Douglas County Divorce Attorney
They say one in every two marriages ends in divorce. Though this figure may not be applicable everywhere, the reality is that many marriages throughout Douglas County do end with the filing of a divorce case. If you’ve been served with divorce papers or have come to the realization that it’s time to end your marriage, do yourself a favor and contact the Douglas County divorce attorneys at Plog & Stein, P.C. Seeking the help of an experienced family law team early on is the first step towards preserving your assets, income, and future. Our only goal is to attain the best possible legal outcome for you and your children. With over 70 years of combined legal experience, our attorneys will work hard towards meeting your objectives. Let us put that experience to work for you!
How Divorce is Handled by the Douglas County Court
Most divorce cases are filed on the basis that the spouses have irreconcilable differences. Whatever the reason, no evidence is needed to request an end to your marriage. To begin the process, one side will file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the District Court. The other side will then be served. At least one party in the divorce must have lived in Colorado for 91 days prior to the filing. From there, the court process will entail an initial status conference, followed up by mediation and potential court hearings concerning both temporary and long term issues.
Every aspect of divorce is important and can make a lasting impact on your life. Parenting time arrangements, custody, and child support are all issues you will face if you have children. How you divide your property and working out alimony (spousal support) can affect your financial situation for years to come. To sort out these details, couples can either reach a settlement together or resolve them through court, meaning a trial. The more you can negotiate and reconcile through mediation in lieu of going to court ahead of time, the more time and money you can save. If your case goes to court, the length of time it will take to resolve depends on the court and the judge you are assigned. A contested divorce can take anywhere from a few months to a year or more, depending on the issues in contention.
An uncontested divorce is one wherein both parties come to an agreement on terms and can proceed amicably without a hearing. Their respective lawyers work on their behalf to come to an arrangement to settle all the issues pertaining to their dissolution of marriage, with the end result being the filing of a “Separation Agreement” with the Court.
Though the steps and concepts tied into a Colorado divorce may sound simple, the Douglas County family law attorneys at Plog & Stein, P.C. understand that each case may require a detailed analysis of each issue. As such, we will thoroughly analyze your case and help formulate a sound and realistic strategy for both settlement negotiations and court. Again, your goals are our goals.
How Can a Lawyer Help During Your Divorce?
Divorce is a difficult time for everyone involved. Divorce often comes with confusing rules, complicated laws and a lot of emotional tension. It can also be a great financial burden. A divorce lawyer can help with all aspects of a divorce case, including naming grounds for the dissolution, filing the petition, issuing demands, negotiating a settlement and/or litigating a trial. A Douglas County divorce lawyer will make sure your spouse and his or her legal team do not take advantage of you during a divorce settlement. Your attorney will protect your rights, help you strategize solutions and resolve complex issues on your behalf. A lawyer can minimize the stress, money and time it will take to get a divorce in Colorado.
What Is Considered Marital Property?
Marital property is an important matter to consider during a divorce case. Marital property will come into play during the division stage of a divorce. In general, marital property refers to anything purchased or received during the couple’s marriage. It can include jointly purchased or owned homes, vehicles, properties, businesses, furniture, stocks, bonds, investments, retirement accounts, pets and more. Most items acquired during the marriage will be marital property.
Certain items, however, will remain separate property even after marriage. Separate property can describe any assets/debts one spouse owned before the marriage. It can include any bank accounts or savings the individual had before the marriage and keeps separate after marriage. Even during the marriage, any gifts or inheritance given directly to only one of the spouses will remain separate property. During a divorce, the courts will only have jurisdiction over marital property, not separate property.
How Is Marital Property Divided?
Colorado is an equitable distribution state. Rather than automatically splitting marital property down the middle (50/50), the Colorado divorce courts will analyze the unique situation and determine what would be the fairest split according to the factors involved. In most cases, equitable division will lead to the higher-earning spouse receiving more assets during a divorce. Fighting for your share of the assets during a divorce may take assistance from a marital property division attorney. Your lawyer may be able to help you negotiate a fair settlement agreement with your ex-spouse to avoid going to court.
If your divorce does require a trial, it will ultimately be up to a judge to split your marital assets. The courts in Colorado assess many factors when dividing property. If the couple has children, for instance, the courts will often give the family home to the parent who will have primary custody. In this case, the other spouse might receive a larger portion of assets to make things fair. Remember, however, that the courts will not be able to touch nonmarital property. A Douglas County divorce attorney may be able to help you organize your nonmarital assets and protect things you own from being classified as marital property during your divorce.
How Is Debt Split in a Divorce?
Property division during a divorce case in Colorado does not only refer to splitting marital assets, but also debts accrued during the marriage. Debts can include credit cards, car loans, business loans, student loans and mortgages. The couple will only divide marital debts, not separate or nonmarital debts. The couple can work out a property arrangement that divides both assets and debts acquired, or else they will have to bring the case to court. If the case goes to court, a judge will determine debt division using several factors.
- The financial contributions of each spouse
- The division of the rest of the property
- Child custody and spousal maintenance decisions
- Whether one spouse acquired most of the debts during the marriage
- If one spouse was a reckless spender
The equitable division of debts in Colorado may equal a 50/50 split, or it could look very different. The best way to know how a judge might divide your property and debts is by working with an attorney. Your divorce lawyer will know how to correctly document your assets and debts, state your case during a divorce trial, and fight for a fair resolution. A lawyer could also help you avoid the trial process altogether by successfully negotiating a deal with your ex-spouse. The attorneys at Plog & Stein, P.C. have everything you need for strong legal support.
Intelligent and Dedicated Counsel in Your Douglas County Divorce
Douglas County is part of the 18th Judicial District and has the highest median household income of any Colorado county. The team at Plog & Stein, P.C. has decades of knowledge and experience helping clients all over Douglas County, and we know the ins and outs of the family court system, including what it will take to protect your family and your assets in a divorce. Our Denver Tech Center office is just a short drive from Parker, Highlands Ranch, or Castle Rock. We are ready to assist you in all divorce-related matters. Call us to discuss your case at 303-781-0322 or contact us online.