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Frequently Asked Questions About Colorado Family Law Matters

In a Divorce, How Will Our Property be Divided?

In Colorado, the court divides property and assets according to principles of equitable distribution. Instead of requiring a 50/50 split of marital property, equitable distribution is more flexible and takes into account the financial situation of each spouse. In this context, equitable means fair, not equal.

All property assets are potentially available for division, including:

  • Real estate
  • Personal property
  • Stocks and mutual funds
  • Retirement accounts
  • Business interests
  • Intellectual property
  • Inheritance
  • Investments
  • Pension plans
  • Rental property
  • Savings

I Am the Custodial Parent. Can I Deny Visitation?

Visitation rights enable the children of a divorced couple to understand that both parents are entitled to visitation. If children are upset after returning from a visitation with one parent, there is no grounds to deny visitation unless it endangers their health and welfare. Additionally, disagreements are not grounds to deny visitation. The noncustodial parent is entitled to reasonable visitation; however, they cannot demand unreasonable time outside of the agreement. Thus, if he or she wants to see the child in the middle of the night or is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you can deny visitation.

What Is the Procedure for Adoption?

In Colorado, the court’s primary concern is the best interests of the child. Whether a child is placed in a new home privately or through an adoption agency, a petition for adoption must be filed. The child is placed in the custody of new parents for a period of six months to one year before the adoption becomes final. This allows the child’s welfare to be monitored in the new home through agency visits authorized by a court. At the end of the period, a court hearing reviews the parents’ qualifications and, if they are deemed satisfactory, grants a permanent decree of adoption. Through this process, the child gains all the rights of a natural child of the adoptive parents and a new birth certificate is issued, showing the adoptive parents as the child’s legal parents.

Will a Domestic Violence Arrest or Conviction Stay on My Record?

A conviction, deferred sentence, probated sentence or any form of plea bargain results in a permanent criminal record. However, a case that has been deferred or placed in a diversion program can later be expunged under Colorado law.

Domestic violence arrest records may be removed in certain situations, but there is no method by law to expunge domestic violence convictions. In extremely rare cases it is possible to get a pardon from the state’s governor that will remove the conviction from the individual’s record after the sentence is completed.

What Happens to a Child Who Is Deemed a Juvenile Delinquent?

A juvenile delinquent is anyone between the ages of 10 and 17 who commits a federal or state crime, violates certain county or municipal ordinances, or refuses to comply with court orders. The judge considers many factors in sentencing a juvenile delinquent.

After a full review of the circumstances, the judge may decide on one of several legal consequences, including:

  • Payment of a fine up to $300 plus a 37% surcharge
  • Up to 45 days in detention
  • Performance of community service as set by the court
  • Requirement to refrain from associating with certain friends or being involved with gangs
  • Repayment to the victims within a period of time set by the court
  • Adherence to a curfew set by the court
  • Loss of driving privileges until more responsibility is shown

Have additional questions? Contact our legal team.

If you need help with any Colorado family law matter, contact Karin Johnson Chatfield LLC, an experienced family law attorney in Denver.

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