Citations

dad and son at beach  Stipulation Re Modification Denver divorce lawyer

Insert Content Here

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Categories: Modification of Support

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As part of your Motion to Modify, you must also submit a draft Order for the Court to consider. The court may chose to sign your order or may draft its own from scratch.

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Categories: Modification of Support

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A Motion for Modification is the first step in seeking a modification of a previous court order. It is filed in the same action as the order. Among other requirements, it must clearly state what order you seek to modify and why, and generally, what you are seeking to change it to.

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You must read and agree to the terms and conditions.

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Categories: Modification of Support

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This set of helpful instructions for filing a Motion for Modification in a Colorado family law or divorce case was prepared by the State of Colorado.

These instructions walk parties through the process and can help answer many questions about the various stages of a modification proceeding.

Download the Form

You must read and agree to the terms and conditions.

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Categories: Modification of Support

courtroom Order to Issue Show Cause Denver divorce lawyer

In the event the Court determines you’ve properly alleged a violation of a valid court order, this Order to Issue Citation and Show Cause will be completed by the court clerk, sign by the judge and then sent out for service on the other party.

You must arrange for personal service of the Citation and Show Cause Order.

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Categories: Contempt Citations

sad dad Motion for Contempt Denver divorce lawyer

A contempt proceeding is initiated by the filing of a Motion for Contempt Citation alleging a violation of a valid court order. It is filed in the same action as the allegedly violated order. (See Instructions for Filing Contempt).

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Categories: Contempt Citations

dad on computer with kids Child Support Worksheets Denver divorce lawyer

Even though the Colorado legislature has clearly laid out a formula for child support, parties still argue extensively over the numbers which go into the support calculation. So while life is better for all involved because of the formula, child support is a persistence source of conflict in Colorado family law cases.

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excell Child Support Worksheets Denver divorce lawyerChild Support Worksheets

Categories: Divorce with Kids

man on hill with kids Affidavit for Decree without Appearance of Parties Denver divorce lawyer

Generally, where a Colorado divorce doesn’t involve minor children and where lawyers are not involved, and where the parties have settled all matters and submitted all their paperwork, a court may decide to grant a divorce decree without holding a hearing.

The Affidavit for Entry of Decree without Appearance of the Parties is submitted to the court for this very reason. Some courts, however, will still require an appearance by both parties regardless of the Affidavit.

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Categories: Divorce no Kids, Divorce with Kids

gavel and cash Support Order Denver divorce lawyer

Support Orders are granted by Colorado family law courts when one divorce party is determined to owe an on-going obligation to the other party. These support obligations may be either child support or maintenance obligations.

Once a support order is granted in a Colorado family law case, a party may enforce the order in many ways, including income assignment. If a divorce party fails to comply with a support order, a contempt citation may be sought.

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Categories: Divorce no Kids, Divorce with Kids

gavel and decree Form of Decree Denver divorce lawyer

A decree of dissolution (divorce) is the document which terminates the marriage. The divorce decree may not be granted any earlier than 90 days after service of the divorce petition on the respondent. It may be granted with or without a hearing. The divorce decree is also the document wherein a party may obtain a name change.

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Categories: Divorce no Kids, Divorce with Kids

dad and son Parenting Plan Denver divorce lawyer

A Parenting Plan is the controlling document with regard to parenting time and decision making. It also usually identified who pays the health insurance for the children and which parent will be designated the primary residential custodian.

A parenting plan is only used when the parties are able to resolve their differences by way of agreement. If parenting time and decision making are left to the judge, then the judge’s Permanent Order will control these issues.

A parenting plan should contain a detailed schedule of each parent’s regular and holiday parenting time, transportation obligations and times, as well as a plan for handling all major decisions in the child’s life.

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Categories: colorado family law, Divorce with Kids

gavel and rings1 Separation Agreement Denver divorce lawyer

If the parties are able to settle their divorce in Colorado, they prepare a Separation Agreement which lays out the agreed upon terms. Specifically stating the terms can be very helpful to the family law court in determining whether the terms are fair to the divorce parties involved.

Most Colorado family law cases are settled and Separation Agreements are submitted to the divorce court for review and approval. Once approved, the terms become Orders of the court, subject to contempt if they’re violated.

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Categories: Divorce no Kids, Divorce with Kids

courtroom Pre Trial Statement Denver divorce lawyer

In a Colorado family law case, the pre-trial statement is used to help advise the family law court about what evidence you intend to present at the divorce hearing. You must list witnesses, identify exhibits and advise the divorce court about the issues you expect to argue and what your position is on those issues.

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Categories: Divorce no Kids, Divorce with Kids

courtroom Certificate of Compliance Denver divorce lawyer

A Certificate of Compliance is a Colorado family law form that details all of the financial documents that you have given to the other divorce party. This form certifies that you have complied with Colorado divorce law and that you are not keeping anything from the other party.

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Categories: Divorce no Kids, Divorce with Kids

gavel and rings1 Mandatory Disclosure List Denver divorce lawyer

As part of all divorces in Colorado, each party must make a full and truthful disclosure of all their assets, both marital and separate. This document helps parties figure out how to comply with this Colorado divorce requirement and what documents must be filed with the family law court proving compliance.

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Categories: Divorce no Kids, Divorce with Kids

gavel and rings Response Denver divorce lawyer

The Response in a Colorado divorce is filed by the Respondent in the divorce, stating what their position is on the relief requested by the Petitioner in their petition.

Also, if the Respondent wants the Colorado family law court to do something above and beyond what is laid out in the divorce petition, this is the document where they advise the court.

For example, if the Respondent is seeking an award of child support, it should be clearly stated in the Response.

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Categories: Divorce no Kids, Divorce with Kids

wedding ring Certificate of Service Denver divorce lawyer

A certificate of service is proof that you’ve served on another party, in an appropriate and approved manner, certain documents in your Colorado family law case, including divorce cases.

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Categories: Divorce no Kids, Divorce with Kids

gavel and cash Motion to Waive Costs Denver divorce lawyer

It’s an unfortunate fact of domestic violence but, often because of the absolute control exerted by an abuser, the other spouse has absolutely no access to resources – sometimes there’s no money to pay for a lawyer and other times, there’s not even enough to pay the filing fee for a Protective Order. While the Court can’t help you with attorney fees, it may be able to help you with the filing fee. In certain circumstances, a court may waive the costs associated with it’s own filing fees.

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Categories: Divorce no Kids, Divorce with Kids

girl and bear Affidavit Re Children Denver divorce lawyer

When an abused spouse seeks a protective order and there are children involved, an Affidavit re Children must be completed and submitted to the court along with the Motion for Protective Order.

Parenting provisions and provisions protecting the children may expire after 120 days. It is critical that, should the children continue to need protection, an action in District Court be initiated prior to the expiration of this deadline.

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Categories: Divorce with Kids

In order for a Colorado divorce to start, someone must file a petition for a divorce in the correct family law court. A petition for divorce is a form that is submitted to the court which asks the family law court to grant you a divorce.

The person requesting the divorce is known as the Petitioner and the person who is responding to the request is known as the Respondent. In order to properly file a petition for divorce, it must be accompanied by a summons.

In a Colorado divorce involving minor children the Petition must contain vital statistics for the children.

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Categories: Divorce no Kids, Divorce with Kids

courtroom Summons Denver divorce lawyer

A divorce summons is the form that ensures a person’s Constitutional right to notice is protected in a Colorado family law case. Notice is required in order to uphold a person’s due process rights.

The divorce summons is directed to the respondent and notifies him or her of the time in which a response is due, of the time after which orders may be entered, and of the fact that orders may be entered without further notice in the event that no response is filed. The divorce summons also notifies the respondent of the automatic temporary injunctions provided by C.R.S. 14-10-107.

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Categories: Divorce no Kids, Divorce with Kids

courtroom Case Information Sheet Denver divorce lawyer

The Case Information Sheet is a basic advisement to the court about who the parties are, where they live and what the issues may be in the case.

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Categories: Divorce no Kids, Divorce with Kids

gavel and cash Affidavit of Arrears Denver divorce lawyer

If a contempt action is based on a party’s failure to pay support, you must file an Affidavit of Arrears containing a break down of the support owed. The affidavit must be complete as the court will rely on this document for the remedy it decides upon.

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Categories: Contempt Citations

david donnelly2 The Utility of A Pre Nuptial Agreement Denver divorce lawyer

David Donnelly - Denver Family Law Attorney

After several years of experience with divorces, and talking with so many people who have gone through the divorce process, I have seen the light.  There are countless reasons that people get divorces, but the most commonly occurring one is financial troubles.  When I say financial troubles, I do not necessarily mean that there is just not enough money to make ends meet, but instead, I see much of the time, situations where husband and wife just cannot see eye-to-eye and agree how to address financial issues.  It could be as simple as a one person’s fetish for shoes or golf, or it could be how much you spent on your new smart-phone, or it could be more mundane issues like whether you pay your bills on time.

 

When I was younger, I always thought that Pre-Nuptial Agreements, also known as Ante-Nuptial Agreements, were unfair, biased and manipulative agreements entered into in bad faith by one party with much to protect, and by the other party under duress.  I don’t think so anymore.

 

What I have learned over the years is that it is really beneficial to the success of a marriage, to have an understanding of what each party’s role will be in the marriage.  How will each contribute?  Who will pay what bills?  Because so many marriages end in divorce, statistically more than one-half, the chances of marriage succeeding, are increased by entering into a Pre-Nuptial Agreement which can provide this type of guidance to the parties. 

 

This type of agreement can assist both parties in understanding how money earned during the marriage is going to be spent and by defining it accordingly.  By providing the parties an already agreed upon road-map on how finances will be spent during the marriage, Pre-Nuptial Agreements lessen the stress, especially the stress which may ultimately lead to a dissolution or legal separation.  

Categories: Pre-Nuptual Agreements
dave johnson Are You Registered? Denver divorce lawyer

M. David Johnson - Denver Divorce Lawyer

So your divorce is final.  Now what?  Do you celebrate? Go on a vacation? Jump into dating? Hit the gym 7 days a week?

How about registering at Saks or Neiman Marcus for your post-decree reception gifts?

Following a divorce you  need emotional support and solid cooping mechanisms in place to start life over again – but you may also need a new toaster, iron, artwork, or a living room couch.  The economic realities are that new divorcees are likely to start with less than half of all the personal property, income and assets they had before the marriage deteriorated and will need to quickly re-acquire these items in order to sustain some degree of functionality or quality of life.

One novel way of reacquiring the personal property necessities is to have a divorce party, register yourself at a few local stores for the items you’ve lost in the divorce and send out invitations to all the family and friends who’ve been looking for a way to help support you.  Whether or not they’re able to attend your divorce party, these folks can help start you off on your new life.  Targeted generosity like this let you start over with the gifts you need and gives your support group a means to provide direct and useful help.  Be sure to hit up your lawyer for gifts too.

And while you’re asking for toasters, shower mats and picture frames, why not also ask for a year long gym membership, a few personal training sessions, or a month long membership to a local yoga studio?  Starting life over also means striking a new, and healthy, balance.  Start planning for the personal growth now.

The end of the divorce process is a conflicted time for most people.  It’s sad, scary, and final.  At the same time, many new divorcees also feel excited, reborn, and energized about a different kind of future.  This internal conflict is completely natural and originates from a fear of the unknown, something we all suffer from to one degree or another.  Recognizing that fear, embracing it, and choosing positive cooping mechanisms both during and after your divorce can help you move forward in a positive and sustainable way.

Categories: Divorce Health, M David Johnson

david donnelly3 Requesting Attorneys Fees and Costs From The Other Party Denver divorce lawyer

David L. Donnelly - Family Law Attorney

In most domestic relations cases, either one or both parties request their attorney’s fees and costs be paid by the other party, and in these uncertain economic times, this trend is even more prevalent. In general terms though, there are only a few circumstances where a Court will warrant that an award of attorney’s fees and costs is appropriate in domestic relations cases.

The first and most common, is when there is a large disparity of income between the parties. The operative word here is disparity. This does not mean that the Court will award fees just because there is a mere difference in incomes. The law requires that the disparity in income between the two parties is so great that it detrimentally affects one party’s ability to obtain an attorney while still meeting their reasonable needs, including payment of mortgage or rent, feeding their children and themselves, and other needs.The theory behind this is that oftentimes, there are situations where one party is a stay-at-home parent and the other party is the primary breadwinner because this relationship often affects the lesser income-earner’s relative ability to pay. To not award attorney’s fees and costs in this situation would unfairly affect one party’s ability to obtain attorney representation in the proceedings.

The next situation where an award of attorney’s fees and costs is appropriate is when the other party files frivolous motions, or motions designed to inflame the other party, or motions that have no foundation in the law. Such motions are most often used to obtain an advantage or to out-litigate the other party, but the Court is cognizant of these techniques and oftentimes, does award such fees to stop the offending party from continuing to use such tactics. Although there are other opportunities where your attorney can request that your attorney’s fees and costs be paid by the other party, they are used on a very specific case-by-case basis. One instance includes a situation where the other party is in violation of already existing Court orders. This is referred to as a contempt proceeding. Additionally, there are a few others situations as well, but these situations do not occur with great regularity in the domestic relations field. With that being said, it is essential that your attorney know of these circumstances and knows when to assert these arguments on your behalf. Bottom line, your attorney should identify these situations fairly early in your case and should keep you advised of these situations as your case proceeds forward.

Categories: fees and costs

dave johnson3 Religon & Divorce Denver divorce lawyer

M. David Johnson - Denver Divorce Lawyer

Worried about the impact religion might have in your case? Depending on the case, your concern might be well placed.

Faith is a powerful factor in many families. Parties, judges, lawyers – we all have our thoughts on religion and the role it might play in our family life. For example, faith can become a factor in a family law case when a party’s faith is targeted by the public as fringe, or “cultish”, or fundamentalist. Parties understandably worry about prejudices the other people involved in the case might have toward their religion.

Faith can also be a factor because it passes judgment on our actions, or on the divorce process itself. Religion may condemn a parent for making the choice to move out of the family home, or for seeking a divorce in the first place. Many faiths consider divorce an abhorrence and ostracize the electing spouse. And, of course, some faiths seeks to find blame, or assign fault, for the underlying reasons a divorce is sought.

So passionately are these beliefs held that its important to evaluate your selection of the professionals involved in your case to the extent your can. Child and Family Investigators (CFI) and your lawyers are the most obvious professionals over whom you have the greatest degree of control in the selection process. Before deciding to hire these individuals you should ask yourself whether you think they respect your faith, respect your choices, and empathize with your position.

Categories: M David Johnson

david donnelly Default Hearings Denver divorce lawyer

David L. Donnelly - Family Law Attorney

In the practice of law, there are, oftentimes, situations where the other party fails, or refuses to participate in the proceedings. This most commonly occurs in domestic relations law relative to other types of practices. While the reasons for lack of participation are many, different Courts will address this lack of participation in a variety of ways.

Occasionally, Judges and Magistrates will offer an extended opportunity for a party to get on board and begin to participate but most often, the Court will expect the same level of performance from an attorney or an unrepresented party. This includes meeting the Court’s deadlines, completing financial disclosures, and responding to pleadings.

When an opposing party does not respond to a Petition, Complaint or Motion, they are in default.  As a case progresses forward, it is more and more difficult for a party in default to catch up. Simultaneously, the moving party has less time to acquire the information necessary to prepare for hearing.

Ultimately, when a party is in default, the Court will set the matter for a default hearing. Rather than a one-half day hearing, or even a full day hearing, the Court is more prone to set the matter for a thirty minute hearing. Where Judges and Magistrates differ, is on what will happen at the default hearing. Depending on the nature of the proceeding, the Court may request that the moving party testify on the stand about what they want and why they want it. Therefore, your attorney needs to be fully prepared, just as if it was a hotly contested hearing. Frankly, it takes a significant amount of time to prepare for testimony, to make exhibits and prepare documents. Often, clients may be frustrated with the costs associated with trial preparation, especially when they know the other party will not show up for the final hearing.

This is especially the case when the Court determines that because it is a default hearing that hearing the testimony of the party and reviewing exhibits is not necessary. Occasionally, the Court will simply request that your attorney to provide the Court and offer of proof. An offer of proof is when the attorney states to the Court, what their client would say if they were to testify. While this is the most efficient use of the Court’s time, it does often frustrate clients because they do not have the opportunity to speak and because those exhibit notebooks which were prepared for the Court are not used. Although it does not change the outcome, it seems to the client that it is not an efficient use of their attorney’s time. Finally, after the hearing is complete, the Court will generally require your attorney to draft a written form of the Order of the Court which comports with the Court’s Default Order. This is the most essential aspect of the process because the final Order needs to be complete, accurate, and properly served on the party in default so that they have proper notice.

Categories: divorce

david donnelly Long Term Effects of Agreements Denver divorce lawyerDuring a dissolution of marriage, it is essential that you consider the ramifications of any agreement, or Court Order for that matter, in good times and in bad.  Not every dissolution of marriage is messy and expensive.  No every divorce is high conflict.  But even in the situations when your parting ways may be on amicable terms now, there may be a time in the future when your relationship with your former spouse may be more stressed. 

This is why, even in a peaceful dissolution of marriage, you have to be careful about the ramifications of your agreements several years down the road.  This is somewhat foreseeable with children’s issues, such as parenting time and decision-making authority, but this realization is more often overlooked when addressing the financial issues of a dissolution of marriage. 

Commonly, attorneys utilize standard language to effectuate the agreements of the parties when determining how to transfer title to vehicles or real property.  The point of this discussion is that it is imperative that you consider not only what your financial plans are currently, but also what your financial plans may be in the future.  For example, husband and wife are often jointly titled on their house and they are oftentimes, also, both liable for the mortgage. Upon a decree of dissolution of marriage, either the husband will take the home, the wife will take the home, or the parties will place the home on the market and sell the home.  There are benefits and detriments to each of these situations, but there is much to be considered in each of these situations too. 

If the house is listed on the market for sale, what happens if the house does not sell?  Does the agreement address how long the house will remain on the market?  How is the listing price determined?  What happens if one of the parties continues to reside in the home but does not maintain the home in a saleable condition?  If the house is awarded to one or the other party, how long does that party have to refinance the property into their name alone?  What happens if they cannot refinance the home?  What happens if the party responsible party does not make the mortgage payments timely, and the home goes into foreclosure? 

Divorcing parties cannot consider every possible scenario for every vehicle, and property and debt out there, but there are several methods and language which can be utilized to cover the most common problems that arise.  Ultimately, the parties are the best suited to determine what problems are likely to arise and in the end, agree how to best protect their future interests by addressing those issues during the dissolution of marriage process and not waiting until it is too late.

Categories: Division of Property

dave johnson Web Technology and the Law Denver divorce lawyer

M. David Johnson - Denver Divorce Lawyer

She opened the presentation with, “So this is an example of a web page..” Right then I knew it was going to be a long morning.

The presentation was on web marketing for lawyers and the presenter was a senior partner at a well known Denver firm who manages that firm’s technology needs. Billed as “What is Web Marketing”, I chose to attend so I could assess the level of sophistication of the lawyer population, in general. One should always keep an eye on the competition but I was also interested in whether the bar would approach web marketing as a positive tool for solving people’s legal needs or if they’d approach web technology as something to be feared. After 45 minutes of watching the two presenters – and the bar’s tech guy – struggle with the Power Point presentation, finally giving up and moving to an ad hoc paper presentation, the answer was clear.

I suppose I should be happy as a clam that my fellow lawyers know as much about internet marketing as my dog Dexter, but I’m not. Sadly, all of the wonderful expertise my fellow professionals have is wasted as a web resource. All of their knowledge and experience could be used to help people handle their own disputes, or at least minimize the ones we have to get involved in. Yet that treasure trove of information walled off from the very people who need it most.

How is it walled off? Primarily, most lawyers don’t take the time to use the web as a resource themselves, educating themselves along the way on the new and exciting tools available out there for communicating with and informing clients and potential clients. Secondly, the rules that govern professional conduct are so outdated and yet enforced so rigidly, that lawyers get scared off and don’t even try to use the web as a tool to help these folks.

At a time when most businesses are evaluating collaborative work spaces, like SharePoint, and implementing cloud computing solutions, like Wave, my fellow lawyers are arguing about whether “friending” a judge on Facebook somehow creates an improper relationship. Seriously?

Today’s tools – blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube – may not be the same tools we use tomorrow, but in this world of fast moving technology solutions, the goal shouldn’t be to master any single one of them. The goal is to constantly be open and listening to all of them, adjusting your strategy with the emergence of each new tool.

Categories: M David Johnson, Technology

dave johnson Collaborative Law   To Be, or Not to Be ... Denver divorce lawyer

M. David Johnson - Denver Divorce Lawyer

I just finished 2 days of collaborative law training and on returning to the office, was heckled by my associates for potentially losing my litigation mojo. It seems some of them buy into the view that collaborative law is somehow a weak approach to family law, or, as one indicated, really best for the women in divorce.

Before attending the collaborative law training, I might have just chuckled a little and walked off in the face of these obviously sexist and hasty comments. But I attended the training and made the investment of two attorneys for two days to give collaborative law a fair shake – and a fair shake down. After two days of asking hard questions and being as fully open to the concept as I could, I can now say “bunk” to these preconceived, sexist and ill-inform comments.

Collaborative law is a valid and useful tool in resolving some family law cases. All cases should be evaluated as candidates for this process the same as we might evaluate a case for other tools such as mediation. I’m convinced that some cases will be better handled in the collaborative process rather than in litigation – not all, certainly, but some.

To my associates who think women fair better, I can say there is nothing gender specific about collaborative law. The process is completely gender blind. Men should fair just as well as women. I found nothing in the process which leads me to believe one sex is advantaged by the election of the CL process. I believe young fathers are particularly disadvantaged in our family law court system, in general, and I do believe there is a strong bias for young mothers. But I see nothing about the Collaborative Law process that exacerbates that inequity. In fact, I find the educational nature of collaborative law to be a powerful tool in bringing the parties to a common solution.

We have more to learn about the process and I look forward to it. This tool for resolving family law cases is here to stay for a reason – for some cases, this litigation substitute will help families survive the divorce process.

Categories: Allocation of Parental Rights, Child Support, Collaborative Law, divorce, M David Johnson

Several jurisdictions recognize parental alienation by another parent as an actual, and diagnosable issue.  In those jurisdictions, it is weighed heavily because the Court recognizes the susceptibility of children to the influences of a parent. 

While Courts look at the relationship between the parties when making determinations about parenting time exchanges, as well as in regards to making determinations about decision-making authority, Courts are more interested in the quality of the relationship between the child and each parent.  This is why parental alienation is so effective, and so dangerous.  With a child of any age, from two to eighteen, children are impressionable and very often, the lawyers at the Johnson Márquez Legal Group hear stories about children intervening in telling one parent or another that they want less time. 

Often, we see that it is the primary parent, the parent with the majority of time, who uses techniques of parental alienation on a regular basis to push the other parent further away.  This is a danger because parents recognize it, child and family investigators recognize it, and Courts recognize it.  The standard that the Court uses for determination of parenting time is the best interests of the child.  When one party is alienating the child from the other parent, Court’s will find that such behavior is not in the best interests of the minor child and this type of behavior should be avoided as much as possible.

Categories: Allocation of Parental Rights, Decision Making, parental alienation, parenting time

In the event that you become responsible to pay child support and/or spousal maintenance, it is essential that you keep a detailed record of each payment made. If you are ordered to pay child support, it is likely to be for a period of several years. The duration for which you may be ordered to pay spousal maintenance varies depending on the parties’ situation.

Often times, the Court will order your payments to be made to the Family Support Registry (FSR). The FSR then distributes the payment to the obligor. The FSR keeps track of the date your payment was made and the amount of the payment. However, it is not always clear as to whether your payment was for child support or spousal maintenance. Missing just a few payments can cause you severe frustration several years down the line.

For instance, assume you and your spouse or significant other have a child together. Further, assume that soon after your child is born, your relationship becomes tumultuous, and the two of you decide to separate. Depending on several factors used to calculate child support, it likely that one party will be required to pay the other a child support payment each month. Depending on the amount to be paid, you may even pay twice per month. As child support payments are likely to be required until that child becomes emancipated, you may be paying once or twice monthly for the next nineteen years. To put this into perspective, if you are required to pay child support for 19 years, one payment each month, that is 228 payments that will be made and 456 payments should you be Ordered to pay twice per month!

The sheer number of payments is one reason why it is imperative that both the Obligor and Obligee keep a record of each payment made, including, but not limited to: the date the payment was made; a copy of the form of payment, such as a check, wire transfer, or money order; the address the payment was sent to if mailed; the date the payment was cashed, if traceable; and whether that specific payment was for child support or spousal maintenance. Keeping track of what the payment was for is essential, due to the high interest rate imposed for missed child support and spousal maintenance payments. While both are high, child support is much higher, currently 12%, and is compounded monthly. C.R.S. § 14-14-106 (2008). Interest applied to unpaid spousal maintenance is 8%, compounded annually. C.R.S. § 5-12-101 (2008).

Not only is it important to meet your obligations if you are the Obligor, but just imagine the conundrum you may face should the Obligee seek to recover any alleged missed payments if you do not have sufficient records to prove the payments were made. Under Colorado law, if any court ordered installment of child support or maintenance is due and unpaid, it automatically becomes a final money judgment. C.R.S. § 14-10-122(1)(c) 2008. Consequently, the applicable statute of limitations is twenty years from the entry of such a judgment. C.R.S. § 13-52-102(2)(a) (2008). Should you fail to make payments, you may be faced with an action whereby you need to produce payment records from the last two decades.

Due to the various durations of time which the child support and/or spousal payments may be required, if you have not maintained a record of your payments, it may be difficult to defend yourself. Never rely on your bank or financial institution to safeguard these records for you, as the method of payment used ten years ago may now be obsolete due to constantly changing technology.

Regardless of whether you are responsible to pay child support, maintenance, or both, missing just a few payments may cost you more than you bargained for, including the time required to trace your payment history. The needless expense associated with re-creating your payment history is entirely avoidable, so be sure you maintain an accurate, detailed record of each payment made.

Categories: Child Support, colorado family law, divorce