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Prescription drugs and DUI

When you think of DUI charges, you may assume that the driver was drinking heavily or using illegal drugs. However, even people who would never engage in this type of behavior can find themselves facing criminal charges of Driving Under the Influence or Driving While Ability Impaired.

Even perfectly legal, duly prescribed medications can affect your ability to drive safely. Therefore, you can do everything correctly and still end up accused of a DUI or DWAI. In Colorado, DUI is the more serious charge that applies when a driver is substantially impaired by a substance; DWAI is a lesser charge brought when the impairment is slight.

Lawmakers in one state seek wider database for protective orders

Entering into a new relationship can be an exciting time for new couples. Unfortunately, some relationships can end in victims of violence or threats seeking protective orders against a partner whom they now fear. Like every state, Colorado has laws in place that are intended to provide protection for those who are vulnerable in potentially violent relationships.

However, recently, lawmakers in one state determined that there may be a need for even more protections for potential victims of domestic abuse. After a woman was shot to death by a former boyfriend, a legislator, who was campaigning for re-election, visited the father of the deceased victim. As the conversation progressed, the grieving parent lamented that none of the family was aware that the perpetrator had an alleged history of violent behavior towards others.

Colorado's drunk driving penalties among harshest in nation

If you are ever pulled over in Colorado on suspicion of drunk driving, it is wise to know what you are up against. The state's penalties for drinking and driving, per Westword, are among the nation's toughest, with Colorado ranking 18th out of all 50 states in terms of the severity of its punishments.

A number of factors were reviewed when compiling the state-by-state drunk-driving penalty rankings, including minimal jail time requirements, how long old convictions play a role in new punishments and whether ignition interlock devices are in use, among other considerations. Colorado's ranking was ultimately awarded, in part, because of the following:

Considering the pet in Colorado divorce proceedings

In the past, deciding who gets custody of the children and who will get the house were two of the biggest decisions when a couple realized their marriage was no longer working. While those issues continue to be important, there is a relatively new issue that is gaining traction in divorce proceedings. It concerns the family pet.

Many families in Colorado have grown attached to their pets and may consider them an important part of the family. Until recently, family court judges treated pets in a divorce much like any other property that needed to be divided. However, a one state changed how pets are to be considered when a couple divorces. Lawmakers in yet another state may take similar action on a bill that was recently introduced.

Tips for helping children adapt to two homes

If you are going through a divorce or separation, your mind may be pulled in a million directions. Just as it may be a struggle for you to rebuild your life as a party of one and perhaps find a new place to live, among other major transitions, it may also be a struggle for your children.

They, too, are going to have to adjust to some considerable lifestyle changes, one of which might be dividing their time between you and your estranged or former spouse's home. Adjusting from one familial home to two is understandably difficult for many children, but the process can prove far smoother if you, and if the situation permits, your ex-spouse, make efforts to help ease your children into the change. Consider taking the following steps when transitioning your child from living in one to two homes.

Signs your spouse might be concealing assets

No one takes that walk down the aisle with the idea that the marriage may someday self-destruct, but regrettably, it does happen. Feelings fade, distrust arises and any number of other circumstances can lead your marriage to start circling the drain. If your situation is particularly acrimonious, you may also start to get the feeling that your ex, or soon-to-be-ex, may be hiding assets ahead of an impending separation or divorce. There are a number of methods spouses commonly use to conceal assets from one another, and these methods may include:

Later in life divorce may require some extra planning

While some sources state that marriages among many age groups seem to be lasting longer, it may be surprising to learn that there is one demographic that has seen a rising change in marital status. The numbers of divorce filings for the over-50 demographic have actually increased significantly since 1990. There are some extra considerations that Colorado residents may benefit from if they find themselves divorcing later in life.

One of the first of these considerations may be what to do with the family home. It can be difficult to sell a home where one has raised a family, but the decision to bank the proceeds may be beneficial when it comes to retirement savings. Another aspect of a senior divorce may be how to handle retirement savings accounts. If these employment-related savings are split between the former spouses, this often creates a tax burden that makes the division costly. Instead, some courts may issue a special order that determines which funds go into which names, though there are some special pension accounts which are not easily handled in this way.

How child custody works in Colorado

It is possible that deciding that a marriage or relationship isn't working may be the easier decision when children are involved. The harder issue may be determining how child custody will work out between the parents. In Colorado, the family laws were codified in 1973 and renamed in 1999 in order to better reflect the prevailing thoughts as to what living arrangements appear to best benefit the children. 

Child custody is now referred to as parental responsibilities. The idea and objective remains the same: determining how parenting duties are split and managed between parents so that children will have the optimal opportunities to grow and thrive. The judge in each case will take into consideration the fitness of each parent and does not weigh preferences according to the gender of the parent. Instead, the court will examine the needs of the child and make a determination based on the parenting schedule that will best meet those needs.

How is spousal maintenance determined in Colorado?

The results of a divorce depend on several factors, but the process itself is almost always stressful for all parties involved. It is not uncommon for one of the greatest sources of stress for people to come as a result of uncertainty regarding how they are going to provide for themselves once the marriage is dissolved.

This type of worry is a particularly large issue for people when their spouse was the primary source of income in the relationship. This kind of situation may lead a judge to decide that spousal maintenance, also known as alimony, is necessary.

New survey highlights churches' stance on domestic violence

Many Colorado residents may believe that a church could be a safe place to turn to when there are problems within the family. However, a recent survey reveals that some of these institutions may not be the best refuge for those who have suffered from domestic violence. In fact, in certain circumstances, the response of those in charge could make the situation worse.

According to the study, slightly more than half of the churches responded that they would believe that domestic violence had occurred in the home if a member stated it had happened and that was the reason he or she was seeking a divorce. Of that number, more than half stated they would conduct their own investigation into the claims. While only an estimated 1 percent of church leaders claimed they would doubt abuse had taken place, approximately 43 percent would not answer the question.

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