Law Office of Bridget A. McCann / Bridget McCann
Law Office of Bridget A. McCann / Bridget McCann 303.832.2599
Law Office of Bridget McCann
Helping Colorado Families in Transition
Helping Colorado Families in Transition

Denver, Colorado Family Law Attorney

I handle most aspects of family law in Colorado: divorce, separations, child support, parenting time (child custody and visitation), spousal maintenance (alimony), step-parent adoptions, second-parent adoptions, domestic partnership agreements and dissolutions, and modifications of maintenance, custody or child support. Many of these matters can be quite stressful and emotionally traumatic for clients. I am committed to making the process as painless as possible. One way to do that is to encourage the parties to settle their dispute out of court, often through the process of mediation. This path is typically far less traumatic, especially for any children affected by the case. Rest assured, however, that if litigation is necessary, I am prepared to aggressively represent your interests in court.

Colorado Divorce (In a Nut Shell):
Divorce Decree - Denver Colorado Lawyer Attorney Family Law Estate Planning Domestic Partnership Dissolution Domestic Partnership Agreement Gay Rights LGBT GLBTNo-fault: Colorado is a no-fault divorce state, which means the court does not need to hear the parties' complaints against each other. All that is required for a divorce is that one party believes the marriage is "irretrievably broken."

Timing to get a divorce: You must have resided in Colorado for at least 91 days prior to filing for a divorce in Colorado. After a petition for dissolution of marriage is filed, there is a mandatory 91 day waiting period before the marriage can be dissolved. In reality, however, it often takes more than 91 days to get a court date, if necessary. If the parties reach an agreement on all issues of the case, there is a way to avoid a court hearing and have the court enter a final decree of dissolution of marriage right after the 91 day waiting period.

Property and Debt: Under Colorado law, marital property and debt is to be divided equitably, which is not necessarily equally. Several factors are considered when deciding how to divide marital property and debt, including, but not limited to, the contribution of each spouse to the acquisition of the asset, including that of a homemaker, the purpose of the debt, and the economic circumstance of each spouse at the time of the divorce.

Spousal Maintenance (Alimony): Spousal maintenance may be awarded when the receiving spouse lacks sufficient property to reasonably provide for himself or herself and the receiving spouse is unable to support himself or herself through appropriate employment. Factors considered in determining the amount of maintenance include the standard of living during the marriage, the needs of the receiving party, the ability of the obligor to pay, income received from property, health and age of the parties, ability to work, and the length of the marriage.  Colorado has enacted statutory guidelines for the amount and duration of maintenance based on the incomes of the parties and the length of the marriage.  These guidelines, however, are not mandatory and the court may enter orders differing from the guidelines.

Father and Baby - Denver Colorado Lawyer Attorney Family Law Estate Planning Domestic Partnership Dissolution Domestic Partnership Agreement Gay Rights Single Parent Child Custody Adoption Spousal Maintenance Child Support LGBT GLBTChildren's Issues: What used to be called child custody is now divided into three components of "parental responsibilities:" parenting time, decision-making, and child support. Parenting time and decision-making are to be allocated based on what is in the best interest of the child. Parents are strongly encouraged to work out their own parenting schedule and decision-making scheme instead of leaving it to the court.  Mediation can help with this process.   After all, you know your children and your ability to work jointly in the children's best interest far better than the court can ever know, even with thorough and aggressive representation by the parties' attorneys.

Child support is a right of the child, not the receiving parent. Support is calculated using a statutory formula based on the income of the parents and a number of other variables, including the number of overnights with each parent, the number of children, health insurance premiums, and day care costs.

Parental alienation seems to be a growing concern of many parents. They worry that one parent may be trying to "turn" a child against the other parent. The courts recognize this problem and try to deal with it.

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Colorado Family Law for Non-Married Couples
Family of Four - Denver Colorado Lawyer Attorney Family Law Estate Planning Child Custody Adoption Spousal Maintenance Child SupportNon-married couples have many, if not all, of the same legal issues as do married couples, but the legal tools we use to assist them are sometimes different. For instance, non-married couples do not have access to the divorce process, but they, just like all parents, do have access to the family courts for issues involving children. Non-married couples can also take advantage of domestic partnership agreements and second-parent adoptions.

Domestic Partnership Agreements are legal contracts that can provide rights and obligations such as:

  • Property rights, including agreeing to an "equitable" division of property and debt should the domestic partnership end
  • Right to spousal maintenance
  • Allocation of parental responsibilities (parenting time, decision-making, and child support) for children born into or adopted during the domestic partnership
  • Right to hospital visitation

Clients entering into a domestic partnership agreement should also consider estate planning documents addressing the right to inherit and the authority to make health care, financial and end-of-life decisions.

Second-parent adoption offers an avenue for the adoption of one partner's legal child by his or her partner. Second parent adoption in Colorado allows an individual to petition the court to adopt the legal child of another adult who is the sole legal parent of the child. The sole legal parent must consent to the adoption by the other adult. The petitioner becomes a legal parent under Colorado law, with all the rights and responsibilities that go along with being a legal parent to a child. For instance, the child will be recognized as a legal heir of, with the right to inherit from, each parent. If the couple breaks up, both parents will have equal rights under Colorado laws dealing with the allocation of parental responsibilities (custody, decision-making for the child, and child support).

Colorado's Designated Beneficiaries Act allows any two competent unmarried unrelated adults to designate each other as their beneficiary and decision-maker in case of incapacity. This contract covers areas such as inheritance, life insurance benefits, health insurance benefits, hospital and nursing home visitation, wrongful death claims, worker's compensation, medical decision-making, and retirement benefits.

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Colorado Protection Orders or Restraining Orders Mother and Daughter - Denver Colorado Lawyer Attorney Family Law Estate Planning Domestic Partnership Dissolution Domestic Partnership Agreement Gay Rights Child Custody Adoption Maintenance Child SupportIf you feel you or your children are at risk of physical or emotional harm from a spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, partner, other family member, or anyone else, you may need a Civil Protection Order, more commonly referred to as a restraining order. The court can enter a temporary protection order based on the testimony of just one side, the party seeking protection. The court will then schedule a full hearing, usually for two weeks later, at which both sides will have the opportunity to present their arguments. At that hearing the court will decide whether the temporary protection order should be made permanent.

If you feel you have been falsely accused of being a threat to someone else, you should vigorously defend against such charges. Allowing a permanent Civil Protection Order to be entered against you can have serious consequences. 

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DISCLAIMER: The contents of this website are for informational purposes only, do not constitute legal advice, and should not be used in deciding whether to act or to refrain from acting. Please see the firm’s full disclaimer on the Firm Policy page.

Law Office of Bridget A. McCann / Bridget McCann