Family Law

Our firm handles all cases involving family relationships, such as divorce, child custody, adoption, child support, paternity, and spousal maintenance.  We also practice in modifying enforcing court orders, whether that be through contempt proceedings, a motion to enforce, a lien or judgment against the other party, or obtaining an income assignment.  Additionally, we assist to-be-married couples and married couples in negotiating fair marital agreements (pre-nup) to protect their assets and lifestyle should they divorce.

The importance of family law attorneys cannot be overemphasized.  We help members of families to rationally handle family disputes when they would otherwise be overwhelmed by emotion.  An experienced family law attorney can help to ensure that all important issues are thoroughly evaluated so as to achieve the best result for you and your children.  Furthermore, our attorneys use their knowledge and experience in guiding clients to a fair and amicable settlement and if such is not possible, we are prepared to suit up and fight.

Our Strategy

We’re proud that our law firm offers top-notch legal services for a nationwide affordable pricing! With us you’ll never feel like the lawyers are just robbers in suits, besides, we win 98% of all cases. So with us, your chances of winning are as high as they possibly can be!

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Efficient

Achieving maximum case productivity with limited wasted effort or expense

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Knowledgeable

Insight, knowledge, and awareness of the law and analysis and strategy within these parameters

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Effective

Anticipating and shaping events, decisively guiding a case to the desired outcome

Family Law Services

Divorce

Divorce is hard–there are no two ways about it. But if you have made the difficult decision to start a new chapter, let us stand by your side.

The divorce process can be complex, and depending on your family situation, there can be a lot at stake.  First and foremost, for families with children, the process needs to be handled by an attorney who understands that your children are most important to you. We will help you get the results that you think are best for you and your children.

Divorce can also be financially messy.  Do you or your spouse have a lot of debt?  Do you own a home together or have diverse, complex assets to divide?  What if one of you is a stay at home parent?  Each client has a unique financial snapshot.  We will help you determine your financial goals for life after the divorce and will work together to get the results you deserve. Our divorce attorneys pride themselves on negotiating strong settlements for our clients. We are also ready to fight for you in court if your case needs to go to trial.  Let us show you what we can do by being on your team.

Far too often, people try to face divorce alone.  And with financial uncertainty ahead, it is easy to understand why people would want to save money.  But going it alone may cost you more in the end, especially if your ex-has counsel on their side.  We hate to see people taken advantage of, which is why we take divorce representation seriously. Our practice is experienced helping clients with all aspects of divorce proceedings including:

  • Filing or responding to initial court documents
  • Analyzing your financial condition and examining your options.
  • Decision making regarding parental responsibility and parenting time.
  • Interpreting, drafting or challenging pre-marital agreements.
  • Negotiating favorable divorce agreements.
  • Assisting with spousal maintenance and alimony determinations.
  • Handling modifications of post-decree changes to your divorce terms.
  • We will bring support enforcement and contempt motions if your ex-doesn’t pay.

At Skulborstad Legal Group, LLC, our Colorado family law attorneys are ready to take on whatever situations your divorce throws your way. We are experienced family law litigators.  We are at home in the courtroom, and we know every detail of the Colorado divorce process. While we are committed to negotiating successful divorce agreements, we are ready, willing and able to take your case to trial if necessary.

 

Child Custody

Don’t let uncertainty about what will happen to your children keep you from making the right decisions about your personal relationships.

Whether you are going through a divorce or you’re a single parent, getting a solid custody plan in place is crucial to the well-being of your children. Let us guide you through the Colorado child custody process by helping your family create the right parenting plan for your children.

When it comes to families, one size does not fit all. Our family law attorneys understand that. We will work with you and your co-parent to find the best possible custody solution for you and your children.

Can I get sole custody?

In Colorado family matters we do not have “custody.”  Instead, we have parenting time and decision making responsibility.  Decision making responsibility pertains to how major decisions are made. Major decisions include those regarding education, medical, dental, mental health, and religion. Decision making responsibility can be joint or sole.

Parenting time involves the time each parent spends sharing a living space and having day-to-day responsibilities for the children’s care. The appropriate parenting time schedule is going to vary by family, giving consideration to the children’s and parents’ specific needs.

If you have concerns about sharing parenting time or decision making responsibility with your ex-partner, contact an experienced Colorado divorce attorney to discuss your case.

If we share parenting time, will the children’s time be split 50-50?

Not necessarily. There are many creative ways to make a parenting schedule that considers the needs of both parents and the children.

For example, a 50/50 schedule (e.g. week on, week off or 5-2-2-5) is often best for children above the age of 8 years old.  Babies and younger children need a routine and do best with a “home base.” Older children, such as kids in their mid to late teens may benefit from a more flexible schedule which considers their activities and social life.

The Colorado family law attorneys at Skulborstad Legal Group, LLC can help you brainstorm what would be best for your family, and we can work with your parenting partner or their attorney to get the result that’s right for you and your kids. Examples of possible plans include:

  • A 3-4-4-3 or 5-2-2-5 schedule
  • Alternating weeks
  • Every weekend with one parent
  • Every other weekend with one parent

If you already have a parenting plan in place, formal or informal, your child’s needs might change as they get older. We can help with documenting those changes as well as creating suitable plans from scratch

We can help you brainstorm options for your parenting schedule, and can act as an advocate when negotiating with your ex. Child custody matters are one of the greatest concerns of both single parents and divorcing couples. Contact the Colorado family law attorneys at Skulborstad Legal Group, LLC to talk about how we can help your family settle into the right arrangement.

Spouse Maintenance / Alimony

Alimony, or “spousal maintenance or support” as it's referred to in Colorado, ensures that the basic financial needs of a disadvantaged spouse are met after a divorce.  It takes the form of reoccurring court-ordered payments or a lump-sum payment that one spouse provides to the other during the divorce or for a period after.

While child support calculations must strictly follow the state guidelines, there is much more uncertainty when it comes to maintenance payments. Colorado family court judges may use their discretion when deciding issues of maintenance and must follow and comply with a specific analysis when doing so.  The amount and duration of maintenance payments will be based on each party’s earning potential, education level, earnings and household contributions during the marriage, length of marriage, and many other possible factors. The court will also analyze the need and ability of the parties and the property distribution. 

Maintenance payments may be:

  • Temporary (The judge may award transitional alimony in cases where a spouse cannot financially support him/herself during the divorce proceedings or when one spouse needs assistance paying marital bills)
  • Rehabilitative (to allow a spouse the opportunity to increase earning capacity by attending school, job training, or acquiring other essential skills that will lead to finding employment and achieving financial independence. Although complete financial freedom may not be possible, the goal is for the supported spouse to be rehabilitated enough to establish a standard of living as close to the marital standard as possible.), or
  • Permanent/Long-Term (support order that’s appropriate in cases where the supported spouse is unable to earn enough to become self-supporting. For example, a court may award alimony in futuro when a spouse left the workforce to raise a family and is now disabled and unable to work, attend school, or acquire essential job skills to find a job
  • Lump-Sum (an award of support to happen in a lump-sum rather than installments. This is the most uncommon award)

If you have questions about whether you will pay or receive maintenance payments, contact our divorce lawyers to discuss the specifics of your case.

 

Adoption

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Post Judgment Modification and Enforcement

Modification.  It is not unusual for a parent's circumstances to change after a family law court order is issued.  Life changes, children grow-up, we move.  The original terms that were decided at the time of your divorce may not fit any longer with your needs.  When this happens, we can help request the court for a modification of the court’s order, including parenting time modifications, decision-making modifications, and relocation modifications.  In order for a modification to be granted, there must be a substantial change in circumstances such as changes in employment, changes in medical condition, significant changes in the needs of the children, remarriage of one of the spouses, and more.

Enforcement.  When a court enters order, it expects those orders to be complied with.  However, there are those parties who chose to disregard court orders.  Thankfully, there are a multitude of ways you can enforce the same court order.  Our attorneys have experience and knowledge in the benefits, drawbacks, and limitations to each enforcement avenue to help you choose the most appropriate means to the outcome you are seeking.  For example, if you are trying to recover unpaid child support, our attorneys can help you decide whether to (1) involve Child Support Enforcement, (2) establish a wage assignment, (3) obtain a money judgment to levy a bank account and lien property, (4) file a motion to enforce the court’s order, or (5) seek contempt against the other side. 

On the other hand, if enforcement proceedings are brought against you, let us assist you mitigate further harm, negotiate a settlement with the other side, and advocate for you.  You may have a recognizable defense to the allegations and we can assist in defending you.

 

Child Support

Middle-Class American’s spend about $244,000 to raise a child. Both parents have a responsibility to pay their fair share of this significant, but precious investment. Do not believe that you have to bear the financial strain of parenthood alone. Our knowledgeable child support lawyers can help you learn how much support your child is entitled to receive, and how to pursue that parental contribution in court.

How is Child Support determined in Colorado?

 Colorado uses a child support guideline that must be followed unless the Court finds specific facts that would warrant an exception. However, do not count on an exception to the rule: the guidelines are presumptive unless you can prove good cause to deviate from them.

The guidelines consider several factors: the number of overnights, each parent’s gross income, other children, some children’s expenses and other important factors.  The legislature has decided how much families spend on their children and use this figure to determine an appropriate child support award.

How much child support can I expect?

The answer will differ based on the circumstances of each individual case. There is no way to know the exact amount unless you speak with a Colorado child support lawyer about your personal circumstances. Contact us to talk about how much child support you may expect to receive.

What if my ex doesn’t pay?

We can assist you with determining the best enforcement mechanism for your case based on the outcome you are seeking.  Additionally, we can also help you collect back payments that your co-parent owes as well as interest. 

How long will I receive child support?

Child support for each child lasts until they reach the age of 19. If the child has special needs, there may be an opportunity to receive support beyond age 19. Child support obligations end if a child is legally emancipated, or if they are the victim of an untimely death.

What if my financial situation changes?

Our family lawyers can help parents modify their child support payments up or down. Circumstances change, and there are ways to modify the child support obligation to fit your new situation.

Child support obligations are serious. Together we can make sure you get the money you and your children are entitled to receive. Contact us today to talk about child support enforcement in Colorado.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

We understand the importance of choosing the right lawyer. We invite you to explore the breadth and depth of our capabilities.

Colorado has a 90 day "cooling off" or waiting period from the date the petition for dissolution of marriage is filed until the day a court can grant you your divorce.  However, the process can and will take longer if there are unresolved, contested issues.  DIvorces can be complex and there are a lot of variables that affecting how the process transpires.  As a general rule, though, most judges do not allow cases to exceed one-year, particularly when children are involved.

In Colorado, only one party needs to initiate divorce proceedings.  It is not necessary for the other side to agree to sign or file.  So long as the court finds that the marriage is "irretreiveably broken," the court can grant the divorce over the objection of the other.  The court usually makes this determination on the testimony of one or both parties simply stating their marriage is "irretreiveably broken." 

Dividing assets and debts in a divorce can be a complex process.  The court is required to determine what property is marital property and thus divisible and what the value of the property is.  After doing this, the court may then divide the property "equitably."  Equitably is not the same as equally.  Equitably means, "fairly."  The court considers a number of factors when dividing property fairly such as whether one party hears substantially more than the other, the age of the parties and years to retirement, the purpose of the debt, etc.

Each case varies, and our Colorado divorce lawyers will be able to give you an idea of how much of the debts you and your spouse have would be your responsibility and what a likely division of assets looks like.

Prenuptial agreements (often shortened to "prenup") are not only for the weathly.  Prenups are generally useful for most couples.  A prenup is a written contract created by a couple who intend on marrying and wish to deviate from law with regard to dissolution of marriage proceedings and probate matters. 

Typically, most think of prenups as being for the weathy.  This is not always the case.  They can be used to assist couples to protect their future and to know and control how property is going to be managed.

The agreement may outline the rights and obligations of each person during their relationship and in the event of death or divorce.  It can really contain whatever a couple so wishes.  For example, a prenup may impact an award of spousal maintenance or alimony (depending on some factors), it may dictate how assets or debts accumulated during the marriage or distributed upon divorce, it may be used to award a business or pet to one or the parties or it may be used to remove rights married couples have under the probate code.  

There are many things that can go into a prenup and there are many pitfalls if not drafted properly.  Let one of our experienced attorneys assist you in planning your future.

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