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Greenwood Village Family Law Blog

Joint custody is becoming increasingly common

These days, fathers in Colorado are more likely to get joint custody. This is a big change from what was commonplace for much of the prior century. Mothers were granted sole custody in roughly 80% of cases in 1980. Nearly three decades later, this was true about 40% of the time.

Most courts today favor and encourage joint custody or equal parenting arrangements. However, it's legal custody of a child that's more likely to be equal among both parents. Mothers are still favored with residential/physical custody, which refers to where a child primarily resides. This discrepancy is typically due to logistical issues, especially with school-age children.

What factors should be considered in a parenting plan?

If you are aiming to go through an uncontested divorce, this will mean that you are willing to collaborate with your divorcing spouse in order to reach decisions regarding child custody arrangements. Child custody set-ups require a great deal of attention because they will change the lifestyle of your child significantly at a time when they may be emotionally vulnerable.

This is why many divorcing spouses in Colorado decide to develop a parenting plan as part of their divorce. Doing so helps them to have a guide as they navigate a new chapter of parenting. Every parenting plan should be unique and place the child in the center. The following are some things that you should consider when drafting the parenting plan together with your divorcing spouse.

Divorcing couples look for co-parenting solutions

Colorado couples who go through a divorce may face a challenge adjusting to their new relationship as co-parents. Even people whose breakup was contentious will need to work together with their children for years to come, so it can be important to develop a positive relationship from the beginning. Parents with harsh feelings about each other can benefit from putting those aside for the sake of their children, who are often dedicated to the love of both of their parents. Outside a situation of abuse or neglect, most professionals believe that children benefit from a strong relationship with both parents.

It is important to consider the best interests of the children first at the end of a marriage. This does not mean that incompatible couples should stay together and continue in an unhappy relationship. Rather, they should form a co-parenting relationship that is primarily about the needs of the children rather than their issues with one another. One of the most important things that parents can emphasize for their children is that the divorce was not because of anything the kids did. Instead, the problem was only between the two adults involved.

Your child's social media accounts could help you discover abuse

When you have a child who is raised by two people regularly, the likelihood is that they'll feel a connection to both parents for better or worse. In some cases, that connection can mean that a child does not tell another parent when something is wrong. Instead, they hide what happened or might talk about what's happening to them with friends or on social media.

If you are a parent who is concerned about child abuse but don't have any evidence to substantiate your claim, it may be time to turn to social media. If your child uses Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or other services, you may be able to gain access to their feeds and be able to gather photos or information about the other parent's actions.

Who could use an expert witness in a divorce?

Every Colorado couple faces a different type of divorce after the decision is made to separate. Different factors may affect how long the process takes or how contentious the legal path becomes. Couples with children may face more complications than those without, and people who co-own businesses or other high-value assets may have more to fight over. At the same time, people conclude relatively amicable divorces while co-parenting or dealing with significant wealth on a regular basis. Every divorcing spouse needs to develop an individual approach to the process.

A family law attorney may help a divorcing spouse through the entire legal process, including handling major issues like child custody and property division. When both sides reach an impasse and are unable to arrive at a fair settlement, it may be necessary to bring in additional professional support in court in the form of an expert witness. This is especially true in matters that address a particular area of knowledge that goes beyond family law. For example, child custody experts might be brought into a contentious divorce between parents to issue recommendations. These experts are typically licensed mental health professionals.

Cryptocurrency's role in Colorado divorce settlements

Although cryptocurrencies have been around for about 10 years, their popularity surged in 2017 when the price of a single bitcoin hit $20,000. Even though bitcoin has since lost much of that gain, cryptocurrencies remain popular with Colorado investors. This is causing many divorce attorneys to revise their methodologies when it comes to determining the value of a couple's assets. Some lawyers have updated their asset forms to include cryptocurrencies as a line item.

Since cryptocurrencies are virtual assets that are encrypted and largely unregulated, it is sometimes tempting for a person to use them as a way to hide assets from his or her spouse. In one recent divorce case, a husband tried to hide cryptocurrency assets worth about $100,000. However, the attempt was discovered when the man's bank statements were analyzed. Financial experts warn that divorce cases involving cryptocurrencies can be very complicated and difficult to resolve.

Child custody and the verbal abuse of a child

If you are going through a divorce, it is possible that you have had some negative experiences with your spouse that has caused you to file for a divorce. Ideally, the children in the family should be protected from the tumultuous relationship, because it could cause them unnecessary concern and worry about their future. But sometimes, the way that a spouse has acted toward one of your children may be a contributing factor regarding filing for divorce in the first place.

If your divorcing spouse has been verbally abusive toward your children in the past or if these instances are continuing to occur, you will undoubtedly want to protect your child from this type of behavior. Many parents have the false belief that they are unable to do anything to protect their child because the abuse is not physical, or because the child in question is reaching their teenage years. However, this is simply not the case. Child custody courts will want to make sure that a child of any age is protected from abuse, whether it is physical or verbal.

Changes to taxation after a divorce

Colorado couples who decide to divorce are often concerned primarily about an array of emotional and personal factors that led to the end of a marriage. However, divorce is a financial and legal arrangement that can have significant consequences for many aspects of a person's life. While people are often aware of the impact of property division, they may not consider how their income taxes might be affected by the choice to divorce. Of course, people will have to file as single rather than married after the divorce is final.

However, for parents in particular, divorce can have other effects on how people handle their taxes. Only one parent each year can claim a particular child as a dependent. The advantages can be significant, including access to Head of Household filing status as well as tax credits. These credits include the Child Tax Credit, Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Grey divorce

Couples who have been married for a long time have been getting divorced or splitting at an increasing rate over the past decade. What many citizens of Colorado may find surprising is that this increase is going on while the total number of divorces happening annually throughout the United States has been decreasing.

Of the many reasons leading to so-called grey divorce, the most prominent one tends to be infidelity. It is worth pointing out that infidelity doesn't only mean extramarital affairs; most forms of addiction, including addiction to drugs, alcohol or pornography, can be considered as a form of unfaithfulness. For instance, a person who is addicted to gambling is liable to throw away their family's savings in pursuit of a quick high, but it is only afterward that they realize that they've put their family in a financial strait that wasn't necessary in the first place.

When is social media not your friend? During a divorce

There is no doubt that social media has done much to bring people from all over the world together in ways that would never have been possible not so very long ago. But there is a darker side to social media. 

It's easy to get caught up in the complex emotions that a divorce battle can stir up between the parties. But using social media to vent online can throw a monkey wrench into an otherwise winnable case. Read on for some tips on avoiding unnecessary complications associated with social media during your divorce.

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