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How families of special-needs kids can handle divorce

It's a statistic that is often quoted throughout the family law realm: About four out of every five couple with an autistic child will divorce after the diagnosis. If that shocking number seems unrealistic to you, good job; experts in the field say that estimate is completely misguided. In fact, couples in Colorado and other locations have about the same divorce rate whether or not they have an autistic child. That does not mean that divorce with a special-needs child is sure to go smoothly, however. These families do have some specific challenges that can affect virtually every aspect of the legal proceeding, from child custody to property division and other considerations.

The most important step to accommodate your autistic child during a divorce is to involve his or her therapist and medical professionals. Family therapists can work together with attorneys to help develop the ideal child custody and visitation plan for the family of a special-needs child. It is important to consult experts before making any big decisions, largely because autistic kids can be vulnerable to additional stress during change. They may also show signs of separation anxiety and other concerns.

Colorado man's fight for parent custody finally at an end

A Colorado man who has not had any communication with his daughters in seven months is one step closer to retrieving them from their mother. Official reports show that the man's child custody problems relate to international abduction. The girls' mother spirited them away to Argentina more than three years ago in violation of a child custody court order. Those two girls are just a couple of the more than 1,000 children who are abducted by parents to a foreign country each year.

The good news: The Argentinian Supreme Court has decided in favor of the man, so he won the custody case. He is only waiting on an order of return from the U.S. government. His girls should be returned to him relatively quickly.

Thinking about a divorce? Get your finances in order this spring!

Spring has officially sprung in Colorado. As the weather warms up and our thoughts turn to our annual cleaning regimen, experts say that additional spring cleaning could be used to improve our financial situation. If you are thinking about a divorce, you should consider getting your finances in shape during this tax season and onset of sunnier days.

Divorce experts say that it is imperative for individuals to get their financial documents in order before a split. This is useful during tax time, but it is also critical for those who are anticipating property division negotiation in the near future. After you inventory your financial holdings, be sure to keep a copy of a financial information checklist in a safe deposit box or with a family friend. These critical documents can help you protect your rights and get your fair share of the marital estate.

Oil magnate facing complex property division woes during divorce

Dividing up stock and stock options during your Colorado divorce may sound simple, but the fact remains that some property division issues require quite a bit of math. Family law professionals who have been following a high-asset divorce in nearby Oklahoma say that one oil magnate's stock holdings could actually weaken his control of the company after the split. How can premarital assets turn into liabilities during a divorce? Today, we explore this phenomenon.

In the Oklahoma case, the judge agreed that most of the man's stock in his own company, Continental Resources, was indeed considered premarital property. Those shares are not subject to property division with his soon-to-be ex-wife, who wed the man in 1988. However, state law dictates that the man must surrender half of the value of any increase in the stocks' value. The woman must simply prove that the stocks' price rose throughout the course of their marriage because of her husband's contributions to the company.

Social media causes problems during Colorado divorces

So, you are considering going through with your divorce in Colorado. You may be thinking about property division, child custody and a variety of other topics -- but have you considered the impact of social media on your divorce? Experts say that a growing number of divorces are featuring social media documentation. For those divorcing in the 21st century, technology can play a distinct and important role. Here is how to go through with your divorce without making tech-related mistakes.

Colorado residents may not know that their social media posts, including those on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, are all fair game in divorce court. If you think you can prevent the information from making an appearance simply by blocking your soon-to-be ex, you may be in for a surprise. Friends' profiles can often still access controversial information that could make its way into child custody, child support and alimony proceedings.

Colorado governor comes out in support of same-sex couples

The governor of Colorado has quietly come out in support of same-sex marriage, including a statement within a press release provided by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy group One Colorado. Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-Colorado) penned this historic message, telling Colorado same-sex couples that every adult Coloradan deserves to freely join in marriage. The statement was a significant departure from Hickenlooper's previous position, in which he had argued that same-sex couples should receive the same rights as other couples, but those unions should not be called "marriage."

News reports show that the governor has not made any additional declarations, nor has he spoken to the press after releasing the landmark document. One Colorado representatives said, however, that they knew for years that the governor was supportive of gay and lesbian families; in 2009, he proclaimed a marriage equality day after a request from an elementary school child. At that time, he was the mayor of Denver.

Custody and visitation issues: When to say 'yes' to divorce

Couples who are unhappy in their Colorado marriages may be worried about the impact that a divorce could have on their children. However, experts say that families should really be more concerned about children who are forced to stay in a contentious environment. Despite the fact that you may have to hammer out custody and visitation issues, sometimes a divorce is the better choice for everyone.

Relationship gurus say that an unhappy marriage can actually prove very detrimental to children. This is because a conflict-riddled household prevents inner peace. Parents who stay together "for the sake of the kids" risk placing those children in continued turmoil. Neither parents nor children will be able to relax, and the quality of parenting time may be diminished.

Special court order can help recover divorce settlement funds

It's a problem faced by many Coloradans who have recently been divorced. After the dissolution of the marriage, how do you make sure that your ex-spouse continues to make mandated child support and alimony payments? The fact remains that a large number of ex-spouses patently refuse to honor financial mandates contained in their divorce settlements. A certain type of legal order may be able to help some Colorado residents receive the money they need from a spouse who is trying to play the system.

These orders, known as Qualified Domestic Relations Orders, allow alimony and child support recipients to tap into certain types of retirement benefits to guarantee equitable property division during a divorce. That retirement plan, under federal law, can be accessed to pay child support and spousal support. A growing number of attorneys are successfully recovering funds for their clients thanks to the provisions contained in the QDRO model.

Same-sex couples may file lawsuit for marriage in Colorado

Nine couples in Colorado may be planning to take legal action intended to fight Amendment 43, the legislation that prohibits same-sex marriage in the state. Recent news reports show that the future of the suit is facing some uncertainty, however, even though the same-sex couples are actively rallying against the voter-approved measure. After a series of canceled press conferences and retracted statements, the timeline for filing the lawsuit is becoming increasingly unclear.

Experts say that the nine couples, comprising five lesbian pairs and four gay couples, are planning to challenge the gay-marriage ban using many of the same strategies as those employed in other states. Other groups have successfully challenged gay-marriage bans by arguing that they violate the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which includes the Equal Protection Clause. Even though a timeline has not been established yet for the legislation to be filed, it appears that the plaintiffs intend to join forces with several attorneys, advocacy groups and politicians.

Coloradoans encouraged to 'move forward' after divorce

Would you train for a marathon during a major life change? Colorado residents are often admittedly outdoorsy, but this could seem like an overwhelming challenge for many. For one woman, the dissolution of marriage was the perfect time to begin a major exercise training goal. Throughout her divorce, which lasted for about 16 weeks, the woman followed a 16-week marathon training plan, which ended in personal triumph after she successfully completed two races. The antidote to divorce is simple, but not always easy, she says. Just keep moving ahead.

The woman says that she met her husband training for her first marathon, and they had planned their wedding to fall between two major races. They traveled throughout the country to participate in Ironman races and marathons. Even though the woman felt like her life was turned upside down, she said running helped her maintain "the illusion of sanity."

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