Family Law

Can You Write Your Own Prenuptial Agreement?

Posted in Family Law on April 27, 2022

Prenuptial agreements may have a negative connotation, but they are critical to protecting a person’s assets in the event of a divorce. Having a prenup does not mean that you don’t have faith in your marriage; it means you are protected and prepared for any outcome. If you wish to create a prenuptial agreement in Colorado, it is vital to do so in a way that ensures the document’s validity should you ever need to use it. Do not make the mistake of writing your own prenuptial agreement without being 100 percent certain that the document will hold up in court.

What Makes a Prenuptial Agreement Legally Enforceable in Colorado?

A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract that should be binding and enforceable if a marriage ends in divorce. It has the power to protect the creator’s estate and hard-earned assets from being shared with an ex-spouse – but only if it is done correctly and is valid in the eyes of the law. Otherwise, the prenup can be challenged in the courts and found unenforceable. A prenuptial agreement in Colorado must meet the following conditions for the courts to enforce it during a divorce or legal separation:

  • It must be in writing.
  • It must bear the signatures of both parties.
  • It must state that both parties are entering the prenuptial agreement voluntarily.
  • It must not interfere with other marital agreements previously signed.

A prenup should not contain any language that could be viewed as ambiguous or unfair (unconscionable) to one or both parties. It cannot enforce personal rules, such as a requirement to bear a son or maintain a certain weight. It also cannot contain terms that encourage divorce. Both parties must make financial disclosures before entering into the agreement. Finally, it must be signed only after the other spouse has the chance to consult with an independent attorney.

Pros and Cons of Writing Your Own Prenup

If you are considering writing your own prenuptial agreement in Colorado, be sure to weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks of doing so alone. While the cost of hiring a lawyer is generally the only thing that prevents people from seeking legal counsel for prenups, the price of having a judge refuse to enforce the contract can be significantly greater. Keep this in mind when comparing the pros and cons of writing your own document.


  • You save money by avoiding the fee a lawyer charges to draft your prenuptial agreement.
  • You may save time by skipping visits with a lawyer, although creating the prenup yourself can also be time-consuming.


  • Without a lawyer’s expertise, you can miss opportunities to protect your assets.
  • The language of the prenuptial agreement might not be accepted by the courts.
  • If you make even a minor mistake, you risk having the courts throw out the entire document.
  • You can ultimately lose much more money than you would have spent in attorney’s fees if your prenup is deemed legally invalid or unenforceable.

If you have a simple estate and perform due diligence on how to create and legalize a prenuptial agreement in Colorado, you and your spouse may be able to do it on your own. Without having a lawyer at least review the prenuptial agreement that you’ve drafted, however, you are at risk of discovering that your document is not legally enforceable – only after it’s too late to make any changes and protect your assets. 

If you have high-value assets, business ventures, investment accounts, a significant amount of property or simply want the peace of mind of knowing without a doubt that your document is legally enforceable should your marriage end in divorce, call an attorney. A high-asset divorce attorney can work with you and create your prenuptial agreement. When your financial future could be on the line, don’t make this decision lightly.

What Are the Signs of an Unhappy Marriage?

Posted in Family Law on March 30, 2022

All marriages are a mix of highs and lows, and nobody is perfect. If you and your partner have struggled more than usual, however, identifying problem spots can help you address them head-on. It may also make it clear that it is time to let go for the happiness of both people. If your relationship shows signs of an unhappy marriage, take stock of the situation. It may be time to decide to stay or go.

A Breakdown of Communication

Communication is key to any healthy relationship. If you and your spouse have had more trouble communicating over the last few years, this could be a sign of a deeper issue. For example, if you don’t often talk to each other face to face or don’t feel that you have much to say to your partner, you may be suffering from deep-rooted unhappiness. The same is true if your arguments are no longer productive or healthy; if they only serve to tear each other down.

Marriage counseling can give you the tools that you need to become a more effective communicator with your spouse. There may be certain phrases you can use to facilitate open and honest conversations or express yourself in a way that your spouse will understand. It can also help to have an unbiased counselor work through issues with you and your spouse to find solutions.

Leading Separate Lives

Fights, arguments and dissatisfaction are not the only signs of an unhappy marriage. It can also appear in the form of being satisfied while leading separate lives. If you and your partner choose to do things apart for the majority of the time and you are both unbothered (or happier) doing so, this could be a sign that you would be better off divorced. If you’ve stopped consulting your partner about major decisions, for example, this is a red flag that he or she has stopped being a friend and advisor to you – a sign that you no longer feel connected.

A Lack of Physical Affection

For many couples, the breakdown of physical intimacy is one of the first indicators of something amiss in the relationship. While many things aside from marital happiness can decrease the amount of physical intimacy – including health problems, children and the busyness of life – if you’re both sexually active but are having sex with your partner only rarely, this is a sign of an unhappy marriage. Physical intimacy does not only refer to sex, either. It can also mean hugging, kissing or cuddling.

No Clear Future Together

Once upon a time, you may have envisioned a future with your spouse full of hope and happiness. If you can no longer visualize this future, it could be a sign that the love has gone from your marriage. Many people struggling in unhappy marriages stop caring about a future with their partners, as if this will make it emotionally easier to separate. This can mean that your relationship has run its course and that it’s time for both of you to move on.

Are You in an Unhappy Marriage? Discuss Your Options With a Lawyer

Spotting red flags in your marriage can allow you and your spouse to tackle the problems directly, with or without help from a marriage counselor. If you and your spouse decide that you cannot change or fix what is wrong with the marriage, you can decide to go your separate ways. Before you embark on this difficult journey, contact a family law attorney in Fort Collins for legal advice and assistance.

Divorce is not your only option if you and your spouse are going through a rough patch. If the possibility of reconciliation is there, you can legally separate instead. Legal separation is not as permanent as divorce and can easily be reversed. It is also easier to turn a legal separation into a divorce, if desired. An attorney can go over all of your options as someone in an unhappy marriage during an initial consultation.

Is Emotional Abuse a Crime in Colorado?

Posted in Family Law on March 1, 2022

When most people hear the term, “abuse,” they picture physical violence, such as hitting or kicking a victim. Yet abuse can take many forms, all with the capacity to harm or endanger the target. This includes emotional, verbal and psychological abuse. Emotional abuse is against the law in Colorado, as it is a form of domestic abuse. If your relationship involves emotional abuse, learn how it might affect your family law case.

Can Someone Get Arrested for Emotional Abuse?

Yes. In Colorado, emotional abuse falls under the umbrella of domestic abuse or violence. Colorado Revised Statutes Section 18-6-800.3 makes domestic violence a crime that is punishable by fines and even jail time. If you believe you are being emotionally abused, you can call the police to report domestic abuse and your spouse or household member may be arrested. Colorado’s definition of domestic abuse has the following elements:

  • An act or threatened act of violence when used as a method of control, punishment, coercion, intimidation or revenge. This can include acts that inflict emotional or psychological harm.
  • An intimate relationship between the perpetrator and the victim. This can refer to a spousal relationship, a marriage or two people who share a child.

Domestic violence can also refer to crimes against others in the household, including children, an animal or property. If you call the police regarding emotional abuse, note that the decision of whether to bring charges against the individual will no longer be up to you. Once the police are notified of a domestic abuse or violence situation, it is up to the prosecutor whether that person will face charges, even if you withdraw your allegations later.

Can You Get a Protective Order for Emotional Abuse?

A protective order, also called a restraining order, is a legal document ordering someone to stay away from you and cease all contact or communication. It may be utilized in an emotional abuse case to protect the victim from further harm. You can file a request with the courts for a protective order against your spouse for any type of domestic abuse or violence. You can also submit a request for an emergency protective order, depending on the circumstances. If a child has been endangered or abused in the incident or because of a volatile environment, you can submit a request for emergency child custody.

Does Emotional Abuse Stand Up in Court in Colorado?

Emotional abuse is recognized as a legal cause of action in Colorado. This means it can be used as evidence in a family law case, such as to fight for child custody or alimony. Emotional abuse allegations are reviewed closely by the courts in family law cases in Colorado – especially cases of child emotional or psychological abuse. If the courts find evidence of emotional abuse, this could change the outcome of a case. If a judge believes one parent’s abusive or violent behaviors place a child in reasonable fear of harm – either physical or psychological – a judge may grant primary or full custody to the other parent.

How Do You Prove Emotional Abuse in a Colorado Family Law Case?

Since emotional abuse is viewed as a crime in Colorado, criminal charges or a conviction can be used as evidence against the individual in a family law case. If you called the police to report emotional or psychological abuse, this will go on the record even if the case does not result in an arrest or domestic abuse conviction. Allegations alone on a police report can be enough to prove emotional abuse to the family courts. Other forms of evidence to prove emotional abuse may include your own recollection of the crime, a detailed journal documenting each incident, eyewitness statements and a psychological evaluation of the perpetrator.

Emotional abuse in a relationship can have a major effect on a family law matter. For more information about this area of the law, contact the Law Office of Stephen Vertucci, LLC to request a consultation with an experienced Fort Collins divorce attorney.

How to Choose the Best Family Lawyer

Posted in Family Law on January 4, 2022

Your choice of lawyer during a divorce or another family law case can make all of the difference. You should trust the lawyer representing you to act in your best interests and go above and beyond to achieve the results that you need. Do not take your choice of attorney lightly. Take the following steps to choose the best family lawyer for you and your case. 

Fort Collins divorce attorney

Research Your Options

First, do your due diligence in hunting for the right family lawyer for you. Research the options in your city or town and make a list of the attorneys that you find promising. Some of the things that you should look for when creating your list are experience, results, positive testimonials, accreditations, awards or accolades, and a professional feel.

Experience in your practice area is especially important, as this can determine if the attorney has the skill and knowledge to properly handle your case. If you are getting divorced in Colorado, for example, you should find a local attorney with experience representing clients in divorce cases. Search the law firm’s website for a list of its practice areas. Then, ask the firm about its specific experience with your type of case. You should feel confident in your attorney’s ability to handle your case.

Choose a Lawyer, Not a Law Firm

The most important relationship during a family law case is between the lawyer and the client, not the law firm and the client. Make sure the person you are getting to know during your research is the attorney who will be handling your case – not an assistant. Just because the law firm has good reviews and a positive reputation in your community does not mean that the attorney who will be taking your case is the right fit. Do your best to build a rapport with the lawyer who has offered his or her services, not just the law firm in general. This can help you avoid surprises.

Schedule a Consultation

Once you have narrowed down your list of potential family lawyers, schedule a consultation with at least two of them. Meeting with an attorney in person can give you an idea of what they’re really like. Although most family lawyers do not offer free consultations – like personal injury lawyers – meeting with your prospective lawyer can be worth the cost of the case review. 

You can ask all of the questions that you have about your case and receive honest answers. You can also get an idea of how the lawyer treats his or her clients, as well as what the law firm is like in general. If you were passed off to a paralegal or assistant for your consultation, for example, instead of getting to speak directly to an attorney, this could be a sign that the law firm is not a good fit.

Ask Yourself if the Lawyer Is Right for You

Hiring a family lawyer is a personal decision that is ultimately yours to make. Do not choose your lawyer based on a referral from a family or friend alone. It is important to make up your own mind about an attorney after doing your homework. After meeting with a lawyer, ask yourself if you have a good feeling about him or her, and if you believe the lawyer has the ability to successfully handle your case. 

Ask yourself the following questions: Do you and the lawyer share morals and values? Do you agree with the principles of the law firm? Do you think you and the lawyer communicate well? You are the only one who can decide if a family lawyer is right for you. Do not take this decision lightly. Choose a family law attorney in Colorado that has everything that you’re looking for in a legal representative and more.

Complete Financial Disclosure in a Divorce Case in Colorado

Posted in Divorce,Family Law on September 30, 2021

Legal Advocacy for Your Colorado Divorce

The financial side of a divorce case is often the most complicated part. To simplify things and keep them fair, the law in Colorado requires both sides of a divorce to disclose full and accurate information about their assets and debts to the other side, typically early on in the divorce process. Before you and your spouse can work out a property division settlement – or your case is handed to a judge – you must both submit complete financial disclosures. Failing to do so can result in serious penalties. 

What Does Complete Financial Disclosure Mean?

One of the first steps that you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse must take to get divorced in Colorado is to submit your financial disclosure information and supporting financial documents. According to Colorado Rule of Civil Procedure 16.2(e), both parties involved in a divorce or legal separation case are required to fully and accurately disclose their financial situations. This requirement is called an absolute duty, meaning that it is mandatory and not optional. 

You can fulfill this legal obligation by filling out and submitting financial affidavits before the deadline, which will then be provided to your spouse or his or her attorney. An affidavit is a sworn financial statement with details of everything that you earn and pay each month. In general, financial disclosures must be submitted within 42 days of the couple filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage or Legal Separation in Colorado. Some of the information that a financial disclosure form must contain is:

  • Income from a job or business
  • Income from self-employment
  • Savings accounts
  • Retirement accounts
  • Pension plans
  • Investments
  • Real estate
  • Marital assets
  • Separate property
  • Income deductions 
  • Monthly expenses
  • Debts

The goal of complete financial disclosure is to give both parties involved in a divorce a clear view and understanding of the other party’s financial situation. That way, they can both make informed decisions on how to divide their marital property, as well as how to calculate child support and spousal support obligations. If the couple cannot reach a settlement and the divorce case goes to court in Colorado, the courts will use the financial disclosure affidavits in much the same way – to determine fair or equitable terms for the divorce.

What Are the Penalties for Incomplete Financial Disclosure?

Both spouses involved in a divorce case in Colorado must provide sworn financial statements with full and accurate information. In addition, they must provide the requested financial documentation to support their affidavits, such as tax returns, financial statements, bank account information and investment documentation. 

If either spouse fails to make complete and honest financial disclosures during a divorce, that person can face serious legal consequences and penalties, such as being held in contempt of court, having to pay a fine and even spending time in jail. In addition, the courts in Colorado may allow one spouse to reopen a divorce case if evidence is found that the other spouse committed a material omission or misstatement of disclosure.

When to Use a Divorce Lawyer in Colorado

 It is critical that financial affidavits and related forms are properly and accurately prepared and submitted by the deadline in Colorado. Failing to do so, even by mistake, can result in the party being accused of intentionally withholding information or hiding assets. The best way to make sure that you fulfill your legal obligation when it comes to complete financial disclosure in a divorce case is by working with an experienced attorney in Fort Collins

 Hiring a divorce attorney can allow you to rest and relax while a skilled and knowledgeable professional fills out confusing paperwork and submits it to the family courts on your behalf. An attorney can help you prepare all of the necessary forms and financial documents to submit to the courts during your divorce, making your dissolution of marriage as effective and efficient as possible. In addition, in the case of a spouse’s omission or misrepresentation, a lawyer can help you pursue justice. Contact an attorney today for more information.

What to Do When the Other Parent Isn’t Complying With Court Orders

Posted in Family Law on April 29, 2021

In a divorce case, both parties are required to follow all orders given by the court. This includes orders related to property division, child support, child custody and alimony. If your ex-spouse is not complying with a court-ordered parenting plan, you have legal rights as the other parent. Take action to protect your rights with assistance from a family law attorney in Colorado.

Follow Your Part of the Plan

Resist the urge to retaliate against your ex-spouse by failing to comply with your part of the court orders. This will not balance the scales or benefit you. Violating a court order could get you into significant legal trouble, as well as make it more difficult for you to convince a judge to help you enforce your parenting plan. Read your parenting plan carefully and make sure you understand your responsibilities. Continue keeping up your side of the agreement while you seek a resolution.

Document Everything

Some of the most common examples of noncompliance with court orders after a divorce are failing to pay child support or alimony, ignoring a custody agreement, and breaking the terms of a custody order by not allowing a child to talk on the phone with the other parent. No matter what type of court-order violation or noncompliance you are experiencing, document everything.

Unless your attorney recommends otherwise, document each violation with evidence that the other parent is refusing to follow the parenting plan. Write down the date and time of the violation, as well as a description of what happened. Evidence can also include screenshots of text messages or witness accounts.

Be sure to ask your attorney what the appropriate forms of evidence are to gather, as well as how to present your documents to the courts. Thoroughly documenting the other parent’s failure to fulfill his or her legal obligations can help strengthen your case when you file a Motion for Contempt or take other legal actions against your ex-spouse.

Go to Mediation

Many parenting plans and divorce settlement agreements have provisions that require both parties to attend mediation if there is a disagreement. If this is the case, you and your attorney will have to schedule mediation before you go to the courts to file any motions against your spouse for failure to comply.

During mediation, you and your ex-spouse will try to work through the issue at hand and achieve a resolution that works for both of you. You will each state your side of the case before a mediator – an unbiased third party who is trained in conflict resolution – who will help you come up with compromises and solutions. If mediation fails to resolve the problem, you can continue to court.

File a Motion for Contempt

A Motion for Contempt is a request submitted to the courts to punish a party for violating a court order. All court orders, including divorce decrees, are enforceable by holding the party in contempt of court. If the courts accept your motion, your ex-spouse can face penalties for violating court orders, such as having to pay a fine or even spend time in jail. If the breached court order involves a failure to pay child support, being held in contempt of court can also lead to remedies such as garnishing your ex’s wages until the back child support has been paid off.

Consult With a Family Attorney

If you get divorced and the other parent is refusing to obey a court order, consult with a family law attorney in Colorado. An attorney can give you legal advice tailored to your unique situation. If your case requires mediation or a Motion for Contempt, a lawyer can represent you and your child’s best interests in court. Discuss your individual case with an attorney at The Law Office of Stephen Vertucci today for more information.

Can I Move Out of My House Before Divorce?

Posted in Divorce,Family Law on April 27, 2021

If you and your spouse have decided to get divorced, it can be uncomfortable and inconvenient to continue living together. It is normal to want to begin your new life as soon as possible by moving out. Whether or not you should move out of your house before a divorce, however, depends on the circumstances. Weigh the pros and cons carefully before making your decision.

Does Moving Out Affect Your Divorce Case?

Moving out of your house can affect your divorce in a few different ways. First, it can establish a date of separation. Moving out can mean that you have officially separated. This is relevant, as the courts will look at the date of separation to determine separate vs. community property. In this way, moving out could benefit you. Any income or assets you acquire after you move out may be classified as your separate property, keeping it safe from division with your spouse in a divorce.

Moving out also will not hurt your claim to the family home. Choosing to move out does not mean you are giving the home to your spouse in the divorce. The courts will determine the division of property based on what is fair and equitable according to the circumstances. This may mean giving the house to one or both of you. The courts will not automatically give your ex-spouse the house because you moved out.

Finally, moving out may or may not impact child custody. If you had no choice but to move out due to a domestic violence situation, the courts will take this into account. Otherwise, it is important to establish a parenting plan with your estranged spouse, along with a written agreement that the parent who moves out isn’t forfeiting any parental rights by doing so. This can help ensure your move does not interfere with child custody or visitation.

Can You Force Your Spouse to Move Out?

In rare circumstances, you may be able to force your spouse to move out of your shared home during a divorce. Typically, the only circumstance where this is allowed is if your spouse is engaging in abusive behavior. Otherwise, the only other possibility to force your spouse to move out is if you own the house on your own and it is not part of community property. This entitles you to decide whether or not your spouse can continue living there.

If you are in a domestic violence situation and do not feel safe in your home, do what is necessary to keep you and your children safe. If you have the financial resources to move out of your house, do so. Otherwise, you can ask the courts to assist you in forcing your estranged spouse to move out of the house instead.

In a divorce case that involves domestic violence or abuse, you have the right to obtain court orders for solutions such as temporary full custody of children and an emergency protective order. A protective order can force your ex-spouse to stay away from you and move out of the house. If you believe you or your children are in danger during a divorce case, consult with an attorney immediately for emergency safety measures before moving out.

Is Moving Out the Right Choice for You?

Your divorce case can take months or even years to be resolved. In this time, you or your spouse may decide it’s best for one of you to move out. However, it is important to analyze the benefits and potential risks of moving out to your divorce case before leaving your family home. You have to consider not only your physical and mental wellbeing when making your choice, but also the potential legal ramifications.

Each divorce case is unique. Get help from a Colorado divorce attorney to make the best decision for you and your family. A lawyer can answer your questions and concerns related to finances, property division, child custody and more when deciding whether or not to move out of your house before a divorce.

How Can You Stop Parental Alienation?

Posted in Family Law on January 12, 2021

A divorce can have many ramifications for a family. One potential risk is distance coming between you and your child – both physically and emotionally – if you do not have primary custody. Sadly, your ex-spouse may make things worse by badmouthing you in front of your child or spreading hurtful lies when you’re not there to defend yourself. These intentional actions to separate you and your child is known as parental alienation.

What Is Parental Alienation?

Parental alienation occurs most often after a divorce, but it can begin when the two parents are still married. It describes one parent interfering with the child’s relationship with the other parent by speaking ill of the targeted parent. One parent planting seeds against the other during or after a marriage could come between the second parent’s relationship with the child. Both the targeted parent and the child can suffer negative consequences from parental alienation.

The Long-term Impacts of Parental Alienation

It has long been established by health and wellness experts that the best scenario for a child’s mental, emotional and psychological wellbeing after a divorce or separation is shared parenting. Continuing contact with both parents after a divorce is the healthiest arrangement for a child. When parental alienation ruins one parent’s relationship with the child, it is the child who suffers the most.

In the long term, parental alienation can significantly affect a child’s mental health. It can force the child to think negative or bad thoughts about the other parent, possibly leading to the hatred of the targeted parent and/or extended family members related to that parent. It could also impact the child’s understanding of love and self-worth, which could interfere with self-esteem, intimacy and relationships later in life. The degradation of a child’s relationship with one parent can lead to issues such as depression, anger issues, outbursts, problems in school and substance abuse.

Tips for Stopping Parental Alienation

If you notice the early signs of parental alienation, such as your child distancing him or herself from you, you can do things to stop your co-parent from driving a wedge further between you and your child. You can take steps on your own to forge a deeper bond or relationship with your child in spite of what your co-parent may be saying about you. If this does not work, you can contact a family attorney to discuss possible legal actions available to you.

  • Remind your ex that he or she is hurting the child, not just you, with parental alienation.
  • Do not retaliate against your ex-spouse by also badmouthing him or her.
  • Make your main priority rebuilding your relationship with your child.
  • Reach out to your child in writing in your own words, using letters or email.
  • Call your child to talk as often as possible.
  • Keep up with what’s going on in your child’s life.
  • Attend your child’s shows or exhibitions, even if you sit in the back.
  • Request more visits, even if they are shorter in duration.
  • Keep documentation of how your ex-spouse is alienating you.
  • Ask to see your child in writing if your ex is withholding visits.
  • Remain persistent in rebuilding your relationship with your child.
  • Try therapy and look for professional support during this tough time.

Parental alienation can become a form of child abuse in severe cases. If parental alienation is risking your child’s mental health and personal wellbeing, you can ask a judge to intervene. Connect with a family attorney for assistance with your case. A lawyer can help you if your ex-spouse is intentionally trying to destroy your relationship with your child. A lawyer can submit a custody modification request, for example, to give you more than partial custody if your child is in danger. Speak to a lawyer today for more information about your legal options.

Can My Ex Leave the State With Our Child?

Posted in Divorce,Family Law on November 20, 2020

It is not unusual for one spouse to want to move away for a fresh start after a divorce in Colorado. When children are involved, however, moving away is complicated. Every citizen has the right to travel freely. You may have legal recourse as the noncustodial parent, however, if the move will negatively affect your child or infringe upon your custodial rights.

The Basics of Child Relocation After a Divorce

When determining all matters involving children, the courts in Colorado will do what is in the child’s best interests. This is the case for child support, child custody and child relocation. When a custodial parent wants to move out of the state with a child after a divorce, the courts will consider whether or not the move is in the child’s best interest. If the child has established roots in his or her community, with deep ties to school, church, family and friends, the noncustodial parent may have a case to require the custodial parent to stay in the state.

The courts will assess many factors when deciding whether or not a parent can leave the state with a child. A judge will look at the reason for the proposed move and your reason for objecting to the move, as well as the relationship between each parent and the child, whether the child will have family in the proposed location, whether it will be possible for you to have parenting time after the move, what impact the move will have on the child, and any other factors related to the child’s wellbeing.

In general, the Colorado courts prefer both parents to work together to make relocation work. A judge will typically sign off on a parenting plan or agreement created by a child’s parents. If this is not possible and the child relocation matter goes to court, a judge will try to balance each parent’s rights with the best interests of the child. A judge may or may not allow a custodial parent to leave the state with a child, depending on the circumstances.

What Can You Do to Prevent Your Ex From Leaving the State With Your Child?

You may have legal options if you do not want your ex to leave the state with your child. First, review your custody plan. If a judge gave you and your ex-spouse joint custody in the divorce, it is generally best for both parents to live near each other to carry out the terms of the custody agreement.

With a joint custody arrangement, you and your ex will have an equal say in where the child lives, as well as major decisions such as education, religion and health care. Although sharing custody can work long-distance, it is more difficult. If it will be so difficult that it infringes upon your rights or goes against what is best for your child, a judge may order your ex to stay within state lines.

Next, determine whether your ex-spouse fulfilled the requirements for moving out of state with a child. In Colorado, the custodial parent has to give written notice of a plan to move to the noncustodial parent. This plan must identify the reason for the move, the new location and a proposal for a new custody plan. As the noncustodial parent, you will then have the chance to negotiate a custody or visitation agreement with your ex.

You also have the right to file an objection to the move and to request a hearing to adjust your custody arrangement. You will go to court to try to prevent your ex from moving out of the state. You can use arguments such as your ex not having a valid reason for the move or the move taking a toll on your child’s emotional health. A judge may rule in your favor and stop the relocation if he or she believes moving out of state would negatively impact the child’s wellbeing. Work with an attorney for assistance with child relocation in Colorado for the best possible outcome.

How to Establish Paternity in Colorado?

Posted in Family Law on October 19, 2020

Paternity is a father’s legal status as the parent of a child. For the most part, paternity is not an issue if a couple has a child while married. In this situation, paternity will automatically go to the father. If the couple is not married, however, they may need to establish paternity. Establishing paternity is a legal process that can have many benefits for your child.

Why Would You Need to Establish Paternity?

You may want to establish paternity for several reasons. One is to make a claim for child support. Before the courts will force a father to pay child support, the mother must establish paternity. Without paternity, the father will have no legal obligation to pay to support the child. Upon establishing paternity, the child’s father will become legally responsible for child support if the couple is no longer together. As a single parent, establishing paternity could open the doors to financial support for food, shelter, education and other childcare needs.

Establishing paternity could also benefit the child in terms of insurance coverage. If the father has a job that extends health insurance coverage to dependents, for example, establishing that person’s paternity could allow a child to enter the parent’s health insurance plan. If the father is a veteran, the child could be eligible for disability benefits as well as an established dependent.

Establishing paternity is not just for the benefit of the child. A father may wish to establish his own paternity as well. If a father wants the legal right to visit the child or have partial custody, the father will need to establish paternity before the courts will grant him these rights. A man who has raised a child that is not his own may also want to establish paternity to become the child’s legal father. This will give him equal rights in terms of deciding the child’s health care, religion, education and other important matters.

Different Ways to Establish Paternity in Colorado

If you wish to establish paternity in Colorado, you can do so in one of two ways. The first is voluntary. Establishing voluntary paternity requires both parents to agree on the father of the child. If both parents agree to establish paternity, they will sign a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity Form, which the courts will use to establish the parent as the legal father of the child. After signing this form, the family can add the father’s name to the child’s birth certificate. Either parent has 60 days after signing the form to revoke the voluntary admittance of paternity. After 60 days, neither parent can rescind voluntary acknowledgment of paternity without going to court.

The second way to establish paternity is by bringing the alleged father to court. If the father is denying paternity or refusing to cooperate, you can file a court action requesting a paternity hearing. Parties who can initiate paternity hearings in Colorado are a child’s mother, the man who believes he is the father of the child, social services, the Colorado Department of Human Resources, a legal representative or the child if the child is 18.

If you wish to initiate a paternity case, go to the district court in your county. Only the district court will have the authority to rule in paternity cases. You will generally start your case after the birth of your child. You will need to present information and evidence establishing the father’s paternity, such as the results of a genetic test. The judge overseeing your case will then make a ruling on whether or not to establish paternity. If you succeed with your paternity case, the father may lawfully have to pay for expenses such as hospital bills for the birth of your child, child support and legal fees.

When to Contact an Attorney

Establishing paternity is a complicated matter in Colorado. If you believe this is something that will benefit your child or family, contact an attorney for assistance with the legal process. A lawyer with experience handling paternity cases can guide you through the process and help you achieve a successful outcome.