Denver Legal Separation Lawyer

A Helping Hand Through a Trying Time

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Denver Legal Separation Lawyer

The work of a Denver legal separation attorney is challenging in many different ways. There are the technical legal issues that accompany marital breakdown, along with the intense personal difficulties clients in this situation face.

At Price Family Law, we’ve helped hundreds of individuals navigate the difficult waters of legal separation. We can help you to understand the various practical implications of your separation, such as custody of your children and division of your assets, as well as offer the personal and emotional support you need at this testing time in your life.

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What Does the Work of a Denver Legal Separation Lawyer Involve?

The duties of legal separation lawyers in Denver vary widely, depending on the requirements of each case and client. Some separating couples maintain friendly relations and manage to negotiate most of the terms of their parting by themselves. In these situations, our work may involve little more than negotiating, drafting, and finalizing a binding separation agreement for submission to the court.

Of course, other cases involve a complete breakdown in relations between a couple, and total disagreement about how the division of assets and child custody should work. In these cases, we provide aggressive representation for our clients, ensuring the other party doesn’t get the opportunity to take advantage of them.

We’ll initially fight in your corner as negotiators, attempting to strike a deal that works for everyone without going into the courtroom. If that doesn’t work, we’ll give you the best representation we can in front of a judge and jury.

Why Choose Us?

At Price Family Law, our Denver legal separation lawyers have a wealth of experience when it comes to family law matters. Trista McElhaney Price, our founding partner, has practiced family law since 2012, effectively representing clients with a wide range of family law difficulties. With an academic background in both business and law, Trista is particularly adept when it comes to high-asset separation cases.

As well as professional experience as a legal separation lawyer, Trista has a number of academic distinctions. During her time at Colorado Law School, she received the Joel H. Greenstein Scholarship, the Anheuser-Busch Minoru Yasui Scholarship, and the Harold Taft King Scholarship.

If you read our testimonials page, you’ll see a number of glowing recommendations for our firm. Our satisfied clients note that Price Family Law attorneys manage to overcome the emotionally charged nature of separation proceedings to come up with solutions that are satisfactory for all parties. Many clients note that we’re more accessible than your average family law firm; we’re not the type of organization you’ll be waiting days to hear from after you get in contact. Compassion and attention to detail form the core of our service to clients.

We have extensive appellate experience in family law cases. When we receive an unsatisfactory result the first time we end up before a judge, we know what needs to be done to turn things around at the appeal stage. We’re also a female-owned firm, giving us a different perspective on legal separation cases than many of our male-led competitors.

Call us today, so we can review your case: 720-615-1750

What’s the Difference Between Legal Separation and Divorce in Colorado?

The key difference between legal separation and divorce is that divorce dissolves a marriage, while legal separation does not. After legal separation, you and your spouse will technically remain married. This has a range of important legal implications.

However, there are also broad similarities between divorce and legal separation in Colorado. Courts order the division of assets and obligations between spouses in largely the same way under both divorce and legal separation.

The Division of Assets and Liabilities Under Legal Separation

You and your spouse can reach an agreement on how to divide your property and debts before or during the legal separation process and submit this to the court for approval. The court will then incorporate the agreement into a binding order, which means you both become legally required to adhere to it.

In cases where there is some common ground but you cannot finalize an agreement, you can enter an out-of-court negotiation process with your respective attorneys. This allows for the benefits of outside assistance without the stress and cost associated with a court hearing.

However, if you cannot reach an agreement like this even with the help of your attorneys, a judge may step in and decide who gets what. Colorado uses the doctrine of equitable distribution in divorce and legal separation cases, per Title 14 of the Colorado Revised Statutes. This means the courts try to divide property and debts in a fair and reasonable manner, having regard to all relevant circumstances.

You should note that “equitable distribution” does not mean “equal distribution.” Courts take a number of factors into account when deciding what is equitable, including the length of the marriage, the financial needs of each party, and the contributions of each party to the marriage. This may result in one spouse’s getting a greater share of the assets than the other.

The Custody of Children Under Legal Separation

As is the case with the division of your wealth, you and your spouse may make your own determinations with regard to the custody of your children and submit these to the court for approval. If this is not possible and a judge has to make a binding decision instead, they will take a number of factors into account, including:

  • The child’s relationship with each parent
  • The child’s circumstances in terms of home, school, and community, including the child’s academic performance, extracurricular activities, and relationships with extended family and friends
  • The child’s physical and emotional health, including any special needs or medical conditions
  • The ability of each parent to provide for the child’s needs, including their financial resources and the stability of their living situation
  • Any history of abuse or neglect.

It’s important to note that custody and parenting plans can be modified if there is a significant change in circumstances, such as a change in the child’s needs or the parents’ living arrangements.

Allocation of Parental Responsibility for Non-Parents

At Price Family Law, allocation of parental responsibility (APR) for non-parents is one of our specialties. Concern about the welfare of a child you care about is among the most distressing aspects of marital breakdown; if you work with us, you can be sure this incredibly difficult part of the process will be managed with the utmost care and competence.

What’s the Difference Between Legal Separation and Unofficial Separation?

You and your spouse can decide to go your separate ways without involving the legal system at all. If your relationship has ended on amicable terms and there are no major disputes between you with regard to your children, assets, or liabilities, you could save yourself money, time, and stress by simply separating unofficially. Also, should you decide to rekindle your marriage, you won’t have to reverse any court orders to do so.

However, it’s important to remember there will be no binding arrangements with regard to the division of assets and debts, or the custody of children, without an official separation or divorce. This may leave you vulnerable to exploitation by your spouse.

If you’re not sure whether you need to pursue official legal separation, it may be best to consult with a family law attorney.

Frequently Asked Questions for Our Denver Legal Separation Attorney (FAQs)

In a no-fault state like Colorado, you don’t need to prove that one party is at fault for the breakdown of the marriage to obtain a legal separation. Instead, you can simply assert that the marriage is irretrievably broken and that you and your spouse cannot reconcile.

You cannot remarry while legally separated. Legal separation is not the same as divorce; until you obtain a final decree of dissolution of marriage, you and your spouse are still married in the eyes of the law. Any attempts to marry someone else while legally separated would be considered bigamy, which is a crime in Colorado.

During the legal separation process, a judge may compel each spouse to provide child support payments, take or relinquish custody of children, or transfer certain property rights to the other spouse. Should your ex-partner refuse to adhere to an order like this, you can seek various forms of relief from the court to make them do so. You should consult with your legal separation attorney to see which form of relief would be most suitable in your case.

States will generally recognize legal separation orders coming from other states. However, this depends on the particulars of your situation and the rules in the state you were separated in. Again, consulting with your attorney is the best way to understand what rules apply in your case.

Should you decide to get divorced after an initial legal separation, you will have need to file additional paperwork with the Court to effectuate the conversion.

Yes. If both you and your spouse agree to reverse your legal separation, you can file a motion or petition with the court to vacate the separation agreement.

How a Denver Legal Separation Attorney Can Help You

Marital breakdown is among the most stressful things that can happen in life, especially when there are children involved. However, with the help of a skilled attorney, you can ensure that your interests stay protected throughout the process and start rebuilding your life.

Contact Price Family Law today to arrange a free initial consultation. You can get in touch via the contact form on our website or over the phone at 720-615-1750.

Attorney Trista Price

Trista McElhaney Price is a founding partner at Price Family Law, LLC. She specializes in high-asset divorce cases and legal matters involving complex business and financial issues as well as complex custody matters involving domestic violence, substance abuse issues, and mental health issues. Read Full Bio.

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