Family Law FAQ

If you are in need of a family law or divorce attorney, you may be experiencing a great deal of uncertainty. At CoakleyKrol, we understand what you're going through. We regularly develop custom legal solutions to help individuals and families in Denver and throughout the Front Range resolve divorce disputes and other family law issues.

Following are some of the most common questions our clients have when they contact us for legal representation. If you have other questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office to schedule a consultation.

How long will my divorce take?

Every divorce is different, and the facts of your case, along with the level of cooperation between you and the other party, will determine how long the divorce will take to finalize.

With that said, most divorces take about three months to complete, whereas a particularly contentious divorce could take as long as 18 months.

At CoakleyKrol, we use innovative legal strategies and negotiation techniques to minimize the duration and cost of divorce proceedings.

What is marital property?

In Colorado, as in other states, property and debts acquired during the course of a marriage are generally regarded as marital property. The law calls for an "equitable distribution" of marital property when two spouses divorce.

Equitable division does not necessarily mean that assets and debts will be divided straight down the middle. Factors such as the duration of the marriage, each spouse's contribution to the household income, and each spouse's economic circumstances can all affect how marital property is divided.

Various kinds of marital assets — not all of them obvious — may be subject to division. For more on specific kinds of assets, please see our Colorado property division overview.

Additionally, there may be separate property to consider. Separate property is generally not divided in a divorce. Examples of separate property include the value of a business on the marriage date and gifts and inheritances received by only one spouse.

Our lawyers can help you determine whether you have separate property that should be excluded from the divorce settlement.

What will happen to my house?

In many cases, the family home is the most valuable asset to be considered for property division. Depending on the circumstances, there may be a number of ways to approach dealing with this important asset.

Often, when a couple has children, the parent with whom the children spend the most time will continue living in the family home with the kids. Every family is different, however, and the arrangements for your family should fit your specific situation.

There may also be a mortgage or other home-related costs to consider, and these matters can be addressed when negotiating a fair settlement. In some cases, it makes sense for the spouses to sell the home and split the proceeds; in other cases, it may be better to negotiate for a larger share of other assets in exchange for your share in the house.

We encourage you to contact our office in Denver if you have questions about any of these matters.

How are parental rights and responsibilities determined?

When parents are unable to agree on a parenting plan, the issues can be resolved in court or out of court. If out-of-court solutions cannot be achieved through mediation or another form alternative dispute resolution, it becomes necessary to ask a judge to decide.

At CoakleyKrol, we do everything legally in our power to help parents resolve their child custody differences outside of court. While it is sometimes necessary, litigation can be costly and time-consuming, and often parents are not satisfied with a judge's decision. After all, no one knows your family better than you do.

In general, courts in Colorado and throughout the country make child custody decisions based on what is in the best interests of the child. Proving in court what is actually in the child's best interests requires evidence, which in some cases involves the public sharing of information that parents would rather not share — another reason to seek out-of-court solutions when possible.

With that in mind, we can help you create an innovative parenting plan that optimizes benefits for everyone involved — all while avoiding court and minimizing costs.

For more on these issues, please see our overview of achieving optimal results for Denver families.