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Know your rights: Divorces and annulments

You aren't happy with your marriage, and you were just married recently. You want to dissolve the marriage, but a divorce seems unnecessary since you've barely been married for a month.

One potential option is an annulment. Annulments are different from divorces because they can completely nullify your marriage. You would walk away from your marriage as if you'd never been married. With divorce, you're terminating a marriage, but the marriage itself was still valid.

Yes, you may need to change a custody schedule as your child ages

When you set up your custody schedule, your child was young. They were not going to school yet, and all you had to do was make sure that someone was there to watch them.

Today, they're much older and well into their schooling. As they've progressed to higher grades, you've found that they want to join more clubs and activities. Now, the schedule you had in the past isn't working. On top of that, your child is old enough to complain about the arrangements and has told you that they're not happy with the current custody schedule.

Help! How do I ask for a divorce?

You've given it a lot of thought, and deep down inside you know that there's no way to save your marriage. Despite the challenges of divorce and the way it will impact your life in the future, it's time to push forward.

The first step is discussing your feelings with your spouse. Asking for a divorce sounds simple, especially if you're not getting along, but it's not always easy to bring your thoughts to life.

Help your child through divorce with the right support

Children go through divorce with their parents every day. From the first fight in the home through the finalization of the divorce and long after, children deal with the fallout of a divorce emotionally and sometimes physically.

Children of divorce may have to struggle with one parent who isn't earning enough for them to live comfortably due to the other parent not paying support or refusing custody or visitation. They may struggle emotionally because of moving to a new home, school or state.

Don't be afraid to talk to your kids about a possible divorce

When you and your spouse decide that a divorce could be the final solution to your marital woes, you may not be sure if you want to talk to your children about it. You may tell yourself that the kids are teenagers, and with everything they're already going through, it might simply be easier to keep things quiet until the majority of the divorce is resolved. You may think that since you and your spouse work together well despite not wanting to be married any longer, you may be able to come up with a fair parenting plan and custody schedule. As parents of teens, you may think it's easier to handle your divorce on your own and to let them know the results once mom or dad moves out

The reality is that it's usually better to talk to them sooner. No child wants to feel like there have been secrets kept from them or that they were completely oblivious to major changes in their lives.

Financial stress and spousal support: Your solution

When you're married, things may go very well, and you may be happy in every aspect of your life. However, many marriages end in divorce over time as a result of people growing apart, infidelity and other causes.

When your marriage is coming to an end, you want to make sure that you're going to be financially stable on your own. For someone who has not worked for some time due to having children with your spouse, spousal support might be the right choice.

Spousal support can help if property isn't enough

Life after divorce isn't always easy, but the way you handle the property division aspect of your case will help determine the kind of life you have after divorce. Many people focus on getting as much as they can out of the marriage, and to a degree, that's your right. However, your goal should be to find a way to have both sides walk away satisfied, so you can move on with the right financial support.

Sometimes, dividing your assets isn't going to be enough to give you the income you need to move forward. That's where spousal support can come in. If your spouse, for example, makes $100,000 a year while you make $29,000, there is a large discrepancy. Even if you receive 60% of your assets, it might not be enough to provide you with the same kind of life you had before your divorce (or even a reasonable lifestyle that is comparable to yours during the marriage).

When you share custody, who's in charge of medical decisions?

You received a call from the school: Your child was hurt on the playground equipment, and they want to know what you'd like them to do. It's not your day for custody, but your ex-spouse isn't answering. On top of that, they aren't sure if your child needs to go to the hospital or if you'd prefer to pick them up yourself.

In this circumstance, most parents understand that whoever gets the call should go to their child's aid. However, depending on who has legal custody, you may not be able to make decisions on their care.

How do you overcome the emotion of a divorce?

As someone who believed that your marriage would last forever, the idea that your spouse is trying to leave can be devastating. Despite your best efforts, it may not be possible to save your marriage, so you'll have to come to terms with your future after divorce.

Divorces are stressful and can be heartbreaking, but that doesn't mean that the legal process has to be. There are two sides to divorce. The first is the emotional, relationship-based trauma. The second is the legal work, which is much like a business arrangement.

Creating a custody plan in 5 steps

Working through a child custody arrangement isn't always easy. Some parents really struggle with talking to one another. The reality is that their relationship is ending, and the additional stress of determining a child custody arrangement makes it hard to deal with the frustration and loss that comes with a divorce.

Parent should not feel badly if they need to ask their attorneys or third parties for assistance creating a custody schedule. This is one of the most important parts of the divorce, and getting the schedule right is important.

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