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Denver Colorado Family Law Blog

Boundaries during separation & divorce: the marital residence

When a marriage ends, particularly when a couple has created a family, it is very disorienting for everyone. It may be difficult to figure out how to rebuild your life after separating and during divorce. However, a good place to begin is with your boundary setting, particularly in your living space and by managing the co-parenting relationship.

Parental meltdowns harmful to children

Most modern-day parents understand that it not okay to use corporal punishment on children, yet they may still regularly verbally abuse their children either to vent their anger or to share their frustration. This is thought to be an improvement over past generations of parents who inflicted various kinds of physical punishment using their hand or an object like a belt.

Too much too often

Confidentiality and mediation

Mediation is often used for couples filing for divorce these days. Whereas litigation before a judge was the traditional way of doing things, this format has several benefits, most notably it keeps the case out of court. This means that the couple does not have to wait their turn in a crowded court schedule, and that faster resolution keeps the attorney expenses down as well. Families like it because it is less combative and enables the two sides to resolve their issues in a collaborative manner rather than leaving it to a judge. While litigation means public records, mediation is done behind closed doors and thus keeps the details of the split private.

Colorados confidentiality clause

IVF Twins both get citizenship

In vitro fertilization is an option that more and more families are using. This can help married couples who are having difficulties conceiving children, or it can be an option for same-sex couples who choose to have children through biological means rather than adoption. The latter was the case for a married couple who opted to have twins with help of an egg donor and a surrogate.

One man was from the U.S. and the other was from Israel. In choosing twins, they opted to have each of them fertilize an egg, which is not uncommon, and have them carried together by the surrogate. The parents who lived in Canada at the time they ran afoul of the U.S. State Department when it came time to get passports for the boys. The consulate in Canada insisted on DNA testing of the boys to determine parentage (which the parents knew, but had been a secret). After testing results, citizenship and a passport were given to the child of the American father, and visitor status to the child of the Israeli father.

Is your spouse hiding marital assets?

It is typical that one spouse handles a family’s finances, but it is great time for the other to get involved now with tax season in full swing. While it does not hurt for the non-bill-payer or finance person to understand the family’s financial plan, it becomes almost crucial when a spouse is contemplating divorce or has concerns about the family finances.

The unfortunate truth is that temptation can get the best of a spouse, prompting them to hide money or property that are actually marital assets. Common examples include stashing cash in a safe deposit box, opening offshore accounts or deferring bonuses or compensation until after the divorce. One CPA even tried overpaying his taxes to the IRS with an eye towards filing for a refund after the divorce. He was unsuccessful, but it nonetheless illustrates the lengths to which people will go.

Divorce in the digital era

Social media is an important format for interacting with friends, family and others. There are many pluses and minuses to this new reality, and regardless of how one feels about it, one’s digital footprint is an increasingly important part of the information gathering process that happens when one files for divorce. What was once harmless sharing of sporting triumphs, family trips, and important milestones posted on Facebook or Instagram are now analyzed by the opposing party and the court.

Post-filing information on the web will also be examined, including profiles on dating sites like Tinder or ski trips with the guys, to gain insight into the life of a separated spouse. Seemingly harmless shots will be examined for clues for mental health issues like addiction, a person’s spending habits as well as a parent’s circle of friends and work colleagues.

Anger can be a symptom of depression

The end of a marriage is one of the most difficult and challenging experiences in life. Along with such important details as dividing the assets and creating parenting plans, the emotional component can lead to depression. While the symptoms of depression often involve sad or empty feelings, some of the 16.2 million adults in the United States who live with depression respond with anger.

Our friend anger

High-asset divorce need not mean high-conflict divorce

News of divorces by the famous and super wealthy often bounce around the internet as click bait. Some stories will even sound downright disappointed when there is a civilized approach like the conscious uncoupling by Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin or the recent announcement of amicable split involving a 50-50 arrangement of $137 billion by Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos.

Bloomberg recently published an assessment that states the Bezos divorce will not take months or years while the estate is divided. The fact that there is no stated acrimony can go a long way towards simplifying even the biggest bundles of marital assets.

Adoption and foster care agencies can make decisions based on religion

Some will remember the 2014 Supreme Court decision that expanded the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) to enable for-profit corporations to deny contraceptive coverage if it is based on religious beliefs of the owners. Now that ruling has driven a decision by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to declare that a federally funded Christian foster care agency in South Carolina can refuse placement with would-be parents of different non-Christian faiths.

The agency has refused multiple applicants, including refusing placement to one couple based upon the fact the applicants were Jewish and refusing placement with a second same-sex couple. The reason stated for why their applications were refused was that these applicants did not share the same Christian values of the agency. Under the Supreme Court decision in 2014, this behavior is permissible since other agencies are still willing to help applicants that the Christian organization rejected.

Choosing an alternative to court in parenting time decisions

Divorce is a challenging and sometimes heated process. Soon-to-be-ex-spouses face many issues as they separate their lives, but one of the harder decisions in a divorce is deciding parenting time and access.

If parents are willing to work together to collaborate on a decision about parenting time, it can keep them out of court and save them both time and money. Parents can either decide on their own or if they aren’t able to reach an agreement, a court can make a decision on their behalf.

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