Family Law

Divorce Attorneys Serving Individuals in the Denver Area

Couples usually expect to live happily together, raise a family, share assets, and create lasting memories. However, the reality is that many marriages end in divorce, as well as custody battles that can be fiercely contested. The attorneys at Plog & Stein, with a combined experience of over 40 years, strive to make both the divorce process and related issues like child custody as painless as possible. Our divorce attorneys can guide Denver residents and other individuals throughout Colorado through these matters, helping them understand their rights and options.

Dissolving a Marriage in Colorado

Divorce, or dissolution of marriage, can be complicated, particularly when children are involved. Since Colorado is a no-fault state, it is not necessary to show a specific reason for a divorce, such as abuse or infidelity. Instead, the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage can be cited as the reason for seeking to dissolve it.

The process of seeking a divorce begins when you or your attorney files a summons and petition with the court. Your spouse is given an opportunity to respond, and then financial disclosures are filed with the court. It is at this time that a family law attorney can help you prepare your documents, assist in formulating settlement goals, and help determine living arrangements and custody issues relating to children. Divorce cases involve a range of issues, financial and emotional, and the attorneys at Plog & Stein can both offer advice and fight for your rights.

Creating a Parental Responsibility Plan

Cases of divorce involving child custody are often challenging and can have an impact on how both parents and children move on from a divorce. In 1999, Colorado changed the common term “custody” to “parental responsibility.” The legal term parental responsibility includes time spent parenting as well as decision-making, including educational or health decisions. In Colorado, when a child turns 18 years old, custody and visitation orders terminate.

Parental responsibility includes three areas: who the children live with, who has the power to make decisions for them, and what visitation looks like for the non-custodial parent. Typically, the former spouses share the responsibility of making major decisions for the children, formerly known as “legal custody.” This could involve decisions about education, or medical decisions, like whether the child will get orthodontia. Residential custody, or which parent the child lives with, remains a common contentious issue.

Some parents believe that eventually the child will decide which parent is the host parent. Many children do develop a preference regarding where they want to reside. Under Colorado law, however, there is no age at which a family law judge must adhere to the child’s wishes. The court often considers any stated preference by the child as one of the factors in its decision, but ultimately a judge makes the decision as to where a child lives based on the judge’s perception of the child’s best interest. Until they turn 18, children cannot independently decide where they will live.

In our practice, experienced attorneys can help navigate ambiguities and contested issues regarding custody and visitation. Our experience helping former spouses try to enforce parenting time orders or modify existing orders can help you and your children.

Discuss Your Family Law Matter with a Denver Lawyer

At Plog & Stein, our child custody attorneys can assist individuals in Denver and elsewhere in Colorado in all phases of divorce, including formulating a custody plan that has the best interest of your child at the forefront. Contact us today at (303) 781-0322 or use our online form to schedule a consultation. Our attorneys proudly serve clients from throughout the state, including in Douglas and Arapahoe Counties.