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Boulder Family Law Blog

What issues may be affected by my child's special needs?

If you're considering a divorce and you have a special needs child, you're right to be concerned about how that may impact the terms of your divorce. In most cases, there are several things that may need to be altered to ensure that the child's best interests are being represented, including the following.

1. The parenting plan. Those with special needs children may need a much longer and much more detailed parenting plan. This is because the general plan used in most situations may not cover all of the issues both the parents and child may have to deal with. In general, the more detailed the plan the better. If you and your ex are not in agreement on the issues or you're not sure what all needs to be included in the parenting plan, talking with your attorney can give you a better idea of your options.

Making the best of your divorce

Divorce is hard even when you know it's the best course of action for the situation. There will inevitably be hard-to-navigate circumstances and challenges come up, but there are some things you can do to make the best of a difficult situation.

-- Don't turn on your spouse. You're starting to live separate lives, and that obviously means you're going to need to start pulling away from each other. However, establishing a life and identity outside of your ex doesn't mean you have to be antagonistic. Creating a toxic, high-conflict environment won't make your divorce any easier, and it can cause significant damage to your coparenting relationship, which will have a negative effect on the children.

How will getting a divorce affect my credit?

One of the many mistakes people often make when going through a divorce is assuming that it won't have that big of an impact on their finances. However, this couldn't be further from the truth. In addition to the financial strain of supporting yourself on one income or establishing an independent residence, you may still also be responsible for continuing to pay some marital bills throughout the divorce, which can take months.

To protect your credit, you'll need to create a realistic budget based on your income. This may mean forgoing extra purchases for a few months or putting extra effort into funding your savings account for emergencies. Having your finances in order will take some of the stress off as well.

Should you have a prenup?

The U.S. Supreme Court decision last year was a huge one in the history of the country. Many same-sex couples immediately got married or started making plans to wed. However, now that it's been a year since the decision was handed down, some possible unseen consequences are coming to light. One of those is that many same-sex couples would benefit greatly by having a prenup in place before the wedding.

When any couple divorces, the settlement is largely based on how long the couple has been married. Generally, the longer the marriage, the more spousal support and property division become an issue. This is why many in family law are now seeing that the courts may need to make specific provisions to "tack on" the years the couple cohabitated before the marriage when making decisions about the settlement.

Child custody orders aren't permanent, modification is possible

Deciding that you need to take legal action regarding child custody is something that you probably didn't take lightly. If you are in that position, chances are good that you felt the need to protect your right to parent your child. We know that no parent wants to think about having to fight to be able to parent their child.

Once the initial child custody order was established, you probably breathed a sigh of relief because the battle was done. While you might not want to think about it right then, you might eventually have to head back to court to get the child custody order modified.

Undergoing IVF? Why an attorney is necessary

Infertilty and reproduction are delicate subjects for most, frought with emotions and anxiety. On the one hand, it may enable you to have the child you have dreamed about. On the other hand, the process is complicated and expensive. That is why when and if you decide to pursue assisted reproductive therapies (commonly known as ART), it's likely that you won't want to have to endure worst case scenarios.

Noncompliance with the summer visitation schedule

Most custody and parenting time orders that are put in place by the courts today have specific stipulations on how visitation will be handled during the summer when school is out and the children's schedules are often different. However, it's also not uncommon for one or both parents to not want to comply with the summer visitation schedule.

Many parents don't give the summer visitation schedule much thought until summer is actually here. Often it is first brought to their attention when one party notifies the other of the intent to go on vacation with the children. If the other party objects or there is a scheduling conflict, it can cause the situation to escalate quickly.

Pet custody battles: What you need to know

It's very common for couples to adopt an animal — or two or three — as part of their family. However, if the relationship ends and you decide to divorce, you may wonder who is entitled to keep the pets. This is an increasingly popular question, but it's not one with an easy answer.

The main issue at hand when it comes to pet custody cases is that pets are considered property under the law. This means that they are subject to the same property division guidelines as the rest of your nonliving assets, such as your house, furniture and money. However, a dog can obviously not be split 50/50, and therein lies the problem.

Establishing paternity is the first step in fathers' rights cases

Becoming a father is a huge event in a man's life. Many men want to be able to raise their children; however, some mothers try to stop men from being able to participate in the child's life. When that happens, the man might decide that he is going to take the woman to court to get an order that says he can be a part of his child's life. In some cases, proving paternity is one of the steps that must be taken before a court can issue a child custody order allowing the father to help raise his child.

There are two ways that you can establish paternity in Colorado. One of the options is that you and the child's mother would have to agree that you are the child's father. If she is denying that you are the child's father or if you have any doubt that you are the father, a DNA test is the other option.

Can I leave my child home alone?

Contrary to popular belief, there is no set law in Colorado that gives a specific age when it is legal to leave a child home alone at home. Many people go by the Colorado Child Labor Law and consider 12 the minimum acceptable age. However, there are many other factors to consider, including the child's maturity level and whether he will be in charge of anyone else, such as younger siblings or when babysitting.

However, because there is no definitive age and the circumstances and child's maturity level factor in so greatly, parents must be very careful. Leaving a child home alone who is not ready for the responsibility could lead to someone getting hurt, damage to property or charges of child neglect.

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