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When Is It Time to Consider a Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

CO divorce lawyerTwo people do not get married and plan to get divorced at some later time. The topic of divorce is sometimes brought up when people and circumstances change over the course of years. Over time during a marriage, there will be many challenges, but it is when you no longer want to conquer them with your spouse that a divorce sounds like the better option.

The statistical likelihood of who gets divorced varies based on many factors such as age, the length of marriage, and if a person has divorced before. In the last two decades, the overall number of divorces have decreased from 2000 to 2014, challenging the widely accepted “truth” that half of marriages end in divorce. (The actual rate of divorce is estimated to be between 30 and 40 percent in today’s world.)

Factors Involved in Deciding to Divorce

Whether or not you have seriously considered divorcing your spouse or not, here are some signs that it is time to get a divorce:

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CO divorce lawyerAside from the death of a loved one, getting a divorce is the most stressful event that is likely to happen in a person’s life. This is because a divorce encompasses almost everything in your life, from where you live and how much time you spend with your children, to your monthly expenses and tax implications. The process of divorcing your spouse is not just a legal one -- it is as much an emotional process as it is anything else. While people may tell you that you will be much happier after your divorce is over, there are plenty of realities that nobody really talks about. Here are a few things that you may not be prepared for when it comes to life after your Illinois divorce:

#1: You Will Probably Feel a Loss, Even if You Initiated the Divorce

Getting a divorce is a huge change in your life. Even if you were the one who wanted the divorce because you believed that your marriage had broken down beyond repair, you will still probably feel a mix of emotions, such as sadness, anxiety, and loss. Getting a divorce is a major life transition, and you not only lose your spouse as a life partner, but you may also lose your relationships with others who are associated with your spouse, such as their family and friends. Adjusting to this loss can take time.

#2: You Might Get Mixed Reactions From Family and Friends

Unfortunately, a divorce can bring out the worst in people, including your loved ones. You may find that some people in your family treat you differently, and you may also find that some of the people that you considered to be your friends will not be there for you when you need them. On the flip side, you may also find that some people that you were never really close to before may step forward and offer the love and support that you need.

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3 Reasons to Resort to Divorce Litigation

Posted on in Divorce

CO divorce lawyerMediation, negotiation, and collaborative divorce are typically the preferred options for resolving a divorce in modern times. They tend to save spouses time and money when they are already going through a difficult period of transition, along with their children. In most cases, it is suggested that spouses at least make an effort to settle their divorce outside the courtroom before resorting to litigation. Even couples who cannot tolerate each other’s presence can sometimes successfully reach agreements through attorney-facilitated communication. However, these alternative resolution techniques are not always practical - or a good idea. In some cases, you will need to go to divorce litigation just to achieve a fair result.

If you anticipate that your divorce will require litigation to solve, it is important that you find an attorney who will aggressively guard your interests in court.

3 Good Reasons to Proceed With Litigation in Your Divorce Action

There are divorce cases where some or all issues can only be resolved through a courtroom battle. Divorce courts exist for a reason. Sometimes an impartial judge is the best person to decide issues including property division, whether spousal support is appropriate, and child custody arrangements. Reasons your attorney may advise you to proceed with divorce litigation in a high-conflict case include:

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Co mediation lawyerWatching two neighbors who are perpetually warring it out in a sitcom can be quite entertaining. The situation can be much less amusing when you are living in it. Neighbor disputes have the potential to make your living situation quite miserable, whether you share a wall or live a full mile apart on large plots of land. If the feud escalates to litigation, both of you could be in for a rough time. For many, mediation offers a path to resolving whatever concern you and your neighbor are at odds about in a more amicable fashion. Contacting a qualified neighbor dispute attorney may be the first step towards initiating the mediation process.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Neighbor Disputes?

A lot of concerns, big and small, can lead to neighbors facing off in court. Mediators seek to avoid litigation by allowing both parties the chance to arrive at a fair solution through negotiation and guided discussion. Common reasons that neighbors come to mediation include:

  • Noise - Whether it is a barking dog or a stereo, loud noise that one neighbor feels is disturbing their peace can quickly lead to escalating animosity. Often, a solution can be worked out, whether it involves scheduling garage band practice for a time when the neighbor is not around or simply agreeing to end social gatherings in an apartment by a certain hour.
  • Boundary disputes - When you and your neighbor cannot agree on whose property is whose exactly, it may be beneficial to bring in a mediator. These disputes almost always arise out of genuine confusion rather than any nefarious attempt to encroach on another’s land. Possible resolutions may include splitting the difference or arranging a buy-out of the disputed land.
  • Parking - Few things are more frustrating than coming home after a long day and then having to park a block away and hike through the snow, all because someone is in your parking spot. Often, a clear agreement about who is to park in which spot and where guests’ cars belong is all that is needed and can be achieved quickly through mediation.
  • Appearance - No one wants to live next to a poorly-maintained house or overgrown lawn that is becoming an eyesore. On the other hand, no one wants a neighbor constantly dictating how they are to care for their own property. A mediator can often offer an outside perspective on what expectations are reasonable.
  • Health and safety - Unsanitary or unsafe conditions, such as a bug infestation or foul odor, that has begun to affect others should be addressed promptly. Safety concerns, like an exposed pipe, also require prompt attention. Mediation can reveal that a neighbor is in need of assistance in some cases. Often, the situation and its resolution become much more clear in the mediation room.

While mediation is generally preferable to litigation, there are cases where it is not recommended. If the source of your dispute is, for example, your neighbor’s criminal activity, your attorney may advise proceeding directly to litigation.

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CO divorce lawyerGetting a divorce can be emotionally and financially draining even when both spouses are cooperative and interested in an amicable resolution. The process can be even more difficult in high-conflict cases. Litigation may be necessary to resolve certain disputed issues when an agreement cannot be reached.

Perhaps your spouse is being unreasonable and refusing to negotiate, or perhaps there is legitimate disagreement over who should keep certain marital assets. When divorce becomes a contentious battle rather than a collaborative process, it is especially important that you seek out strong legal counsel to advocate for you.

Options to Consider During Contentious Divorce Cases

You may feel as if your options are limited, but you could have more tools available than you think. When you are facing a high level of conflict during divorce, here are a few things to consider:

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CO family lawyerThe relationship between a child and her grandparents is special. Grandparents often play a pivotal role in a child’s upbringing, providing comfort, wisdom, and often, cookies. Colorado recognizes the importance of these relationships and is one of just a few states that has codified grandparents’ rights. However, these rights are not automatic - there is a family law process grandparents must follow in order to assert their rights, and there are certain circumstances that must exist.

If you are a grandparent and feel that you may need a court order to keep seeing your grandchildren, it is important to consult an attorney. The legal process for asserting grandparents’ rights can be tricky and you will want a strong legal advocate on your side.

When Can Grandparents’ Rights be Asserted?

In order for grandparents to assert their legal right to visitation with their grandchild, one of several qualifying circumstances must be present in your situation. These qualifying circumstances are:

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CO mediation attorneyWhen people fall victim to another party’s poor work or lack of repayment, they may feel like there is no one who will stand up for them or help them to hold the at-fault party accountable for their actions. Often, people in these cases choose to just move on from the situation instead of pursuing the compensation because they do not think it is worth the time and money of going through litigation and acquiring an expensive lawyer. Parties facing these types of disputes may benefit from collaborating with a trained mediator.

Types of Issues Seen in Small Claims Court

Small claims court allows for issues involving smaller amounts of money to be resolved in front of a judge without the stress and expense of pursuing a lawsuit in state court. In a small claims court within the state of Colorado, individuals may request compensation up to $7,500. Some of the most commonly seen issues handled in small claims court include:

  • Repayment of a loan
  • Debt that was owed but not paid
  • Damaged clothing due to alterations or cleaning
  • Failure to meet terms of a service contract
  • Failure to properly fix a car or appliance

Benefits of Mediation in Small Claims Disputes

Mediation allows for a third party to aid in the conflict resolution process.

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CO divorce lawyerWhen going through a divorce, each party may be considering what property or belongings they feel entitled to when the process is complete. While there are some states that allow for completely equal division of property, divorcing couples in Colorado will face equitable distribution. If you are considering a divorce, it may be in your best interest to seek legal counsel in order to better understand divorce laws in your area and reach a settlement that best suits your needs.

Colorado’s Equitable Distribution Law

In the state of Colorado, it is not automatically assumed that marital property is owned by both parties or that it will be divided equally in the event of a divorce. Instead, Colorado divorces follow the rules of equitable distribution. This means that marital property will be distributed in an equitable manner. Equitable distribution often grants the higher-earning spouse a larger portion of the assets in a divorce settlement.

There are many factors involved when a court is responsible for determining this type of property distribution. A judge will consider the economic situation of each spouse following the property division, the unique value of the property to each spouse and the contribution each spouse made to acquire the marital property. The contributions set forth by each party will also include the efforts made by a spouse as a homemaker.

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CO mediation lawyerDisputes regarding someone’s property, especially someone’s home, can lead to serious turmoil and grief. When an individual invests both financially and emotionally into a piece of land, reactions to disagreements can be severe. With this in mind, it is important to remember that neighbors are likely to stay neighbors even after a weighty argument has led to bitterness between the parties. The best option for significant neighborhood conflict is likely mediation. With the help of a mediator, the neighbors can come to a peaceful, satisfying resolution.

Mediation in Regard to Property Disputes

Many people going through frustrating disputes with their neighbors rely on a mediator to facilitate a discussion between the two parties. The mediator acts as a third party who can help to resolve the conflict at hand. These disputes may involve arguments over land ownership, parking spaces, barking dogs, and landscaping.

Taking the route of mediation during a neighborhood property dispute allows the conflicting parties to reach a solution that benefits everyone involved. In order to accomplish this, the mediator will meet with the parties involved on numerous occasions to gather facts and explore potential solutions.

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Colorado family law attorneyAt one time, divorced parents were able to arrange for childcare in whatever way they thought best during the times they had physical custody of their child. However, over the years, Colorado family laws have evolved and changed. One of the changes that were made was adding the right of first refusal for parents in custody and childcare situations. The law now requires parents who need to arrange for childcare to first offer the other parent the option of watching the child before they look for someone else to babysit.

How Does Right of First Refusal Work?

The goal of the change was to ensure the best interest of the child – which is the legal standard for all custody decisions – is always met. In the majority of cases, the courts believe that it is in the child’s best interest to spend as much time as possible with each parent, and that it is far better for a child to spend time with a parent than spend that same time with a babysitter or a nanny.

When parents are negotiating a parenting plan, either because of a divorce or custody case, the courts do allow them to come up with a practical way of implementing the right of first refusal. If they cannot agree on how it should be done, the court will come up with a plan for them.

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Denver divorce mediatorsOne of the most common misconceptions about divorce and other family law issues is that it is almost always an adversarial process, with spouses or parents pitted against each other, battling over who will get custody of the children, the family home, the most assets, and more. Although there are cases where there is a high level of acrimony present, the truth is that more and more couples are turning to mediation instead of traditional litigation as a way to come to a more peaceful resolution of their issues.

Mediation Versus Litigated Divorce

In a traditional, litigated divorce, both spouses retain their own divorce attorneys. The spouses, through their attorneys, will try to come up with an agreement for a number of issues, including:

  • The allocation of parental responsibilities, including parenting time schedule and decision making
  • How the couple’s assets and property will be divided
  • How the couple’s debts will be divided
  • If either spouse is entitled to spousal support

Since the negotiation strategy of each party is usually antagonistic, pitting one party against the other in what is often already an emotional process for the couple, reaching an agreement for all these issues may not work and the couple ends up in family court where a judge then makes the decisions for them. The cost of a litigated divorce can run into tens of thousands of dollars, between interrogatories, depositions, hearings, and attorney fees.

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