Questions And Answers About Family Law
At Peter Rogers Family Law we believe that our clients should be fully informed about the law and how it applies to their family law situation. With that in mind, here are some answers to common questions about family law.
How Long Will My Divorce Take?
Colorado requires 91 days of residence in Colorado immediately before filing for a divorce. Then there is another 91 day period before a Court can issue a Decree of Dissolution. The process will take longer if the parties cannot reach a settlement and have to go to Court, usually six months to a year after filing the divorce.
Can I Have Sole Custody Of My Children?
Colorado courts are required to determine custody (now called parental decision-making) in the best interests of the child. Generally, courts believe that parents making decisions together is in the best interests of their children. Unless there are extraordinary circumstances, the Court will likely order the parents to share decision-making for their children, so that both parents will have a say in raising their children.
Do I Have To Share My Retirement Plan With My Ex?
Yes, because the part of the retirement plan earned during the marriage is counted as marital property. Even though your name is on the retirement plan, and you are the one who worked for it, the part earned during the marriage is marital property. If there is other marital property (a house, for example), you could keep the retirement plan and you spouse could keep the house. The Judge will decide how to divide your marital property if you and your spouse can’t agree on how to do it. All assets must be disclosed; the Judge is required to divide marital property fairly, not necessarily equally.
Can I Keep The House?
Yes, that is often possible. What you must be careful about here is becoming house poor; that is to say, having a house you cannot afford as your only asset from the marital property. This can happen when one spouse keeps the house, and the other keeps the retirement plan if the two are roughly equal in value. If the house is the only sizeable asset, then the Court will usually require the house to be sold and the proceeds divided fairly.
Do My Children Have To Testify In Court?
Like it or not, the children are in the middle of the custody battle between their parents. Understand that having to testify in Court will put an unsustainable burden on your children, and cause them great pain. The children love both of their parents; having to testify against a parent is terribly harmful to a child. It is the Judge who decides if a child is to testify in trial. Sometimes the court appoints a Child and Family Investigator (CFI) to see both parents and the children, and report back to the court. The CFI does not decide custody; the Court is the only one who can do that.