Denver Family Law

Family Law

Brighton Child Custody Attorney

Child Support & Child Custody Attorney

As parents, nothing is more important to us than our children. As a child custody attorneys, we are well-aware of this. Using empathy and our ability to stay objective, we empower our clients the attention and compassion they deserve.

Child custody disputes are difficult. The time you spend with your child becomes limited. Additionally, during divorce, child custody battles may cause lasting damage to the parent-child relationship. Our attorneys will do everything in my power to keep the pre-divorce relationship intact while forging a lasting solution and negotiating an amicable parenting plan.

However, when litigation is necessary, we offer tenacious representation that will ultimately lead to the best possible outcome for you and your family.

 

Child Custody

When it comes to our kids, most parents are fighters. This can lead to unrealistic expectations based on pride and anger. As your child custody lawyer, it is my job to be your sounding board and take your concerns seriously, while explaining to you, very clearly, what your case means and what we can do to reach the best possible outcome for you.

Ultimately, Colorado courts place the child's best interests at the top of their priority list. We will fight for a resolution that aligns with the important components pertaining to the future of your child.

There are two sides to every story. To build a strong case for you and your child, it will be important to understand the other side of the situation. We can help with all of your visitation concerns and any fathers' rightsissues you may have. We can also guide you through the most common mistakes people make when it comes to custody disputes.

 

Child Support

Being supported by his or her parents is a right that every child deserves — not something that a parent can easily "waive" on behalf of a child or simply refuse to pay. Despite popular opinion, child support is not a benefit awarded to a parent; it is a benefit awarded to and owned by the child. Child support is intended to provide for the child's necessities — most commonly food, clothing and shelter.

Child support guidelines determine the amount to be paid, which is based primarily upon income. Deviations and exceptions can be made depending on individual circumstances and if they are in the best interest of the children.

About Child Support Payments

Child support payments are usually retroactive, dating back to the date the motion is filed or, in paternity cases, back to the child's birth. Payments typically terminate when the child is emancipated, which is at age 19 in Colorado. Day care expenses or other expenses related to a child's special needs can be added as a line item to support payments.

We will work with you to determine if any exceptions should be made in your family's situation. Additionally, if you need post-decree modifications or enforcement of payments, our team will fight for your interests and guide you through the necessary legal processes.

Click here to learn more about child support payments and what they cover in Colorado.

 

Post-Decree Matters & Modifications

Life is fluid. Change is inevitable. If you are divorced and have a child, you are not the only person affected by these changes. The other parent and your children can also feel the brunt of any shift you may experience.

No matter how drastic the change, you need a child support modification attorney who will look out for your best interests and dig into the details of your case.

Post-Divorce Modification

If you would like to make child custody modifications to the orders in the divorce decree, you will need to show a substantial change of circumstances. Those recognized by Colorado law are as follows:

  • You or your former spouse may have gained, lost or changed employment.
  • Your child or children may be spending more time with one parent or the other.
  • One parent may be moving.

In these instances, the parent going through the change will need to modify his or her custody, child support and/or spousal support status.

When life changes are happening, we understand how hectic it can be. You need a team of attorneys that are flexible, mobile and dedicated to your case from the beginning to the end.

 

Family Relocation

Our attorneys often represent clients in post-decree matters such as modification proceedings related to a move out of state. When parties are subject to a court order, the court retains power — called jurisdiction — over the order. Major changes to the order must go through the court to be enforceable under the law.

When parents move because of their jobs or for other important reasons, they must have child custody and parenting time orders modified before they even begin packing. Failure to do so can have serious consequences, like having the court award sole custody to the other parent. That is why it is critical to talk with an experienced attorney before you take action.

Colorado Law On Relocating With Children

Colorado courts consider 14 factors listed in our state's statutes when making decisions about family relocation. They also consider a complex web of case law, comparing the facts and application of the law in prior cases against the facts of your case. For the move to be approved, the court must find it in the child's best interests.

The moving parent has the greatest burden of proof in child relocation cases, and matters often turn on expert testimony regarding what is best for the parents and for the children involved. We frequently partner with child and family investigators (CFI), parental responsibilities evaluators (PRE) and other professionals who have expertise in childhood development.

Every situation has its own set of facts, but one thing is true: Moving with children is hard. Whether you are the parent who is moving or the one who is staying behind, the situation can be stressful, emotional and tense. We understand the importance of your children during times of crisis. 

We appreciate my clients' desires to find the best possible outcomes for their children, and that's why we are dedicated to taking an approach that protects your kids' best interests while achieving a favorable outcome for your family in a parental move-away case.

 

Spousal Support & Alimony

Spousal maintenance or alimony is not regulated by any base guidelines. Instead, the decision to award support is based on individual circumstances, and the amount and duration of support can vary. If the option for maintenance is waived, that decision is irrevocable. Considering the importance of support during a divorce, it is in your best interests to consult with an experienced family law attorney.

Our team will meet with you to discuss the types of modifiable or nonmodifiable alimony and determine if you qualify to receive any of them. If so, we will guide you through the legal process and strongly advocate for you at every step.

Spousal support and alimony are determined based on several factors, including:

  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • Current earnings and earning capacity of each party
  • Financial assets of each party
  • Length of the marriage
  • Whether one spouse stayed at home to raise children
  • Ages of both parties and their ability to support themselves
  • What assets and debts each spouse will be allocated during property division

 

Top 10 Child Custody Mistakes

Despite best intentions, parents without proper legal representation are at risk of committing one of the top 10 child custody mistakes in Colorado.

At Tolison & Williams, Attorneys at Law, we guide clients through the child custody process. We have years of experience helping clients avoid these serious and all-to-common mistakes:

  1. Alienating children due to spite for the other party. Kids are fragile; don't use them to get back at their other parent. If there are concerns regarding you or your children's health and safety, consider a restraining order or other action instead.
  2. Assuming custody arrangements based on gender. Neither mother nor father will automatically receive more or less custody time based on gender. It is instead based on the best interests of the children involved.
  3. Assuming a parent who wasn't involved in a child's life won't get parenting time. The law promotes both parents being in a child's life, even if that parent made mistakes in the past.
  4. Leaving just to avoid confrontation. If you plan to play a role in your child's life and future, you need to stay and settle matters with the other parent.
  5. Assuming you do not have to pay child support because custody is 50/50. Even if actual time is equally split, there may be support payments for one parent based on the needs of the child and how parental responsibilities are allocated.
  6. Verbally agreeing to modify child custody or support without going to court. Custody arrangements made without court involvement do not hold legal ground, and child support not paid can be collected retroactively for years into the future if the change is not documented through court.
  7. Punishing for unpaid child support by withholding parenting time. Both parenting time and support payments are to benefit the children, not the parents. Withholding time with children is not the proper way to respond to delinquent payments.
  8. Assuming that because you have primary custody, you can move out of state with the children.The best situation for children is time with both parents, so relocation must be approved by the other parent and sent through the courts for modification to support and custody orders.
  9. Thinking that custody arrangements end when a restraining order is in place. The courts may order that parenting time continue, though it might include supervision by a third party and require that transfer of the child take place in public.
  10. Not seeing a lawyer to make sure that agreements are enforceable and realistic. You may think that you can handle your custody issues or modifications on your own. This may be the case, but the best way to protect your interests is to meet with a lawyer — at least for an hour or two — to review your parenting plans for missed opportunities.

 

Contact A Child Custody or Child Support Attorney In Adams County

To set up a phone consultation with a Colorado Child Custody or Child Support attorney, call our Adams County law firm at 800-331-0745 or fill out the form below. 

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