Divorce & Separation



Divorce, or “Dissolution of Marriage” as it is called in Colorado is perhaps the most frequently used legal process, and yet it is one of the most misunderstood and most stressful life events for almost everyone who goes through it. If you or your spouse are considering divorce or legal separation, let Baumgartner Law help you understand your rights concerning division of property, alimony, child custody and child support. Our goal is to inform you of your rights and to make sure you preserve those rights in a way that is least stressful for you and for your family.

When you are looking for a law firm to represent you during this difficult time, you should be looking for a firm that is not just knowledgeable and tough, but one that is also dedicated to personalized legal representation. That is what we do at Baumgartner Law. We truly listen to our clients and know their goals. We get to know our clients and their needs on a deeper level. We know all of our clients better than any other firm. We treat our clients' needs as if they are our own, and that is why we get better results for our clients.
At Baumgartner Law, we will help you through any aspect of divorce or legal separation, including:
  • Uncontested Divorce
  • Contested Divorce With Children
  • Complex High Value Asset Division
  • Settlement And Separation Agreements
  • Maintenance (also called Alimony)
  • Post-Decree Actions And Modifications
  • Enforcement and Contempt Actions
  • Child Custody and Visitation
  • Child Support Orders and Enforcement
  • Decision Making Determinations
  • Parentage Determination
  • Re-establishing Parental Rights
  • Terminating Parental Rights
  • Rights of Grandparents and Non-Biological Parents




Division of Property

Division of Property in Colorado Divorce actions is probably the most complicated part of the process. It begins with dividing the assets into “Marital Property” and “Separate Property.” In general, marital property is property that was acquired during the marriage, not by gift or inheritance, and separate property is property each party brought into the marriage or acquired by gift or inheritance. However, there are numerous complicated exceptions to this general rule that you must talk to your attorney about.

Colorado is an “Equitable Division” State, which means that marital property will be divided proportionally, according to what a Court feels is fair based on any relevant factors, including:
(a) the contribution of each spouse to acquiring the marital assets, including the contribution of the spouse as a homemaker,
(b) the value of each spouse’s separate property,
(c) the economic circumstances of each spouse, including the desirability of awarding the family home to the spouse caring for the children the majority of the time.

Importantly, the Court cannot consider misconduct during the marriage when deciding the equitable division of property.


Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

Parenting time, decision-making, and child support all must be decided by a judge if you have children that will be affected by a divorce or separation. Each of these issues requires knowledge of the basic formulas that Courts begin with to make determinations, and the many factors that could be important in making those decisions. To learn about these issues, see our Child Custody and Support page.


Modifications of Orders

Modification of Property Division: Generally, a request to modify the Court’s division of assets must be made within six months, and only if the division was grossly unfair. However, if you discover that the other party hid or disposed of assets during the divorce proceedings, or otherwise committed fraud during the process, you can seek a modification at any time.
Modification of Child Custody: Any time that there is a significant change in circumstances that effects the child, a parent can petition the Court to modify the Parenting Time or the Decision-Making Responsibilities. However, the Court will continue to apply the “best interest of the child test” to determine if a modification is appropriate. It is important to understand that convenience for a parent, or fairness to a parent are far less important to any Court than the best interests of the child in any determination regarding the child.
Modification of Child Support: Child Support Obligations can be modified any time that there is a change in income or financial circumstances that would result in a 10% change in the child support amount. It is imperative that any change in child support be adopted by the court, as informal agreements between the parents are invalid.
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Enforcement and Contempt

When one party fails to perform their obligations under the Court’s Order, the other party should always seek relief through the Courts, and should never attempt to force the other party to comply. Sometimes, for example, one party will fall behind on child support payments, and the other parent will withhold visitation. That is not allowed and will only hurt both parties. It is imperative that you petition the Court for help when the other party is not complying with the Court Order. Often, the Court will hold the non-compliant parent in contempt of Court, and may impose penalties, including attorney’s fees. Other times, restrictions of parenting time may be appropriate.
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