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Fort Collins Contested Divorce Attorney

Even in the most amicable situations, divorces aren’t pleasant for anyone, and a contested divorce can often be the worst possible situation for any divorce proceedings. A contested divorce typically arises when a married couple facing multiple complicated issues cannot agree to terms for the divorce. That is why it is necessary to hire a Fort Collins contested divorce lawyer in order for you to get a fair division of assets. Some couples draw up prenuptial agreements to establish the terms of the marriage, division or combination of assets, and reasons for terminating the marriage. This practice is rare, however, in part because people tend to believe such arrangements are only for the extremely wealthy – which isn’t necessarily the truth.

People without prenuptial agreements who cannot resolve things peaceably will need to go through the contested divorce process. Contested divorce cases are usually contentious and begin with initial Permanent Orders Hearings. How each divorcing spouse prepares for such a hearing will have a significant impact on the outcome. With a Fort Collins divorce lawyer by your side, you can confidently navigate the legal process, benefitting from their expertise and support.

Why Choose The Law Firm of Stephen Vertucci as Your Contested Divorce Lawyers in Fort Collins?

The legal team at The Law Office of Stephen Vertucci, LLC understands the impact a divorce has on a family. It’s difficult for a divorcing spouse to maintain a clear, objective position on disputed divorce terms during an emotionally fraught time. That’s why it’s imperative to have assertive legal counsel with an in-depth understanding of Colorado divorce law to guide you through the process with the protection of your rights and best interests as their highest priority. The Law Office of Stephen Vertucci, LLC is the Fort Collins contested divorce law firm that gets results for clients through the following advantages:

  • We maintain open availability and responsiveness to your questions so you’re always well-prepared for every step of the Colorado divorce process
  • We pay careful attention to your goals and develop a personalized strategy for the best possible outcome in your divorce disputes
  • Experienced trial attorney and former prosecutor, Stephen Vertucci, has a long history of negotiation and litigation in courtrooms so you’ll have a powerful, respected voice behind your case
  • Our legal team has decades of combined experience navigating complex Colorado divorce law with a history of satisfied clients
  • We strive for low-conflict results for our clients but we will never compromise when arguing for your best interests and your goals for your family’s future

No one should have to face a contested divorce in Colorado without the most capable and well-practiced divorce attorneys in Fort Collins by their side.

Can We Avoid a Contested Divorce?

It’s never too late to avoid the prolonged and adversarial process of a contested divorce. There are many options for settling disputes outside of a courtroom, which benefits both spouses by saving money, time, and contention. Colorado family courts suggest out-of-court alternative dispute resolutions including the following:

  • Professional Mediation:

In one or more sessions with an experienced Fort Collins divorce mediation lawyer, spouses may discuss their disputes over child custody, division of marital assets, retention of the marital home, and spousal support with the goal of reaching an agreement—all in a safe space. A neutral mediator with an in-depth knowledge of Colorado divorce law offers creative, insightful solutions to common disputes. Judges often order spouses to attend mediation before resorting to a contested divorce in court.

  • Collaborative Divorce:

In a collaborative divorce, both spouses agree to a series of meetings together with their attorneys present. At the meetings, both spouses discuss their divorce disputes and work toward arriving at mutually agreeable compromises without court. The meetings may include mediation and can continue until spouses resolve all disputes and form a settlement agreement to present to a judge.

  • Arbitration: 

choosing arbitration for a Colorado divorce requires both spouses to give up their right to a divorce trial and agree to abide by the binding decisions of a professional arbitrator. An arbitrator performs mediation and spouses present their arguments along with witnesses and evidence as they would at trial but in a less formal setting without the public record, stress, and expenses of a divorce trial. The arbitrator presents the signed settlement agreement to a judge for the final divorce decree.

Choosing an alternative to a contentious court battle in a Colorado contested divorce is always beneficial. Avoiding court not only saves time, money, and hard feelings, but it also leaves spouses with children more open to effectively communicating on their joint parenting decisions. Although avoiding court is the best possible outcome for divorcing spouses, at The Law Office of Stephen Vertucci, LLC, we understand that it isn’t always possible or even advisable to compromise. For instance, if equal joint custody is not in the best interests of your children due to domestic abuse, child neglect, or chronic addiction, we understand that compromise isn’t possible. Your contested divorce lawyer from our Fort Collins law firm will aggressively represent your interests, goals, and desired outcome in court in any situation where compromising on terms is unacceptable.

Child Custody Disputes in Colorado Contested Divorce

When divorcing spouses share children, they typically file a motion for custody in court as part of their divorce process. Child custody is one of the most hotly contentious disputes during divorce since a parent’s love and commitment to their child is uncompromising. Colorado family courts make all decisions in the best interests of children. The courts begin with the rebuttable presumption that continued close contact with both parents is what’s in a child’s best interest. While ideally, this is the case, in reality, matters of child abuse, a parent’s neglect, or issues of chronic addiction or criminality make continued close contact with the other parent through a shared custody plan not in a child’s best interest.

Your Fort Collins contested divorce lawyer from the Law Office of Stephen Vertucci, LLC, understands that you cannot compromise on your children’s safety and well-being. We will gather evidence, line up eyewitness testimony, and present a compelling argument in court to show that your desired child custody outcome is in your child’s best interest. In matters of child custody in a contested Colorado divorce, your lawyer will do the following:

  • Advise you on your legal rights under Colorado’s child custody and child support laws
  • Navigate the complex requirements for paperwork filings in Colorado family court for child custody cases
  • Interview eyewitnesses and consult with child development experts to provide compelling testimony to the court
  • Effectively present your case for your children’s best interests, whether it’s sole custody, sole custody with supervised visitation only, unsupervised visitation, or a shared parenting-time schedule depending on the circumstances of your child custody case and your family’s best interests

When disagreements arise over the allocation of parenting time, physical and legal (decision-making) custody, or disputes over medical, educational, or religious decisions in child custody, your attorney from the Law Offices of Stephen Vertucci, LLC, is ready to prioritize your children’s safety, well-being, and best interests with skilled legal representation.

fort collins contested divorce lawyer

Division of Marital Assets in Fort Collins Contested Divorces

Dividing marital assets in a way that’s “fair and equitable” is a requirement in all Colorado divorces. This is a common matter of contention between spouses in a contested divorce in Fort Collins. The law requires each spouse to keep their separate assets, which include the following:

  • Any property, assets, and accounts they possessed before the marriage and did not commingle with their spouse during the marriage
  • Any property or assets inherited by a spouse during the marriage
  • Any assets or valuables gifted to one spouse alone during the marriage

Spouses may retain their separate assets after a divorce, but in many cases, the other spouse may be entitled to a portion of their spouse’s marital assets if significant commingling occurred. For instance, if the spouse invested time or money into improving the value of the other spouse’s property or asset, they may be entitled to an equitable amount of the asset’s increased value. Keep in mind that if you’re dealing with a high-asset divorce, reach out to our high-asset divorce lawyers in Fort Collins today.

Marital assets in Colorado are all properties, accounts, and assets accumulated during the marriage regardless of whose name is on the account, title, or deed. Colorado divorce law compels spouses to divide marital assets in a way that is “fair and equitable” if not exactly 50/50. Marital assets include the following:

  • The marital home and other real estate properties
  • Businesses one or both spouses began during the marriage
  • All bank accounts and investment accounts
  • Retirement accounts
  • Cars, RVs, and boats
  • Antiques, collectibles, artwork, furniture, appliances, electronics, and household goods

Under Colorado law, divorcing spouses must also divide marital debts fairly.

When disputes arise over the division of marital assets and debts or which spouse retains the family home, it isn’t always possible to reach a compromise even with mediation. The contested divorce attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Vertucci will take the time to understand your position and carefully scrutinize all financial disclosures to represent your best interests in court during the contested divorce process.

Spousal Support (Alimony) in Fort Collins Divorce Disputes

The matter of spousal support (alimony) in Colorado is frequently part of a contested divorce in Fort Collins. Unlike child support, alimony is not an automatic obligation. Instead, the court looks at the unique circumstances of each divorce case before arriving at a decision when spouses cannot come to terms on this matter through mediation. Courts consider awarding spousal support paid from the higher-earning spouse to the lower-earning spouse under the following circumstances:

  • After a long-term marriage when one spouse’s age or medical condition prevents them from returning to the workforce or becoming self-sufficient
  • If a spouse is caring for young children in the home
  • When one spouse supported the other through their educational and career goals at the expense or postponement of their own career and education
  • If a spouse put their workforce experience or career on hold to care for children and/or maintain the home

Most court orders for spousal support are temporary, with an included time frame in which the lower-earning spouse may increase their education or seek employment or career advancement to become self-sufficient. A judge may grant emergency spousal support orders during the divorce process if one spouse experiences a sudden, dramatic change in accustomed lifestyle during the separation.

What to Expect from Contested Divorce Hearings

Each divorcing partner will need to build a case for the Permanent Orders Hearing. The judge in the case will examine both parties’ stories and evidence and decide the terms of the divorce. Many contested divorce hearings revolve around things like child custody, alimony, child support, division of marital assets and debts, property rights, and other issues. If a divorcing couple cannot agree to terms for these things on their own, the judge will hear each person’s case and decide.

Both divorcing partners will benefit greatly from hiring competent, experienced Fort Collins family law attorneys. An attorney who specializes in divorce will generally help his or her client build a solid case for securing favorable divorce terms. A good lawyer will build a case based on evidence such as:

  • Financial records. The court will examine the couples’ individual and shared assets to determine the most just way to divide them. It is essential for both parties to provide complete and accurate records. The court will look very unfavorably toward a divorcing spouse who fails to disclose assets.
  • Statements from relatives, neighbors, friends, and coworkers. These individuals may act as character witnesses for the divorcing couple or may provide statements regarding past incidents between the divorcing couple.
  • Expert witness statements, such as psychologists or psychiatrists who have provided mental health care to the divorcing couple. These individuals can testify as to the mental stability of the other partner.
  • Evidence of marital misconduct. Evidence of abuse, criminal actions, infidelity, or other actions that harm the marriage may enter into evidence during the hearing.

Call the Fort Collins Contested Divorce Lawyers at The Law Office of Stephen Vertucci, LLC Today

Most attorneys have at least some competency when it comes to divorce cases. A spouse in a contested divorce needs a reliable attorney with the right experience to deliver optimal results. Hiring a qualified Fort Collins contested divorce attorney can make a massive difference in the outcome of a case. At the Law Office of Stephen Vertucci, our team is dedicated to providing comprehensive divorce case representation to our clients in Northern Colorado. Reach out to our office today to schedule a free consultation about your divorce case. We are a full-service family law practice and look forward to providing comprehensive legal representation in your case.

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