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Determing child custody for unmarried parents can be tricky

When a marriage between parents dissolves, it can be difficult for all parties involved. In cases where the parents were never married, deciding how to settle child custody may be even more complicated. Colorado has custody laws in place, but these situations may require extra attention in order to ensure that the child's best interests are protected.

It is becoming more commonplace for couples to elect to skip marriage for any number of personal reasons. If that couple later find themselves with a child or two, it may become more difficult to arrange a parenting plan that works well. If parents cohabited with their children at any time, then the courts may follow existing custody laws in order to preserve and nurture the relationships between child and parent.

Counseling can help facilitate healthy divorce discussions

Couples who find themselves in a stressful or unhealthy marriage are often encouraged to seek help from professional counselors. However, those who believe that their relationship is not sustainable may also seek help from these professionals to find the best path for their relationship, even if that includes divorce. Colorado residents may seek assistance from a variety of sources when considering a dissolution.

Last year, a cable network aired a show that featured a marriage counselor encouraging a woman to file for divorce. As a result of that show, real-life counselors were questioned whether they would ever provide this type of advice to a troubled couple. The response from those questioned was that they do not offer direct advice for couples to end a marriage. However, in situations where a spouse is a victim of abuse, a counselor will help the victim seek out resources to ensure his or her safety.

Pet custody often more than a division of marital assets issue

For many couples, the addition of a pet to their family can be as important as the arrival of a new baby. That may be why more and more couples are struggling to determine custody of the animal in the event of a divorce. For many Colorado spouses, custody of a dog is more than simply a division of marital assets decision.

There has been an increase in the numbers of former couples who are unable to settle this matter peaceably. Though some states have passed laws that enable a judge to consider the needs of a pet, the majority of states still view this as a division of property matter. There are some circumstances that may sway a judge one way -- especially if a pet was brought into a marriage by one spouse or if the animal was intended as a gift for a former spouse. Otherwise, it may be difficult for a judge to consider which party will provide the better home.

A prenup in everyone's interests

When you read the term "prenuptual agreement," the first images which come to mind are likely negative. Isn't that all about shielding assets and cheating your partner before the marriage even starts? At best, it's not very romantic and awfully cold. Yet today's marriages sometimes have a lot of good reasons for a strong prenup that is in everyone's interests.

Both partners may have a business they need to protect, or want to be protected from the liabilities of their partner's business. Blended families with children very likely have inheritance and insurance issues. At the very least a consultation with an attorney might be in order before marriage, in case a mutually beneficial prenup might be needed.

Federal agency announces updates to child support system

Recently, the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement announced several updates it has made to its system that impact employers throughout the country, including Colorado. According to its records, approximately $33 billion was collected for child support during 2016, with 75 percent of that amount collected through income withholding. The agency also reported that employers registered an estimated 65.6 million new or re-hired workers in that year.

The OCSE upgrades clarify the information it requires from employers. The information must be reported directly to the federal agency, rather than to third-party companies that typically charge a fee for the information. It is stressed that employers must record the same Employer Identification Number when registering new hires so as to avoid duplication and delays in processing of child support orders.

Splitting retirement accounts in divorce requires skill; finesse

One of the greatest points of contention for couples who are divorcing is money and how to divide it. The division of marital assets, especially retirement accounts, takes careful planning and finesse to ensure that it is done with as little cost as possible. Colorado residents who are seeking a divorce that will include these types of marital holdings may benefit from careful planning and advice.

Right behind the issue of alimony, former spouses are most likely to fight over retirement funds and business assets, according to a 2016 poll of family law attorneys. Because there is so much at stake when it comes to the division of these types of assets, it pays to research as much as possible about the procedures that are required when dividing certain workplace accounts. If a 401(k) is to be divided, there are specific procedures that must be followed before any transfers can take place.

A Colorado couple fights over frozen assets in a divorce dispute

For many couples who have fought to get pregnant, fertility treatment is a miracle worker. Assisted reproductive technology is as costly financially as it is emotionally. Failure can bring some relationships to the breaking point. When it comes to diving assets, after all is said and done, one Glenwood Springs couple is facing an unexpected dilemma in their divorce proceedings. After separating almost everything that made up their life as a married couple, the dispute arose when it could not be determined whom the recipient of the contents within a particular freezer would be. 

Fox News anchor served with divorce papers after alleged affair

Life in the spotlight often comes with its share of negative publicity and reports of alleged misdeeds. When those accusations appear to be based on truth, then a marriage may well end in divorce. One does not have to be a celebrity, though, for a marriage to end based on the decisions and behaviors of one spouse -- as countless Colorado residents are aware.

Recently, Jesse Watters, a well-known host from the popular Fox News network, announced that his wife had started divorce proceedings against him. This decision was purportedly based on the news that Watters had been conducting an extra-marital affair with another employee of the network. According to Watters, he and a female producer were involved in an on-going relationship.

The basics of interstate custody arrangements

For divorced or unmarried parents living in separate states, navigating child custody arrangements can be difficult. The reasons are varied, perhaps one parent moved to another state for work, or a parent wished to be closed to extended family after the divorce. Regardless of the reasons for the separation, parenting over long distances and across state lines poses unique challenges.

There are tips that can make a divorce filing less difficult

When a couple concludes that a marriage is no longer viable, both may feel overwhelmed and uncertain how to proceed. There are some measures that each can take that may make a divorce less taxing on one's emotional and financial well-being. A divorce is a trying experience, and Colorado residents may feel that the process is too daunting to attempt without the guidance of professionals who can provide sound advice along the way.

One suggestion that may help ease the emotional burden is to approach the process in a logical manner. It may help to step back and assess whether an issue is worth battling over simply for the satisfaction gained from winning a small victory. Instead, keeping a big picture viewpoint may ease the temptation to fight over matters that are readily settled. In addition, having knowledge of the marital assets can go a long way in ensuring that the eventual settlement is as equitable as possible without a tedious financial investigation carried out by either an attorney or other professionals.

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