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Denver Colorado Family Law Blog

The Importance Of Healthy Stress Relief During A Divorce

No doubt that a divorce - no matter how amicable - is a stressful event. When you face a major life change, such as a divorce or separation, you are at a crossroads in your life that comes with a great deal of personal, financial and emotional upheaval. So, what can you do to deal with the stress in healthy ways in an effort to minimize the impact the process has on you and your family? 

Find a stress relief outlet. Find something that works for you after identifying whether there are particular stressors in you day-to-day life, or based on what may be very important to you. There is not one right way to alleviate stress when a person is facing a major challenge. We've outlined some healthy ways to cope while you are under strain.

How To Handle Halloween After A Split

As far as holidays go, Halloween isn't usually considered a major one. In parenting plans or parenting schedules, Halloween may not get much attention. However, when you have young children, the issue of Halloween may be worth thinking about in your parenting plan.

For children who still dress up and go trick-or-treating, Halloween can be a magical night full of memories for kids and parents alike. When you are separated from the other parent however, it can be a recipe for more conflict. As with most co-parenting conflicts, there are options for addressing potential areas of conflict before the children get caught in the middle. 

The Rise In "Gray" Divorce

As life expectancy increases new challenges arise. Increased lifespan is cited as one of the reasons for the increase in what some experts call a "gray" divorce - those divorces occurring later in life, sometimes at retirement age or after. 

The prospect of staying married to the same person for a longer time can be a catalyst for some people to divorce. The idea of being in an unhappy marriage is less appealing when faced with an additional 20-30 years of life together. With a divorce later in life, the issues can be complicated, especially when it comes to financial matters.

Consider Your Financial Reality During And After Divorce

Divorce is fraught with emotion and stress. There is just no getting around that fact. When you are stressed, it is easy to avoid difficult financial decisions and considerations. That's why it is so important to hire experts to walk you through each step along the way. Hiring someone to do the heavy lifting is the best protection you can have against doing something that has long-lasting financial implications.

Here are a number of considerations outlined in a recent CNBC article. We think they are important to share and to think about as you navigate this difficult time.

The Importance Of Co-Parenting Classes

When you file for divorce or a determination of parental responsibilities in Colorado, virtually every court will require you to attend a co-parenting course offered in your area. Even if you are not required to attend a co-parenting course, we always recommend this type of course to help prepare you for life as a separated family. The courses do not necessarily need to be attended with the other parent. 

Co-parenting classes vary a bit in their style and presentation but all offer insight to issues that will arise during the process of allocating parental rights and responsibilities. Classes may address various aspects of the  parental responsibilities process including:

How To Break The News To Your Children

When you are considering a divorce, one of the most difficult issues you will face is how to tell your children. No one gets married and has children with a plan that they will someday want a divorce, but it happens. And when the inevitable end of your marriage is looming, you will want to make the transition as smooth as possible for your children. 

As with the co-parenting plan that will be set forth as part of the divorce process, if circumstances permit and are safe, it is often best for your children if you and your spouse can work together to come up with your plan to inform your children. We've outlined some guidelines for telling them below. You may also consider working with a therapist if you have unique circumstances or just can't come up with the right approach. Most, if not all, children going through a divorce can also benefit from some type of therapy or outside support.

QDRO: An Important Divorce Instrument You May Not Know About

What is a QDRO? A QDRO, or a qualified domestic relations order, is a judgment, decree or order which divides retirement accounts. It may order the retirement plan to pay child support, alimony/spousal support or marital property to a spouse or former spouse. 

When you get divorced, the QDRO is the instrument to divide your retirement accounts and can have important tax advantages. Often the drafting of a QDRO is something that occurs post-decree, or after the final divorce order has been entered. The divorce decree will instruct as to how the plan should be divided, but in order for retirement asset to be divided and awarded a QDRO must be drafted.

Women Need To Be Invested In A Financial Plan

Women are more likely than men to find themselves in a financial bind suddenly after becoming single whether through an unexpected divorce or the death of a spouse. No one plans to lose a spouse or get divorced, although you should. When you lose your spouse, financial obligations do not go away. If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation without a contingency plan, there are ways to plan for your future so that you can move forward confidently.

Working with a financial advisor and other financial professionals, such as accountants and attorneys, can help alleviate the stress that comes with this new reality. Many financial experts have experience assisting divorced or windowed individuals who need to develop a new financial strategy. Some of these professionals work with primarily women as well. Here is some advice for those finding themselves suddenly single: 

Study Supports Importance Of Shared Parenting After Divorce

Many professionals working with families - including judges, attorneys and mental health professionals - strive to make decisions and offer support based on what they believe is best for children. But what is best for children is a difficult question to answer and depends largely on individual family circumstances as well as other important factors.

The issue of whether shared parenting after divorce or separation is best for children, even in higher conflict co-parenting relationships, is widely studied and debated. Recently, Linda Nielsen, a professor of adolescent and educational psychology at Wake Forest University, studied and presented her findings on shared parenting. Her conclusions are informative. 

Colorado Supreme Court Considers Embryo Fate After Divorce

With the advances in science and medicine and the evolving definition of family, courts are being asked to consider what happens with biological material such as embryos when the parties cannot agree following a divorce. This is a hotly debated issue in the media as well as within domestic relations law that raises various constitutional and ethical issues.

In Colorado, the Supreme Court will be considering the fate of embryos of a divorced couple who, during their marriage, agreed to create embryos through the in-vitro fertilization process. The Court will have to decide whether to order the embryos destroyed as the father wants or for them to be preserved as requested by the mother. The decision will have an important impact on cases going forward. 

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