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Lakewood Family Law Blog

Domestic violence and child custody: A difficult intersection

Some divorces include elements of domestic violence. When this is the case, there is a chance that the domestic violence could impact the child custody aspect of the divorce process if there are children in the picture.

It is imperative that anyone who is dealing with a divorce that involves domestic violence understands how this might impact the case. Here are a few points to consider:

What are adoption agency fees?

Do you and your spouse want to adopt a new baby into your home? Perhaps you've grown closer over the years, and you want to give the gift of being a loving mom and dad to a child, but you can't have a child of your own. Maybe you're a same-sex couple, and you're excited to expand your family with a child.

Adoption is the beautiful act of creating a family and building a home for a child, but it's also a legal process. Therefore, couples will want to research as much as they can about Colorado adoption law to make sure they do it right.

A brief history of child abuse protection in the United States

Children are under the complete control of their parents, and if the parents wish to abuse their children, they can often get away with it. Until recently, parents actually had the right to physically beat their children and treat them in a way that would -- in modern times -- constitute abuse. This is because children were viewed as property by the courts -- specifically, the property of their fathers.

In the United States, the courts continued to view children as property until the early 1870s -- when the sad case of an 8-year-old orphan girl captured the hearts of the nation.

What can you do if you need to adjust your visitation time?

When you got your divorce, you had a different job and different days off. You've kept to your child custody plan, but in reality, you're not seeing much of your child. In fact, much of the time, your child is going to a babysitter or staying with your family, which doesn't give you much time with him at all.

This isn't fair to you or your child, so you want to seek out an adjustment and modification to your child custody arrangements. Would the court allow it? What steps do you need to take? Here are a few things you need to know.

The 3 styles of mediation: Which one is right for your divorce?

Most Colorado divorce lawyers will laud the many benefits that come from mediating a divorce. In fact, if your mediation is successful, the benefits include (1) saving a great deal of money on legal fees and court costs, (2) saving time, and (3) preventing stress and toxic emotional circumstances.

Let's say, for example, that your marriage has lasted 15 years. You and your ex can communicate rationally - or as rationally as can be expected for two people going through a divorce - and you both feel like you can work through any divorce-related disagreements in a civil and diplomatic fashion. For you and your spouse, mediation could be the best way to finalize your divorce agreement.

Can't pay your child support?

Life in Colorado can be unpredictable and our financial circumstances can go from bad to worse in a heartbeat. Let's say you have a well-paying job, and your $1,000 per month child support obligations are easy for you to meet. However, you need to change your job, and now you're making half as much.

There's no way you can continue paying $1,000 in child support each month. Realistically, you can only afford $600 and this is plenty to assist your ex with the costs of raising your children. Can you apply for a child support modification?

Do you and your spouse need a property settlement agreement?

Your family home has been the center of your life for decades. Now that it's time to get a divorce, though, you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse need to come to a decision about who gets what. You have also amassed a large number of other items -- including art, cars, furniture and investment accounts -- which you need to divide.

Fortunately, for couples who can negotiate with one another amicably, it's possible to reach an out of court property settlement agreement that covers the division of their entire marital estate.

Did your foreign ex take your child overseas?

An ex-spouse from a foreign country might not have the same respect for U.S. child custody laws as you do. The spouse may feel that he or she has the right to keep your children beyond the agreed-upon visitation time. The court system in the person's home country might even have supported your ex to this effect.

This is where the Hague Convention comes into play. The Convention is a treaty between countries that ensures the countries will honor the child custody orders of other countries.

Did you lose your job but you still owe child support?

In the ever changing economy that all Colorado workers must face, the sudden loss of your job is not uncommon. However, if you're paying $800 a month child support -- and you're living paycheck-to-paycheck like most Americans -- you could be in danger of getting behind.

Fortunately, Colorado courts know that life doesn't always go as planned. A serious injury, the loss of a job, or some other unplanned-for event, can undermine you and your ability to pay child support in a heartbeat. It's in these situations, that Colorado child support payers can seek for a modification to their child support orders.

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