Prentiss Can You Find The Perfect Partner? Denver divorce lawyerWe are all looking for the perfect relationship, right? The match with the person who meets all of our needs, and gives us that perfect storybook life we’ve always dreamed about. The problem with that, is that in that world view the relationship is the end point. “and they lived happily ever after.” Where reality comes crashing in is that your happily ever after is the life you are living after your relationship gets going, it’s here and now.
Happily ever after is a lot of hard work. In a previous blog I talked about how there is a correlation between social media use and dissatisfaction in marriages. The study we talked about there didn’t point the finger either direction, but I think we can see how using social media can cause, or exacerbate problems in relationships. There are a few ways this can happen.
“All the time and energy that goes into maintaining a lot of social media can take away from the one-on-one time couples share,” Christina Steinorth, a psychotherapist in Santa Barbara, told in 2013. Steinorth continues “It’s also very easy to get swept up into a fantasy life in social media, which may make it tempting for individuals to stray from their committed romantic relationship. People typically report very flattering things about themselves on social media — their best photos to the best moments of their lives. When this happens, it can lead someone to think ‘Hey, that person is better looking and more interesting than my partner’ and lead to a grass is greener mindset.”
It’s true that we live in a world of options. It’s easier than ever to interact with people without ever leaving your home or setting down your smart phone, we have far more options in every facet of our lives than even a generation ago, from what to eat, where to shop, what buy, to whom to date or marry, or even if we want to get married at all. These choices lead us to constantly measure our lives against what we expect them to be Andrew J. Cherlin, a professor of sociology and public policy at Johns Hopkins told Hara Estroff Marano in Psychology Today. “The result is an ongoing self-appraisal of how your personal life is going, like having a continual readout of your emotional heart rate. [This] creates a heightened sensitivity to problems that arise in intimate relationships.”
As a divorce attorney I see this on a regular basis. People are dissatisfied with their current situation and partner, in part because the expectation doesn’t meet reality, and in part because they’ve come to believe that lots of other people are happier. Sometimes this is true, not every relationship is going to last. Sometimes though, I think people just underestimate how much work goes in to a relationship or how important it is to value the “we” of that relationship.
So, what can you do about it? Marano suggests that it requires a lot of hard work and cooperation with your partner. “The question is not how you want your partner to change but what kind of partner and person you want to be. In the best relationships, not only are you thinking about who you want to be, but your partner is willing to help you get there.” In short, there is no perfect partner out there, despite what the illusion of seemingly infinite choices tries to tell you. As Marano says “you can’t find the perfect person; there is no such thing. You and your partner help each other become a more perfect person—perfect, that is, according to your own inner ideals. You are both, with mutual help, constantly evolving.”
Give us a call at 303.394.3030 to schedule a FREE consultation with Attorney JP Prentiss.

Categories: colorado family law, Current News, divorce, Divorce Talk Blog

Prentiss Facebook, Marriage and Divorce Denver divorce lawyerA little while back I wrote about Facebook and Relationships. Continuing that trend, let’s talk a little bit about Facebook, marriage, and of course, divorce.  One of the realities of being a family law attorney is that I interact quite a bit with people whose marriages aren’t in great shape.  These relationships often have similar issues, poor communication, lack of respect, a loss of intimacy, etc.  It appears that many marriages that are headed for divorce also have something else in common, a larger use of Facebook and other social media.
In the study, Social network sites, marriage well-being and divorce: Survey and state-level evidence from the United States, published in July of last year in the journal Computers in Human Behavior researchers conclude that “The data presented in this study provide evidence that Facebook use is correlated with reduced marital satisfaction and divorce rates.”  Now, this isn’t a case of cause and effect. The study doesn’t conclude that Facebook use leads to unhappy marriages or that unhappy marriages lead one to use Facebook more often.
What the researchers actually found is that as the share of a state’s population with a Facebook account increased, so did the state’s divorce rate.  The study showed that a 20% increase in Facebook accounts from 2008-2010 was associated with a 2.2% increase in the state’s divorce rate.  Quentin Fottrell of MarketWatch, notes “Previous studies also support the conclusion that there’s a connection between social networking and marital problems.” in an article, “Does Facebook break up marriages?”  According to a University of Texas at Austin survey 32% of social media users whose social media use was categorized as “heavy” had thought about leaving their spouses as compared with only 16% of people who didn’t use social media.
Nobody is sure why Facebook use and Divorce rates are correlated, or why people using social media are more likely to think about leaving their spouses, but there are some suggestions.  It may be that social media makes it easier to reconnect with old flames.  “Extramarital affairs might have taken months or even years to develop in the past, but with Facebook, Snapchat and other social networks your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend is just a click away… When marriages go through rocky patches and people do seek support, temptation has never been closer” says Fottrell.
It might also be seeing other people’s relationships lived out online or being provided with a host of options for happiness.  Hara Estroff Marano in an article “The Expectations Trap” says “With general affluence has come a plethora of choices, including constant choices about our personal and family life. Even marriage itself is now a choice…You get used to the idea of always making choices to improve your happiness. The heightened focus on options ‘creates a heightened sensitivity to problems that arise in intimate relationships.’ And negative emotions get priority processing in our brains.”  In other words, social media may make it easier to connect with others and therefore open an array of options that didn’t exist before, making people more sensitive to problems in their intimate relationships and therefore more likely to choose one of those other options.
Check back next time for some more discussion of the illusion of unlimited possibility and it’s effect on relationships.
JP Prentiss offers free consultations and would be happy to meet with you to discuss your case and how he can help. Click here to schedule a free consultation or give us a call at 303.394.3030.

Categories: colorado family law, Current News, divorce, Divorce Talk Blog

Seems like the new year is a time for many couples to evaluate their options and see about getting a fresh start. It’s been a rough month for celebrity couples.  Since mid December, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors, Chris Rock, Slash, of Guns ’N Roses fame, Jeremy Renner, Clint Eastwood, and Kris and Bruce Jenner have either filed for or finalized their divorces.
Divorce doesn’t get easier, or cheaper, just because you’re rich and famous. Elon Musk has offered a 16 million dollar settlement to his wife, and Clint Eastwood’s divorce settled without much conflict, but that may have been because of a prenuptial agreement. Kris and Bruce Jenner settled their divorce as well, with Kris agreeing to pay Bruce 2.5 million dollars.  They also distributed their property, with each of them taking some fancy cars.
On the more contentious side of things, it looks like Chris Rock and his wife may be in for a custody battle, with Chris alleging that she is refusing to let him see their kids.  Slash doesn’t have a prenuptial agreement with his wife, and under California law (which is similar to Colorado’s marital property laws) she’s likely to be entitled to half of everything he’s made since they married in 2001. Jeremy Renner’s wife is alleging that their prenup was based on fraud and should be tossed out.  She’s asking for custody of their daughter, spousal support, and for Renner to pay for her rent and moving expenses.
Whether you expect an amicable separation or to have to fight over everything, having the right attorney on your side is invaluable.  A dedicated family law attorney brings expertise and professional judgment to your side as well as providing an emotional buffer between you and your spouse.  This will help move your case forward in the most efficient way possible while still getting you the results you want.
Contact JP Prentiss today for a free consultation so we can help you with your divorce or custody case.

Categories: colorado family law, Current News, divorce, Divorce Talk Blog

Divorce is a difficult experience but when involving military personnel it can become much more complicated. Military divorce rules are dictated by both state and federal laws. This presents unique challenges that often require the support of an experienced family law attorney with knowledge of military family law.
Military divorce has several distinct factors which include state jurisdiction, pension, retirement, medical benefits, and the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). These topics can be overwhelming and confusing. As Colorado’s premier family law firm, we are prepared to be your advocate during your divorce and will help make the process as easy as possible.
Johnson Márquez Legal Group proudly serves all military bases across Colorado including: Ft. Carson, Peterson AFB, Air Force Academy, Shriever AFB, Cheyenne Mountain AFS, and Buckley AFB. Schedule a free consultation for more information.

Categories: colorado family law, divorce, Military Divorce

Kolberg Haily Kolberg | Possibilities Denver divorce lawyerI’ve been asked to write about “possibilities for our bar” and address “what young lawyers are looking for in a bar section” and “what the needs of young lawyers are.” Before I can answer that, I need to address who the young lawyers are and where our bar is now. In July 2014 75% of those who took the bar passed it. Of that 75%, 111 people went to the University of Colorado, 175 people went to the University of Denver, and the remaining 346 people went to law schools outside of Colorado. More new attorneys went to law school in another state and chose to be here than were already here. That’s what people need to understand when asking what young lawyers need and where we want to go.
Most young lawyers aren’t from here and we are here because we want to be. As a result, we need connections and mentors – we don’t already have them. We need to know the other members of the bar, their stories, and their struggles. When we’re cursing ourselves for going to law school and racking up all that debt (for a stressful job that is hard to handle most days) we need to know we aren’t alone and that generations before us have gone though the same thing. We need to hear from those we admire and respect that it gets better. In a town like Colorado Springs, big firms and built in mentors are few and far between. The reason there is a disconnect between young lawyers and more seasoned members of the bar is exactly that. Gone is the time when you had a built-in mentor and someone to go to with every question because most of us are too afraid to admit we don’t know something to ask.
Most people learn to cook from their parents. They get burned or cut themselves but they get better and it’s okay. When learning to be an attorney you are NOT taught that it is okay if you mess up. Instead, you’re threatened with words like malpractice and disbarment over and over and over again, at CLEs, in the Colorado Bar Magazine, and by your malpractice insurance. When young attorneys mess up they’re afraid to admit it or ask for help fixing it because of how serious the consequences are. What young attorneys need (and desperately want) are resources and mentors to help with that fear and weight that hangs over our shoulders. We need people to ask questions of and people we can confide in without fear of judgment or consequence. We need those same people to be our friends and to confide in us as well so we feel like it will get better.
I constantly hear speculation that there aren’t a lot of young lawyers in El Paso County because everyone leaves for Denver to make more money. I’m not sure that’s true. I think there aren’t a lot of young lawyers in El Paso County because we don’t feel connected enough with the legal community to stay in the area that we initially chose. Writing about possibilities for our bar is hard, because they’re endless if we can work together and develop a system of mentors, resources, and friends. We need to stop blaming the internet for lack of personal connection and start blaming ourselves for not getting to know one another and asking for help or offering help when it’s needed. All generations of our bar need to recognize this weakness and work on it together. Let’s develop a listserv. Let’s develop a mentorship program. Let’s develop more social events for networking. Let’s build our bar up together instead of taking the easy route and leaving it alone. A “possibility” is defined as a thing that may happen or be the case. What possibilities are there for young lawyers in our bar? In my mind, our bar’s possibilities are limitless, from passing the bar, to first hearings, to finding a mentor, to enjoying entire careers spent happily making a difference in our community. Let’s figure out how to accomplish that, what that looks like, and how to make things get better together.
Haily Kolberg is an experienced associate attorney at Johnson Márquez. She offers free consultations and would be happy to help you with your case. Please click or call 719.476.0079 to schedule a free consultation with Haily.

Categories: colorado family law, Current News, News at JMLG

Prentiss What Facebook Data can tell us About Relationships Denver divorce lawyerBy now it’s no secret that lots of people use Facebook. As of October 2014, Facebook had 1.35 billion monthly users, with 864 million people logging on each day. Take a moment to think about that. That means that each month one out of every five people on the planet uses Facebook, and each day more than 10 percent of the planet’s population signs in to Facebook either to read or post.

It’s also no secret that Facebook is collecting data about you. They collect data about what you post, what you like, what you change on your profile, what you read, and even more, especially if you use Facebook on a mobile device. For many of us that is a small price to pay to stay connected to our friends and family around the world and to look at some funny cat pictures. But did you know that Facebook has an entire division devoted to crunching all that data they collect? If you’re interested in the kinds of things Facebook tracks and how they use that data, take a look a Facebook Data Science.

One feature of Facebook is that you can not only show your relationship status, but you can link that status to the person with whom you are in a relationship. Naturally Facebook tracks this data, and their data scientists use the massive amount of relationship data generated by those 1.35 billion users to draw some interesting conclusions.
For example, did you know that Colorado Springs is the number one city for probability of a single person forming a new relationship? You might think that means that there are a lot of single people there, but interestingly the data actually says that the higher the percentage of single people in a given city, the lower the probability of relationship formation.
Facebook can also tell us when folks are more likely to break up. Early March and mid December appear to be the peak break-up times according to Facebook status updates, so this time of year may be especially hard, but the good news is that break-ups take a nose dive right around the holidays, as well as during the summer months.
On a happier note, Facebook data also shows that the peak days for relationship formation are Christmas and Valentine’s Day. That same analysis tells us that there are generally net losses in relationships generated during the summer months and net gains at the beginning and end of the year, across all age ranges.
Changes in relationship status are just one data point that Facebook collects. They also track interactions between users, such as messages or posting to one another’s Facebook timeline. Facebook has compared this data and come up with some interesting information. Facebook identifies the start of a relationship as “day zero”. In the days leading up to day zero interactions across two users’ timelines increases, peaking about 12 days before the relationship starts. Timeline interaction then starts to steadily decrease hitting it’s lowest point about two and a half months after the relationship is formed.
Facebook doesn’t stop there though, they also track and analyze the content of those interactions. Yes, Facebook is looking at, analyzing , and drawing conclusions not only about what you do while on Facebook, but what you actually say. While interactions between couples decrease after they’ve entered a relationship, the content of those interactions becomes more positive . Facebook data scientists created an algorithm to analyze the “sweetness” of timeline posts between couples. The data showed a marked increase in sweetness between couples leading up to the start of a relationship, with a huge peak of sweetness on days zero and one.
Facebook also looked at how people interact with their friends around the time that they have a change in relationship status. It appears that people receive support from and lean on their friends around the time of and after a break up. On the day that people go from “in a relationship” to “single” their interactions with other users jumps almost 225% , and even more tellingly, for the next month their levels of interaction remain at higher levels than they were pre-break up. So it seems that even in the digital age, reaching out to loved ones for support during tough times remains the way many people deal with those changes.
JP Prentiss would be happy to discuss your case with you. Give us a call at 303.394.3030 or click here to schedule a free consultation.


Categories: colorado family law, divorce

On October 7, 2014 gay marriage was legalized in the Mile High state.  Paradoxically, that happened because the United States Supreme Court…. did nothing.   Lower federal courts in Colorado, Utah, Oklahoma and several other states had found that marriage bans were unconstitutional and should not be enforced.  The States appealed but the United States Supreme Court refused to take up the issue (they get to pick and choose which cases to hear). Therefore, the lower court rulings stand and marriage equality is now the law of the land in the State of Colorado.


What About Civil Unions?
Civil unions still exist in Colorado.  If you want one, you can still get one.  If you already had one, nothing has changed.  You are still in a civil union and you are not married.  If you are a same-sex couple (or an opposite-sex couple) and wish to be married, whether you are in a civil union or not, you need to go to your county clerk and recorder’s office  to obtain a marriage license.  Please note — if you are currently in a civil union, you don’t need to dissolve that civil union to obtain a marriage license. However, the only person you can marry is the person you are in a civil union with.  In other words, you cannot be in a civil union with one person and a marriage with another person at the same time.  As an example, if you would like to marry your current girlfriend, but are still in a civil union with your ex, you will need to dissolve that civil union before you get married.
Is There Such a Thing As Common Law Same-Sex Marriage?
That is an issue being debated among family law attorneys right now.  “Common law” means principals or rules of law that existed before there was a written law.  In Colorado “common law marriage” is generally defined as cohabitation plus a general reputation in the community that the parties hold themselves out as married.  Some attorneys believe that while same-sex common law marriage might exist, it can only be recognized as of the date that same-sex marriages became legal in Colorado.  Other attorneys believe that laws that are found unconstitutional must be treated as though they never existed, and therefore a common law marriage should be found starting from the time the couple started living together and telling people that they were married.


Confused Yet?


Please click or call for a free consultation.  We can help!

Categories: colorado family law, Same Sex Marriage

iStock 000032871498 Medium 200x300 Thinking About Divorce? Denver divorce lawyerAccording to an analysis of over 10,000 FaceBook status updates, a peak break-up time each year is the two weeks leading up to Christmas.


If you find yourself contemplating divorce, you are probably engaged in a complicated emotional process. Even if you’re not sure you’re ready for a divorce, it might be helpful to speak with a lawyer about the practical implications of divorce. Having the facts about what could lie ahead can help you make clear decisions now.


Some things you could discuss with a lawyer now even if you’re not sure you’re ready for a divorce:

-Temporary financial arrangements. If you decide to divorce, you need to establish two separate households. Who would move out and how would it get paid for? Would someone pay spousal support (maintenance) or child support? How much? A lawyer can offer suggestions for handling the practical details of the separation. He or she may also be able to provide a ballpark figure for support as well.

-Dividing your assets and debts. You and your spouse can make almost any agreement you wish about dividing your assets and debts. A Court will usually divide them about half and half. Your lawyer can help you decide which assets and debts need to be divided and which don’t, whether there are any advantages to filing sooner rather than later, and how to maximize your fair share of the marital assets.

-Kids. Depending on the ages of your children and your family dynamics, it might be best to establish separate households immediately, or it could be better to wait until spring break or summer. Either way, you don’t need to wait to file your divorce papers. Many couples are actually well on their way to completing their divorces when they physically separate.


What should you do to prepare?

-Think about what timeshare arrangement would be best for your kids. Is 50/50 best for them or should the kids have a primary residence? A common 50/50 schedule is called a “2-2-5-5” (Monday and Tuesday with one parent, Wednesday and Thursday with the other parent, and alternating weekends). With a primary residence arrangement, the non-primary parent often has the kids one night each week plus every other weekend.

-Get your financial information organized. Within six weeks of filing for divorce, the parties are required to exchange comprehensive financial information with each other. You will need to be prepared to provide tax returns, bank statements, retirement and mortgage account information, and so forth. It can be a time-consuming project that sometimes catches people off guard. It’s ideal to file for divorce when you know you will have time to work on your financial disclosures.


We offer free consultations at the Johnson Márquez Legal Group.


Rachel Catt or one of our other experienced attorneys would be happy to discuss your case with you. We can help you navigate this difficult process and give you the information you need to decide how best to move forward with your life.

Categories: colorado family law, Current News, divorce, parenting time

Nothing is fun about going through a divorce during the holidays.  Ruined plans, division of family events and fighting can ruin just about any ounce of yuletide cheer you had left in you.  Holidays are supposed to be about family, but they are also about loving yourself.  Your mindset will take you places; either upward or downward when going through a divorce.


The process of recovering from a divorce can start very simply, with a concerned phone call, a heart-to-heart conversation, or even through reading a blog or journal entry online.  That being said, you can start feeling better right now.


Look deeply within your life for reasons to be happy.


You don’t need a reason to start being happy.  Being happy can be as easy as going out and having a conversation with a friend, and spreading positive energy.  Positive energy is going to be your strongest ally during times of struggle and divorce.  You can create positive energy in many ways.  Find a friend and buy them dinner, or better yet, let them buy you dinner.  Do something enjoyable—it may be hard to hear but staying in solitude and dwelling on self-pity or sadness is destructive and needs to stop.  You control your destiny; don’t let divorce and custody disputes ruin your mindset.


Don’t be afraid of the change.


Some change can be a good thing.  Don’t be afraid to try new things this season that may not stick with your past traditions.  Create new memories; don’t focus on things that will bring back the memories of a failed relationship.


It’s important to focus on your priorities.  Maybe you have less money, or have had to move.  That’s understandable and the circumstances need to be accepted as such.  Even though divorce is hard, it can be a positive transition for some families—especially those recovering from abuse.  Enjoy the peace of the holidays and respect yourself for having the focus and conviction to go through the difficult process of ending things.


Forget about your material possessions and gifts.


The holidays can be about gifts, especially in times of great joy.  However, the holidays aren’t always about that.  Focus on the love and respect of the holidays.  Be there for the rest of your friends and families.


Some people may struggle with losing family and friends.  Don’t be afraid to extend yourself this holiday season and show kindness to someone; you just might gain new friends and a whole new outlook on life.


Give the gifts a rest.  Don’t add a stressful burden to your already stressful winter.  Do things that make you happy.  Bake cookies, write cards and make gifts that come from the heart.  The completed products will be rewarding and produce much needed feelings of joy.


Recovering from a divorce is just as important for yourself as it is for the rest of your family and friends.  Learn to love yourself after the pain of separation, and the results will become self-evident.  Give up on stressing over the past—you can’t return to it.  Move on, be positive, return the care of those around you and please try your hardest to ignore stressors.


Categories: Divorce Health, Divorce Talk Blog

I’m getting ready to leave and maybe even divorce my abuser… now what?


The average domestic violence victim tries to leave seven times before she actually does.  I say “she” because most reported cases are male on female. However, domestic violence occurs in all relationships with all sorts of partners: male, female, transsexual, heterosexual, and homosexual.  For today’s purposes, we’re going to say “she.”


Why does it take so many tries to leave?  Lots of reasons.  Loss of support, fear of her batterer, concern for her children, her culture, a disability, belief in excuses and promises of change, or simply because she has no other option.  If you’re reading this and you feel locked into a situation because you are afraid of what will happen when you try to get out, this article might help.


The most important thing is your safety.  Let me say that again.

The most important thing is your safety!



You can’t protect your children if you don’t protect yourself.  While you are still in the relationship, you need to do a few basic things:


- Plan on avoiding rooms with no exits or weapons while arguing.  This means staying out of kitchens and bathrooms while arguing.

- Memorize important phone numbers in case he takes your phone and you have to go to a neighbor’s to try and hide.

- Keep a charged cell phone handy, whether in your car or in an inconspicuous yet hidden place.  All cell phones will call 911 whether or not they have service.

- Always have at least 1/2 a tank of gas in your car in case you need to get out of town.

- If it won’t be noticed, have a change of clothes and extra medicine in the car as well.

- Make sure you have a backup plan for your pets, as they likely can’t come with you.

- Try to think of four places you could go if you had to leave, people who will help lend you money, and people who might take your children in.

- Have a code word in case a relative calls during a fight and you want them to call the police.  Mine was “purple.”


If you’ve already left and are still scared for your safety:

- Change your phone number and locks.

- Try to have a friend you can check in with every couple of hours.  Make sure he/she knows the code word.

- Document all times he tries to contact you in case you need a restraining order (and think it would do any good).

- If you already have a restraining order, make several copies of it in case the police can’t find it and something happens.  Keep a copy in your car, desk at work, on your fridge, and give one to your children’s teachers.

- Change your shopping patterns and your restaurant eating habits (is it fair that you can’t go to the same places when he is the one with the problem?  No.  But your safety is more important).


Be aware that when you leave you are in the most danger, so be aware of your surroundings.  Keep your eyes open.  Protect yourself.  If you need help getting a restraining order or a divorce, call Haily Kolberg or one of our other attorneys at the Johnson Marquez Legal Group.  We’ll help or point you towards resources that can help.

Categories: Uncategorized

10414924 10152096095027676 8420055311819826697 n 300x200 Now Hiring: Junior Paralegal for our Denver/Cherry Creek Office Denver divorce lawyerAre you an experienced paralegal? Johnson Marquez Legal Group is hiring! If you are driven to help support our attorneys in helping clients resolve legal conflicts with integrity and compassion, we have a place on our team for you!

JOB TITLE:  Junior Paralegal

DEPARTMENT: Support Staff

REPORTS TO: Assigned Attorneys and Partners 

FSLA: Non-Exempt



Under the direction of the Partners and Attorneys, the Junior Paralegal will be responsible for supporting the work of our attorneys and will play an integral role in the functionality of our firm. The Junior Paralegal works closely with their attorneys to ensure documents are filed on time and must be well-versed in the styling and format requirements of the local courts in which the firm practices.



- Paralegal certificate required.

- Minimum of 2 years family law experience.

- Experience drafting family law pleadings from the beginning of a case to the end.

- Thorough knowledge of the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure.

- Must posses a high standard of ethics with the ability to maintain confidential information.

- Ability to multi-task efficiently in a fast paced environment

- Exceptional written, verbal, and computer skills as well as good critical thinking ability.

- Must be well-organized, reliable, and highly motivated.

- Must have a great attitude and ability to work as a team.

- Superior knowledge of MS office suite MS online services, Adobe, Macintosh and Windows platforms; ProLaw experience is ideal.



- Research and analyze law sources such as statues, recorded judicial decision, legal articles, treaties, constitutions, and legal codes.

- Prepare legal documents such as petitions, briefs, pleadings, appeals, contracts, parenting plans, custody orders, child support orders, financial affidavits, etc. for review and approval by the attorney working the case.

- Create and monitor deadlines for case progression.

- Organize and maintain documents in an electronic filing system.

- Gather and arrange legal documents for attorney review and case preparation.

- Help lawyers during trials by handling exhibits, taking notes, or reviewing trial transcripts.

- File exhibits, briefs, appeals and other legal documents with the court or opposing counsel.

- Call clients, witnesses, lawyers, and outside vendors to schedule hearings, meetings, and mediations.

- Perform other clerical duties such as scheduling appointments, providing information to callers, composing and typing routine correspondence, and reading and routing incoming mail.

- Support implementation and maintenance of new and existing processes.

- Assist with various firm projects as needed.




The Paralegal may be required to work more than 40 hours per week to perform the duties of this position.  All overtime must be approved in advance by the Managing Partner.


Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.


Interested parties can email their resume and cover letter to

Categories: Careers with Johnson Marquez Legal Group
Tags: , ,

The divorce mission statement may seem a little ridiculous, at the onset of your journey. Your goal for getting divorced seems pretty obvious: to not be married to your spouse.  In Colorado, the fastest you can get divorced is 91 days. In that 91 days, you will likely feel angry, sad, lost, anxious, excited and happy. Sometimes, you’ll feel all of those things at the same time.  It can be very confusing and you may feel overwhelmed.  The divorce mission statement can help you stay grounded and focused when everything around you feels out of control.


When you start your mission statement, it’s important to think, “When I look back, what do I want to think about how I conducted myself?”
Emotions run high during divorce proceedings. You may feel like your spouse is being difficult, or that you aren’t getting what’s fair. You may feel attacked, or dismissed. All of these emotions can lead to higher conflict, which may prompt even more feelings of hostility. If you are able to determine that you want to look back and believe that you carried yourself with integrity and kindness, you can help stay focused when your emotions threaten to get the best of you.


Once you determine how you want to look back, consider how you plan to achieve that.
Treating yourself with kindness, putting your children first, forgiving your spouse and yourself for any wrongdoing – these are all ways that you can create an action plan to achieve the goals you already decided on. When you begin to behave in a way that doesn’t support your goals, you can use your mission statement as a measuring stick for your feelings.


Review your mission statement regularly.
You may consider putting a reminder in your phone to review your divorce mission statement once a week.  If you think some of the goals are outdated or not applicable, revise and move forward.  Checking in with yourself, this way, will teach you to be introspective.


If you’re unsure about where to begin, check out this free tool to get you started.


If you need help with your divorce, request a free consultation with one of our divorce attorneys.  Our firm can help you begin to move forward.



Categories: Divorce Survivor Center, Divorce Talk Blog
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Are you an experienced family law attorney looking for a change? Johnson Marquez Legal Group is hiring! If you are driven to help your clients resolve legal conflicts with integrity and compassion, we would love to hear from you!


This position will entail a lot of client contact and will require the attorney to lead clients through their family law case with the highest level of professionalism, advocacy, and desire to help their clients through the complicated legal system. The senior associate attorney will be responsible for retaining clients, keeping track of their own time, delegating tasks to their legal assistant, and attending all court appearances and other proceedings with their clients.



-  Juris Doctorate

-  Licensed and in good standing with the Colorado State Bar

-  3-7 years practicing family law

-  Strong commitment to the ethical practice of law

-  Experience in legal research and writing; drafting and responding to pleadings

-  Litigation experience

-  Proficient knowledge of CRCP, Rules of Evidence, and ICCES

-  Strong technology skills

-  Superior knowledge of MS office suite MS online services, Adobe, Macintosh and Windows platforms; experience with timekeeping software is ideal

-  Excellent work ethic and self-motivated

-  Must possess the ability to independently coach paralegals and make recommendations to effectively solve problems using sound judgment

-  Excellent written and oral communication skills, including the ability to communicate effectively across the firm, interfacing with diverse people and activities, coordinating and controlling operational efforts, prioritizing and analyzing needs, and general problem solving

-  Demonstrated ability to manage high conflict situations, including client control and managing expectations


Qualified individuals should submit their resume, cover letter, less than 10 page writing sample, and salary expectations for immediate consideration to

Categories: Careers with Johnson Marquez Legal Group
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My ex husband was in the military and I’ve been awarded a portion of his military retirement… now what?


Step One, in order to actually begin receiving his military retirement he has to actually retire.  If he isn’t retired, you don’t need to read this article yet.


If he has retired and you were married for longer than ten years of his military service, go back and look at your original divorce decree.  You need actual language in there in order for DFAS to pay you directly.  The language needs to say any of the following:


“The former spouse is awarded ____ percent [or dollars per month] of the member’s disposable military retired pay.”
(This applies if he was retired when you divorced.)


“The former spouse is awarded a percentage of the member’s disposable military retired pay, to be computed by multiplying ____% times a fraction, the numerator of which is ______ months of marriage during the member’s creditable military service, divided by the member’s total number of months of creditable military service.”
(If he was not yet retired when you divorced.)


“The former spouse is awarded a percentage of the member’s disposable military retired pay, to be computed by multiplying ____% times a fraction, the numerator of which is _______ reserve retirement points earned during the period of the marriage, divided by the member’s total number of reserve retirement points earned.”
(If he was not yet retired when you divorced and in the reserves.)


“The former spouse is awarded _____% of the disposable military retired pay the member would have received had the member retired with a retired pay base* of $ (dollar amount) and with _______ years of creditable service on ________.”
(If he was not yet retired when you divorced and anticipates serving several more years.)


“The former spouse is awarded _____% of the disposable military retired pay the member would have received had the member retired with the rank of ________ and with _______ years of creditable service on ________.”
(If he was not yet retired when you divorced and anticipates moving up in rank.)


“The former spouse is awarded _____% of the disposable military retired pay the member would have received had the member retired on his actual retirement date with the rank of ________ and with _______ years of creditable service.”
(Combines the above two.)


If, while you are looking at your original divorce decree/separation agreement, you don’t find any of this language (you might not; some attorneys think you shouldn’t have it in the decree itself, since you don’t necessarily have final numbers), then you need a Military Clarifying Order (we do those at the Johnson Marquez Legal Group).  These are easily obtained in your divorce case, and you can send a copy once it is done along with a DD Form 2293 to DFAS.


DFAS will process everything from there and soon you will begin receiving your share of military retirement (if any of this is confusing, please contact the Johnson-Marquez Legal Group and set up a consultation so you be informed of your rights).


Some service members are of the opinion that federal law prohibits their ex-spouses from receiving any portion of their retirement.  Unfortunately for the folks with that mindset, nobody gets divorced in federal court.  People get divorced in state courts, and the state of Colorado says ALL retirement accounts earned through the marriage are marital property subject to division, including military retirement.  Is this fair?  Depends on the circumstances.  But as the saying goes, “It is what it is.”


If you have any questions, call Haily Kolberg with the Johnson-Marquez Legal Group, and let us help!

Categories: colorado family law, Military Divorce
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zxk7al4br6vfl13pmxuf 300x167 SCOTUS May Consider Same Sex Marriage Cases Denver divorce lawyer

AP Photo/David Zalubowski

According to USA Today, “[th]e Supreme Court has scheduled same-sex marriage cases from five states for consideration at its Sept. 29 private conference, indicating no hesitation to dive right into the national debate.  The justices placed cases from Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Indiana and Wisconsin on the list for their first conference of the 2014 term.”


What does this mean for Colorado?


The U.S. Supreme Court can choose whether to hear cases that come before it.  The choice to hear a case is based on a variety of factors such as whether lower courts are deciding cases differently from one jurisdiction to the next, or if the matter is of national or social importance.


Because almost all of the lower federal courts have struck down same-sex marriage bans, the Supreme Court may decide not to hear the case.  If the US Supreme Court chooses not to hear the case, gay marriage will become the law of the land in Colorado.  That is because both the United States District Court for the District of Colorado and the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals (which governs Colorado) have ruled that Colorado’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional.  If the US Supreme Court refuses to take up the issue, then the lower court rulings will stand and marriage equality will become the law of the land in the State of Colorado.  Marriage equality would not be nationwide however.


On the other hand, because the marriage debate is of national and social importance and has tremendous momentum right now, the Court may choose to decide the issue within the next few months.  If that happens, whatever the US Supreme Court decides will become the law in all 50 states.  If they decide in favor of marriage equality, same-sex marriage will be legal across the country.  If they decide against it, same-sex marriage will be decided by each state individually.


Another option is that they could choose to table the issue and take up the case at some point in the future.


Meanwhile, there is a marriage equality case pending before the Colorado Supreme Court.  We are waiting to hear whether they will hear the case.  The Colorado Supreme Court might wait to see what the United States Supreme Court does, or it might choose to take up the case and decide the issue for the State of Colorado.


On another note, the election of the next Colorado Attorney General could decide the issue for Colorado.  The Democratic candidate, Don Quick, has indicated that he will not defend “Colorado’s unconstitutional ban on same-sex marriage”.  On the other hand, Republican candidate, Cynthia Coffman, said that the “role of attorneys general across the country is to defend state laws” indicating that she would defend the ban.


If you have any questions about same-sex marriage, or your rights as a same-sex partner, please call Rachel Catt.  You can also request a consultation directly on our website.



Categories: colorado family law, Current News, Same Sex Marriage
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“It was only that once.”  I’ve heard that before.  You’re fighting with your spouse, it gets heated, he hit you.  But it was only that one time.  Just once.


It happens.  Not to everyone, so don’t delude yourself into thinking it’s normal.  But it does happen.  One time, though, is once too many. Once is enough to raise a red flag.  But 32% of the time, he will hit you again within six months.  If he has hit you more than once, your danger increases exponentially.


It’s the first timers and repeat victims that I’m talking to today.  All of them.  Yes, you.  You’re here, reading this, because you found it on purpose (or by accident), or it was shared with you by someone who loves you.  Please keep reading.  It’s uncomfortable.  It’s upsetting.  It’s embarrassing.  But you know what?  It’s just you and me, here.  And it’s normal to be sad, angry, ashamed, but those feelings are paralyzing and they’ll keep you trapped in the cycle of abuse.  My goal, today, is to give you the knowledge and resources to move forward into action.


Domestic violence happens in every type of relationship, regardless if you’re gay or straight.  It happens in every culture.  It doesn’t discriminate by how much money you make, how much education you have, or how many children you have.  It is a widespread epidemic that has taken hold at the root in every country of the world.  Know this – you aren’t alone.


The facts don’t lie.  If you’re like me, they will sicken you.  I’m using strong language. I’m not sugar coating this.  And as you read, I want you to believe that I’m talking to you. I want you to believe that I’m a fortune teller.  Because this is likely to happen to you.


If he abuses you, and you have children, he will eventually abuse them, too.  

Overlap is reported to be anywhere from 20-100%.  Why the disparity? The numbers vary depending on how a question is asked, when it is asked (relative to the last violent occurrence), and to whom (the child or the parent).


The more often he abuses you, the more often you will get abused.  

That seems obvious.  But it isn’t.  The cycle of abuse tells us that abuse will occur, you will reconcile, things will be calm, and tension will build, there will be a trigger, and you will get abused again. As the frequency increases, it will be a catalyst for even more.


It’s not about the punching, shoving, or kicking.

It’s about control.  He abuses you because he wants to control you. Every time you go back, it sends the message that he is in control of you.


He won’t stop until you’re dead.

When you finally leave, and his control over you is at risk, the lethality rate goes up, so safety planning is more important than ever.


Unless you get help for the emotional trauma, you’ll find someone else to beat you.

If you are one of the lucky ones to end a relationship with an abuser, you are likely to find someone new who engages in similar or the exact same styles of abuse.


Your children will grow up to abuse or get abused.

The cycle of dysfunction is powerful.  Children who grow up in an abusive household will likely become abusers or victims, themselves.


You deserve to be happy. Please let us help.  If you are ready to leave, call Haily Kolberg, Zachary Chapman, or one of our other attorneys to schedule a free consultation.

Those facts are jolting.  They will probably make you hurt.  They will likely frighten you.  Use that fear to move you forward.  Take the first step.  Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233.  Talk to someone.  Share your secret.  Let them help you.



Categories: divorce, Divorce Talk Blog, domestic violence
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JM Blog September 2014 300x200 Do Grandparents Have Custody Rights According to Colorado Family Law? Denver divorce lawyer

Whether a child is a baby, or just about to turn a teenager, he or she is caught between a stressful and confusing situation when parents decide to divorce. While it is obvious to think about children in their time of need, people rarely think about where the grandparents fit in. Do they just end up sitting on the sidelines to watch the mess take place? They too are worried about how their relationship with their grandchild will end up because in many cases, they lose the bond they have formed with a grandchild over the years. When couples go through a divorce, grandparents are often denied requests for visitation rights.


It is difficult for grandparents to leave their feelings out when their child and his or her spouse goes through a divorce. They may recognize that their own child was part of the equation; however, they may also put blame onto the spouse, becoming angry that they did not do more to intervene.


Grandparents need to realize that it is impossible for them to know all details surrounding the relationship between a husband and wife and they must understand that enforcing their opinion on the matter at hand does not contribute to the divorce. It is not their role to figure out who was right, who was wrong, or who was to blame. When a child is going through a divorce, they should not become involved in their family disputes.


They can instead focus their attention on being there for their children, and grandchildren by showering them with love as they go through this tough time in their lives.


Grandparents can take the necessary steps to ensure they continue their relationship with their grandchildren, as they too have rights. Sometimes, it is possible to avoid court when taking the steps to make sure their rights are protected.


Grandparents who are worried about the alienation of a grandchild, or want to seek custody of a grandchild, can seek legal assistance from a Denver family lawyer by contacting Johnson Marquez Legal Group or by visiting their website or calling 720-863-6331. If you are a grandparent, or know someone who is in need of legal assistance, you can speak with an experienced family lawyer who will guide you through the necessary steps of safeguarding a long-lasting relationship with your grandchildren.

Categories: Uncategorized

Colorado is a no-fault state and couples can get divorced for any reason so long as one person feels the marriage is irretrievably broken.  There is no requirement that one person cheats on the other or that domestic violence be involved.  If your spouse has filed for divorce and you do not want to get divorced, you have limited options.


Some couples seek a court order for marriage counseling; however, this is not common because the Courts do not typically like to make such an order.  Other couples fight about whether or not the marriage is irretrievably broken.  This could lead to a court hearing on whether or not the marriage is broken including testimony from the spouse filing for divorce about why they no longer wish to be married.  Again, this course of action is not common because most people do not want to sit through a court hearing where their spouse talks about all the reasons they do not love them anymore.


The most common route divorcing spouses take in this situation is to continue with the case and try to talk the spouse filing for divorce out of seeing the case through.  If both parties agree, you can dismiss the divorce case anytime before the divorce is final.


Whether you are hoping to reconcile with your spouse or not, it is important to protect your rights.  Contact Rachel Young, or one of our other attorneys at the Johnson Marquez Legal Group, if you are facing a divorce and need help.



Categories: colorado family law, divorce
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We’ve all heard the phrase “drowning in debt.” We’ve also heard the phrase “treading water.” If, when it comes to your debt, you are “treading water” but know you’ll soon get divorced, this article is for you.


Jack and Jill are getting divorced. They have approximately $30,000 in debt due to credit cards and unpaid medical bills. In the state of Colorado, debt acquired during the marriage, like their medical bills and credit cards, is normally treated as debt of the marriage, even if it was acquired by only one spouse and not the other. When Jack and Jill’s family splits into two, the household with the least income is hurt more financially. If Jack and Jill together were only “treading water” when it comes to debt, now that Jack and Jill have separated, they probably each feel like they are “drowning in debt.”


What should Jack and Jill do? Well, first, having a lot of debt makes any divorce messy, and going further into debt paying attorneys to split up Jack and Jill’s existing debt doesn’t make a lot of sense. What Jack needs to realize is that even if the Court orders Jill to pay their Visa bill, the credit card company can come back and sue Jack if Jill doesn’t pay. The credit card companies will say their contract is with Jack and that the divorce orders don’t affect a thing.


If Jack’s divorce attorney looks at his Sworn Financial Statement and realizes Jack needs a bankruptcy, Jack’s attorney should refer him and Jill to see a bankruptcy attorney together. That way, Jack and Jill can file bankruptcy together while they are still married and will have little to no debt to deal with in a divorce. If they make below the median income level in Colorado for their family size, they can file a Chapter 7 which is a total liquidation bankruptcy. All of their personal property is evaluated by the bankruptcy court, they get certain standard exemptions so that they can maintain a normal standard of living, and anything not exempted is surrendered to the bankruptcy court’s trustee who sells it and distributes the proceeds to Jack and Jill’s creditors. After their non-exempt property is sold, Jack and Jill’s debt is totally forgiven. The only catch is that Jack and Jill can only file bankruptcy once every eight years if they are eligible for Chapter 7, so they have to be more responsible going forward. Filing bankruptcy will make Jack and Jill’s divorce less messy, and make things much easier financially so that Jack and Jill can really start over.


If you’re going through a divorce and think you might need a bankruptcy, call Haily Kolberg or one of our other family law attorneys. We’ll give you the insight you need to move forward for a true fresh start.



Categories: Bankruptcy, colorado family law, divorce, Divorce Talk Blog
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In the current age of technology, we have GPS, voice recorders, and now, a new app, entitled “mCouple” which is an application that can be installed on a partner, spouse, or child’s phones. The app allows you to monitor the phone calls, texts, emails, Facebook activity, and any source of data on the phone for which the app is installed.  On Android phones there is a “free” version and a pay version. On the iPhone, only the free version can be downloaded.  It allows a party to record the phone calls on the other’s phone, read their text messages, Facebook posts, track the phone and in essence obtain any and all detail from the other’s phone. As a private citizen the question becomes in the divorce context, is this permissible? And the answer, just as with anything in the legal context is potentially, but there are extremely large risks and potentially criminal ramifications which far outweigh any potential benefit of the application.


The app’s purpose is to be a mutual disclosure application. It allows, if set up correctly, each party to see the other’s phone, which also requires both parties to consent to the application, by clicking on the accept tab from their individual phone. The application indicates that it requires the consent of the other party. If used by agreement, excluding potential evidentiary issues, most of the information obtained should be admissible. Any statements, texts, or posts by the other party should be able to be used, in most cases, in court. The real issue then lies, if you do have the application, and if you somehow manage to covertly download it on another individuals’ phone and manage to have it operate in the background where the other does not know-is the information still admissible. The answer to that question is much more vague and frankly much less advisable, because of the potential cost.


There is an issue with using the application without the other’s direct knowledge and consent and most attorneys are likely to advise against it. Ethically, an attorney is prevented from advising, encouraging, or instructing another individual (including a client) from surreptitiously recording any phone calls (1). Certainly any attorney is likely to discourage or at least not advise the usage of this particular application, absent the express consent of the other party.


Even if an attorney were not to specifically advise against the usage of an application, or if an individual does not seek or consult and attorney prior to using such an application, the application itself in the state of Colorado is likely to not be of much benefit in the divorce context. First off, Colorado is a no-fault state. By statute, the court cannot and will not consider marital misconduct in awarding any support or dividing the marital estate.  Thus, the court will not consider if one spouse has an affair, is currently seeing someone else, or consider which party filed for divorce. Thus, in most situations proof of cheating or an affair is going to be inadmissible, as it is likely irrelevant.


As it pertains to admissibility, so long as the piece of evidence is not otherwise excludable based upon evidentiary grounds, such as that the information obtained is irrelevant or if it is hearsay, the potentially “illegality,” of the way that it was obtained, may not in and of itself exclude otherwise admissible evidence. Generally, if a piece of evidence was seized illegally, so without a party’s consent or without a warrant, the item can be excluded. This of course does not pertain to an individual’s conduct, who seizes or takes a piece of evidence (such as a phone conversation or a text message) without another’s consent as a private citizen is not subject to the constrains of the 4th Amendment. The exclusionary rule, which would allow a court to strike a piece of evidence wrongfully obtained, is not a personal right, but is a judicially created remedy to deter police misconduct. Notwithstanding the potential admissibility, the use of such evidence or the attempts at obtaining this evidence, may indeed subject a party to criminal charges, which is likely to outweigh any benefit gleaned.


The other issues that arise are criminal in nature and thus are likely to dwarf any potentially benefit that may be seen from usage of the application. First off, Colorado is a one-party state, which means phone calls can be recorded so long as one party to the conversation knows that they are being recorded and while an attorney cannot and will not direct an individual to record a conversation they are ethically authorized to advise as to the status of the law. However, the issue then becomes that likely many of the conversations and recordings are not going to be of the couple, but indeed communications with another individual, from which the recorder or the spouse that wants to use the information is not a party. This situation has a criminal connotation-you can be charged criminally with wiretapping. Further, a person can be found guilty of eavesdropping is they are not visibly present during the conversation and knowingly overhears or records a conversation. Under both of these provisions a party can be found guilty of a felony.


The possible criminal ramifications do not stop there either. With the application’s tracking capabilities, while you can see where the other person is, there is the potential that this feature that the application provides to can lead to additional criminal charges. In Colorado, case law has extended the definition of stalking, to include observation or even acquiring information of another’s location. Stalking does not require physical presence, which means that recording someone’s location, and then being able to ascertain that location and track it even at a later time, can meet the element of placing a person under surveillance as defined in the criminal code.


If you do believe that there may be something that is being hidden by your significant other, that you believe may lead to evidence that can be used in a dissolution proceeding, there are several options that are far less risky and far more desirable than the application described above- if your spouse or significant other is unwilling to agree to each using and downloading the application. A private investigator may be a more desirable option. First off, they are now ordered to be licensed. Effective June 1, 2015, SB 14-133 requires that all private investigators be licensed with DORA. They also are bonded, which can help reduce any liability that you may be subjected to-by simply allowing them to do their job. If there are additional concerns regarding financial information, subpoenas can be issued to financial institutions to attempt to uncover accounts, thus there is little need for moving forward with this application, unless the parties explicitly agree. The benefit certainly does not outweigh the possible ramifications of any attempt to covertly use the application.


If you’re considering divorce, or if you feel information is being kept from you in the course of your divorce, call Ashley Hughes or one of our other attorneys for a free consultation.


(1) Formal Ethics Handbook, Fifth Ed. Vol. 1, Ethics Opinion 112: Surreptitious Recordings of Conversations or Statements, July 19, 2003.

(2) Exclusionary rule is not a personal right but is a judicially created remedy designed to deter illegal police behavior. People v. Deitchman, 695 P.2d 1146, 1153 (Colo. 1985)(citing U.S. v. Calandra, 414 U.S. 338 (1974). 

(3) “[a]ny person not a sender or intended received of a telephone or telegraph communication commits wiretapping if he: Knowingly overhears, reads, takes, copies or records a telephone, telegraph or electronic communication without the consent of either a sender or receiver thereof or attempts to do so; or intentionally overhears, reads, takes, copies, or records a telephone, telegraph, or electronic communication for the purpose of committing or aiding or abetting the commission of an unlawful act; or knowingly uses for any purpose of discloses to any person the contents of any such communication, or attempts to do so, while knowingly or having reason to know the information was obtained in violation of this section; or Knowingly taps or makes any connection with any telephone or telegraph line, wire, cable or instrument belonging to another or with any electronic, mechanical, or other device belonging to another or installs any device whether connected or not which permits the interception of messages; or  knowingly uses any apparatus to unlawfully do, or cause to be done, any act prohibited by this section or aids, authorizes, agrees with, employs, permits or intentionally conspires with any person to violate the provisions of this section. C.R.S. § 18-9-303

(4) Any person not visibly present during a conversation or discussion commits eavesdropping if he: knowingly overhears  or records such conversation or discussion without the consent of at least one of the principal parties thereto, or attempts to do so; or intentionally overhears or records such conversation or discussion for the purposes of committing, siding, or abetting the commission of an unlawful act, or knowingly uses for any purpose of discloses to any other person the contents of such conversation or discussion while knowing or having reason to know the information was obtained in violation of this section; or knowingly aids, authorizes, agrees with, employs, or permits, or intentionally conspires with any person to violate the provisions of this section. C.R.S. §18-9-302

(5) A Person commits harassment by stalking if he or she repeatedly follows, approaches, contacts, places another under surveillance, commits with another person to suffer undue emotional stress. Surveillance within the meaning of § 18-9-111(4)(b)(III) does not mean “present known” but can include “alternate methods of acquiring information about a person’s whereabouts and activities.” Colorado stalking statute does not require physical presence. People v. Sullivan, 53 P.3d 1181, 1184 (Colo. App. 2002). 

Categories: colorado family law, Current News, divorce, Divorce Talk Blog, Technology
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In divorce proceedings, parties are sometimes not able to locate their spouse. They may have separated years ago and no longer know where the other party resides or, for whatever reason, one party has disappeared. A person in this situation may believe that there is nothing they can do and that they are unable to get divorced. However, a missing spouse should not prevent a person from proceeding with their divorce in Colorado. The law provides options for proceeding when they are unable to locate their spouse. A party can make a request to the court that the other party be served by publication of a consolidated notice.


Before the court can authorize service by publication, a party must first show that he or she has made diligent efforts to locate the missing party.

Diligent efforts include, but are not limited to the following:

  • contacting family/friends/co-workers of your spouse,
  • running an internet search,
  • trying to personally serve him or her via a process server.


It is important to document such attempts to locate the missing party and include these efforts in one’s motion to request service by publication.  Once the court approves the request for service by consolidated notice, the notice will be published in a newspaper that has general circulation in the county where you filed your divorce.  It is important to note that proceeding by service by publication can impact whether or not the court has jurisdiction to decide certain issues in your case. Therefore, it is most helpful to consult an attorney regarding the advantages and disadvantages of proceeding by publication of a consolidated notice.


A related issue may arise when a spouse knows where his or her spouse resides and has had him or her served, but the spouse refuses to participate in the divorce process. In this situation, a person can also proceed with their divorce. As long as a spouse can show that they properly served their spouse and provided the spouse with notice of the proceedings, the court can still enter orders regarding the divorce. This situation is what is referred to as a default and the court will enter orders based on the information and participation of the spouse who is cooperating in the divorce process. Here, it is important to note that your spouse’s refusal to cooperate with the divorce process can be overcome and you can still obtain your divorce.


If you need help getting divorced from an absent or uncooperative spouse, we offer free consultations to give you the insight and confidence you need to begin moving on with your life.



Categories: colorado family law, divorce, Divorce Talk Blog
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Divorce impacts a person’s financial life in many ways.  People often worry about how they will budget their finances to pay for an attorney, pay bills while the case is going on, and how they will meet their needs after the divorce is final.  These are all valid concerns and they must be viewed and evaluated realistically.


During a marriage, people learn what income they can count on.  They know what their financial obligations look like, and they know how to pinch pennies to make sure their income covers all their necessary bills.  During a divorce, even if incomes stay the same, people’s financial obligations change dramatically.  Most likely, the couple will separate and live in different homes.  This means that there are now two utility bills, two rents, two water bills, etc.  I’m sure you can see the problem already.


During a divorce, when two people separate they have the same amount of money coming in as they did when they only had to support one household.  Now that money must be used to support two households.  The reality is, there will likely be less expendable income in your life while you are going through divorce.  This is true for “two income” and “one income” households.  We get accustomed being able to pay our normal bills and we know how much money will be left over after all the necessities are covered.  But now, the necessities have doubled.


It is important to plan ahead to lessen the financial burden of separating households.  First, understand how much money you have coming in each month.  If you don’t have the money, you can’t spend it.  Next, think about where you plan to live during the divorce.  Maybe you will stay in the marital home and the other person will leave.  Maybe you will be the one to leave in which case, where will you go and how much will it cost.  It will be easier to determine what your bills look like if you are staying in the residence you are used to.  If you are leaving your usual residence you will need to research how much rents are, what utilities run in that location, what kind of food/amenities budget do you need to plan for, now that there is one less person in your household, etc.  Once you get a handle on your anticipated income and expenditures, look at what your soon-to-be ex’s income and expenditures are.  Now you are ready to make a plan.


Be realistic.  If you are a “one income” household or if your income is substantially higher then your spouse’s income, you may be required to help the other person meet their financial obligations even if you do not live with them.  If you are a “two income” household and you and your spouse make similar incomes, you may be supporting all your financial needs on your own.  Again, you will continue to have bills and living expenses but you will now need to meet all your needs on half the income.  In order to make things work you may need to cut back on eating out or hold off on buying that new big screen TV.  If your expenses exceed your income, do you have access to savings, friends/family who are willing to help, or the ability to withdraw some funds from a retirement account?


Understand the numbers you are working with and make a plan for how to make those numbers work for you.  If you are concerned about your spouse trying to take advantage of you financially, be sure to contact Rachel Young or one of our attorneys at the Johnson Marquez Legal Group and know your rights.



Categories: colorado family law, divorce, Divorce Talk Blog
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In the minutes and hours following the death of beloved actor and comedian, Robin Williams, a serious mental health issue was brought back to the forefront of our collective consciousness.  Williams allegedly committed suicide, following a recent battle with severe depression.


Much has been speculated about, and many opinions about the cause (and validity) of his depression have been shared.  Social media has become a variable support group for the thousands of fans who have been impacted by him.  Out of respect to both Mr. Williams and his family, I won’t contribute any more opinion or speculation.


I do, however, want to address the reality of suicide and suicidal ideation and how it relates to divorce.


Marital conflict is natural.  Actually, to be quite frank, conflict in any relationship is normal.  How the conflict is resolved and managed tends to be the problem.  Oftentimes, in divorce cases, the conflict isn’t handled in a healthy way – communication breaks down, feelings are hurt, and people retreat in an effort to heal.  Sometimes, we retreat too far.


If you’ve been divorced, you are 3x more at risk than your married counterparts.  If you’re a man, that risk increases even higher.  As a matter of fact, studies at the National Institute for Healthcare Research cite divorce to be the #1 linked factor for suicide, above all other physical, financial and psychological conditions.


Why?  What about getting divorced can trigger people, especially men, to take their own life? Studies suggest that it’s because divorced persons lose a sense of purpose and self.  Those who identify through the context of a relationship are most likely to feel the brunt of the pain.  Additionally, significant changes in roles, such as being the head of the household and full time parenting, are contributing factors.


If you’re considering divorce, there are a number of ways to be proactive with your mental health.

  •  Ensure that you have a strong support group.  If you don’t have close friends, family, or parishioners, work with a therapist who can provide insight and accountability to your mental health.
  • Remove expectations and timelines for grieving the loss of the relationship.  It will hurt, even if it is better to end it.
  • Keep talking.  Resist the inclination to isolate.  You don’t have to talk about the divorce, but you should certainly stay social and present.  Suicidal ideation tends to spiral out of control when you are left to your own devices.


If you’re already there – divorced and in the depths of depression, please know that you’re not alone.  Depression will tell you all sorts of stories about how useless, worthless, and unloved you are.  But know this: Depression lies!  I know that the things it tells you are told in your own voice, but Depression is a liar.  I know that the things you’re being led to believe sound reasonable.  But you’ve been weakened, and you’re not hearing the whole story.  Trust me on this.  Please, get help before you do anything to harm yourself!*


“Divorce isn’t such a tragedy. A tragedy’s staying in an unhappy marriage, teaching your children the wrong things about love. Nobody ever died of divorce.” –Jennifer Weiner, Fly Away Home



*If you are at risk, considering suicide, or even just feeling the weight of depression, please call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.  The people on the other end of the line are amazing.  They’ll listen.  They’ll cry with you.  They’ll laugh with you.  But most important: they’ll be there.  And that matters.  Because you matter.

Categories: divorce, Divorce Health, Divorce Survivor Center, Divorce Talk Blog
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jay z 300x213 Why Do Celebrity Marriages Seem to Always Fail In The End? Denver divorce lawyerNot too long ago, millions of viewers tuned in to see Tom Cruise jump up and down on Oprah’s couch, professing his love for former teen icon Katie Holmes. A few years after that, rapper Jay-Z and Beyoncé, were married, and on the road to conquer the music world. However, Cruise and Holmes eventually split and now there are rumors circulating that the mega-couple of the century are on the outs of their marriage. Timing couldn’t be worse as they are in the middle of a world-wide tour. However, like most cases, there is no perfect timing for a divorce.


Cruise, Holmes, Jay-Z and Beyoncé, are on the large list of many other celebrities who have married and were divorced. Can anyone say Kim K.?  So why if celebrities have it all (money, fortune and fame) are they not immune to divorce?


The main culprit for any celebrity couple’s divorce is fame. Usually, when two famous celebrities decide to tie the knot, neither wants to compromise their career for their relationship. As each spouse’s schedule fills up with interviews, shoots, travel schedules, and more, the more time they spend apart to focus on their own career. As each celebrity spouse spends time away from each other, they grow apart. Relationships, especially marriages demand time, but it is impossible when one spouse is filming a movie for three months in Iceland, while the other is shooting a TV series in California. All marriages require time and consistency. Staying in love, demands more than the occasional date night to catch up on things.


When a celebrity couple has everything they could ask for, how do they find the culture of their relationship? Marriages need a sense of meaning, a purpose, whether it to build a career or family together. When celebrities may each other, things come easily, making it easy for them to indulge, leading to either not needing each other to be happy. Individuals should feel like they could not or would not want to live without their spouse. Separation can turn into divorce as celebrities decide they can live happy without the other in their lives.


You may watch TV and see recently-married celebrity couples happy and smiling at the camera, but give the marriage a few months and they may be heading straight for divorce.


If you need to speak with a divorce attorney of Denver, please contact us today at 720-863-6331 for a free consultation.

Categories: Uncategorized

To move out or not to move out, that is the question? 


You’ve made the decision to move towards ending the relationship. You’ve agonized, considered every possible resolution, but the only hope for happiness is to no longer be involved with your significant other. But the question remains: where do I go from here? Your first instinct might be to separate yourself from that individual, and in some cases (such as a volatile relationship where danger may be present) that may be the best route. In many circumstances, you may want to fight that first instinct.


Take, for example, this scenario:
You want to leave. You and your significant other have a child together. Nothing has been filed with the court. If you move out (separate) and leave without your child, that decision could have immediate ramifications that you had not initially envisioned and might not have considered. At the time of separation, neither parent’s rights to the child are paramount to the other. Thus, there is (of course absent any court orders to the contrary) nothing that prevents one parent from having the child, but there is also no order that forces the other parent to “allow” or more appropriately facilitate the visitation or time with the other. Without orders or a case filed where you can ask for court orders, unfortunately what often  happens is a parent moves out and then the other parent then refuses to facilitate any time with the child and having left the residence, you are left without recourse, having no case filed and no where to turn to for help. You, as the parent who moved out to try and being the separation, although having the best of intentions, have now been away from your child often time for weeks or longer, by the time a case is filed.  Then even when you commence a court case,  it can often be weeks and in many cases months before you can get in front of a Judge to order any sort of parenting time, without agreement of the other parent,  and by that point you may have gone all of this time with only seeing your children for brief time periods, or in even more grave scenarios, not at all. This can often times be avoided by simply staying put until indeed there is a decision and order as to parenting time.


Given the uncertainty of each parent’s role and frankly the uncertainty that the other parent will continue to acknowledge your role in your child’s life, it often is best to simply wait. Wait to move out until such time as you have a parenting time agreement, entered as a court order, that can be enforceable, otherwise you  do run the risk of giving up something that you can never get back-and that is precious time with your children.


This of course is a worst-case scenario, and absolutely every situation is different. This is certainly not in an attempt to force you to live in a volatile situation and it certainly is not meant to serve as advice or to explain what you must do in every situation. If you do want to discuss your case in particular, it is always best to consult with an attorney.


Furthermore, this does not presume that you and your significant other are not going to be able to work together as there are many parents who are able to successfully work together to parent their children. But, this is a situation that unfortunately is not all that uncommon, and can actually be avoided, by simply waiting to move out until you have a parenting time agreement. If the parties are eager to separate, that is even more incentive to work together to at least come up with an interim or temporary parenting plan, so you each are able to see your children until such time as you need either court intervention or are able to come up with a more permanent plan. At such an emotional time in your life, it is often hard to not make decisions based upon how we feel. The key in any situation when you have made the decision to separate is to think with your head, rather than your heart or taking any reflexive action, before making any decision regarding the ending of a relationship.


If you are considering separation or divorce in Denver or Colorado Springs, and you’re concerned about your parental rights, please call the Johnson Marquez Legal Group for your FREE consultation with Ashley Hughes or one our other attorneys.



Categories: Allocation of Parental Rights, colorado family law, divorce, Divorce Talk Blog, marital home, Separation Agreements
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During a divorce, clients are often concerned about protecting their most valuable assets including their homes, cars, retirement accounts, and … pets?


“But wait,” you may be thinking.  “Fido is a member of our family!  I’ve had him for 10 years and she even has her own spot on the bed!”  I know.  Believe me.


Although many people consider pets to be part of the family, not possessions, Colorado case law and statutes routinely refer to pets as property. This means that the court will treat the family dog/cat like an asset subject to equitable division. Therefore, the parties cannot petition the court for an allocation of pet parental responsibilities, as they would for their human children. The court will not create or enforce a pet parenting plan. Instead, the court will hear evidence regarding the nature of the property including whether the pet was a gift or acquired before the marriage. However, when a pet is clearly a marital asset, some judges may be inclined to hear evidence regarding nature of the pet’s bond with each spouse.


There are many legal tools to protect pets in the event of a dissolution of marriage. An attorney with experience handling pet issues can assist in creating an appropriate legal strategy regarding family pets.


If you, or someone you know, need help with a divorce involving children or pets, call for a FREE consultation with one of our other attorneys.  The Johnson Marquez Legal Group has the knowledge and experience you need to feel comfortable moving forward.

Categories: colorado family law, Divorce Talk Blog
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In parts one and two of our Marriage Equality in Colorado Series, we focused on why we have two institutions recognizing the lawful and formal union between two people, and the recent lawsuits and court rulings that have had an impact on same-sex couples in Colorado.  In this post, we’ll look at the issuance of marriage licenses in Denver, Boulder and Pueblo counties.


Marriage Licenses


On June 25, 2014, Boulder Clerk and Recorder, Hillary Hall, started issuing same-sex marriage licenses.  She said she felt she must honor the 10th Circuit’s ruling which struck down Utah’s gay marriage ban, despite that ruling being stayed.  On July 3, 2014, Attorney General John Suthers sued to stop Clerk Hall from issuing the licenses, but on July 10, 2014 a Boulder County judge ruled that clerk Hillary Hall can ignore the federal stay on a ruling from the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and continue issuing licenses.


On July 10, 2014, Denver and Pueblo counties also starting issuing same-sex marriage licenses.  Attorney General Suthers filed a motion seeking to halt the Denver marriages, but the Court denied that request. Subsequently, the Colorado Supreme Court stepped in, ordering the Denver clerk to stop issuing the licenses.  Pueblo County followed suit.  For now, only Boulder County continues to issue same-sex marriage licenses.


Attorney Suthers has now asked the Colorado Supreme Court to stop the marriages. The Court set quick deadlines for both sides.  First briefs were due Wednesday, July 16, 2014.


For now, Boulder, Denver and Pueblo counties continue to issue same-sex marriage licenses.  However, these licenses are clouded in legal uncertainty.  Because Colorado’s gay marriage ban is still technically in effect, the licenses may be found invalid in the future if challenged by an insurance company, the federal government, or a ex-spouse in probate or divorce proceedings.


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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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 admitted that the ban is unconstitutional but wanted the decision stayed.  Mari Newman, attorney for the plaintiffs argued that “justice delayed is justice denied.”  Judge Moore asked for further briefing on the issue which was due on Friday, July 18, 2014.  Oral arguments were held on July 22, 2014 and the court issued its ruling by July 25, 2014.




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.


The Kitchen decision from Utah has been appealed to the U.S. Supreme 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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The 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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iStock 000000366478 Small 300x216 Marijuana Use in Custody Battles Denver divorce lawyerIn 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 Colorado, 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.

Categories: Uncategorized

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,, 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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There’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.


Click here to download your free Budgeting For Divorce worksheet!


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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It’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.
You can even live chat with someone. 

Categories: divorce, Divorce Health, Divorce Survivor Center
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Most 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


Categories: colorado family law, divorce, domestic violence, parenting time, Protection Orders
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In 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 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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iStock 000004304868 Medium 300x169 Can Men Be Victims of Domestic Abuse? Denver divorce lawyerLike 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 Legal Group today to speak with a domestic violence attorney in 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 she:

  • 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. 

Categories: Uncategorized

In 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

Categories: Current News
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Going 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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iStock 000010567016 Medium 300x197 10 Signs Your Child 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 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.



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.


Categories: divorce
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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.

Categories: Marketing

[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 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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Categories: Marketing

[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.

Continue Reading this Article on Colorado divorce:

Categories: Current News

[Posted on June 14]

Written by:

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 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]

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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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[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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[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.

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[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 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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[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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[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?

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[Posted on May 3]

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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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[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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[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 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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[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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[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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[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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[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.

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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 and

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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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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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.

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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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Categories: Income Assignments

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

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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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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.

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Categories: Income Assignments

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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.

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Categories: Income Assignments

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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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Categories: Contempt Citations

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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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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.

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Categories: Modification of Support

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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

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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