Supporting Families in Difficult Legal Situations
The attorneys at Stevens, Littman, Biddison, Tharp & Weinberg, LLC understand how stressful divorce and family law disputes can be. In traumatic times, you need an experienced legal team on your side — one that is respectful of your emotions, knowledgeable in helping clients through challenging situations and takes every opportunity possible to ensure that your needs and concerns are met on an individual, personalized level.
Best Divorce Attorney Boulder
Since 1981, Stevens, Littman, Biddison, Tharp & Weinberg has been a firm of choice for numerous Coloradans. Our lawyers continue that tradition today throughout our legal practices in Boulder & Vail. Our clients rate us as the best divorce attorney office in Boulder.
Helping you cope with turmoil, one step at a time
With so many questions and so much at stake in divorce law and divorce — also known in Colorado as a dissolution of marriage — you need a divorce lawyer who can guide you through the turmoil. You need a lawyer who will advocate for you, look out for your interests and offer solid legal advice — all without causing undue disruption, especially where children are concerned. We assist clients dealing with a wide variety of family law issues, including:
Concerns and priorities in divorce and family law
Our attorneys have decades of collective experience handling family legal matters. We take the time to get to know your circumstances, your family and your goals to determine your best course of action, carefully drafting and negotiating marital property division, spousal maintenance, prenuptial agreements, separation agreements, contracts, and other documents to ensure your interests are protected.
Although we are strong litigators with the ability to craft strong arguments, we regularly encourage and employ dispute resolution techniques, including mediation and arbitration, when working with clients. We strive to produce successful resolutions as peaceably and constructively as possible, whether in mediation or arguing your case before the Colorado Supreme Court.
For the legal needs of a lifetime
You can trust Stevens, Littman, Biddison, Tharp & Weinberg for reliable, compassionate care no matter what legal issue you are going through. With offices in Boulder and Vail, we regularly serve clients throughout Colorado. We are unwavering advocates for your legal rights. Contact our firm today for help from an experienced Colorado attorney or call us at 303.443.6690.
Stevens, Littman, Biddison, Tharp & Weinberg, LLC provides determined legal representation to mothers and fathers on all aspects of child support in Colorado. Child support concerns may arise in the divorce process or in a nonmarital relationship where paternity is not presumed. Either way, you must understand that the law grants the child a right of support by both parents, irrespective of any relationship between them. Our child support attorneys work to achieve reasonable awards under the Colorado guidelines through negotiation or litigation in family court, and we help ensure that support remains fair and reasonable throughout the required term.
Child support isn’t punishment
In divorce cases, Colorado courts strive to minimize any hardship on the children. The process has safeguards to protect them emotionally, but courts also want to protect them financially, helping them maintain the standard of living they would have enjoyed if the divorce had not occurred. Child support is not meant to unjustly enrich one spouse or impoverish another — child support funds should be spent on the child. At Stevens, Littman, Biddison, Tharp & Weinberg, we advocate strongly for fair child support orders that address the child’s needs in a manner that is equitable for the parents.
Modification is possible when circumstances change
A child support order has the force of law. But just as changes in society compel legislatures to amend their laws, a substantial change in your post-divorce life may necessitate a modification of your support order. If a supporting parent suffers a financial setback or a child needs additional support due to changing needs, the payment schedule may no longer be equitable. Our lawyers have helped clients throughout Colorado obtain a modification of support when their circumstances justified a change. We have also successfully opposed modification when a proposed decrease in support payments would have caused undue hardship to our client and the children. Our experienced attorneys understand the criteria the court considers. We assert your rights aggressively while advancing the best interests of your children. Most importantly, although it’s natural for parents to roll with life’s punches and make informal agreements to get through a rough patch, you have to understand that those informal agreements will never hold up in court. That means a supporting parent can be liable for back payments even if the recipient parent has previously said not to worry about them. Your existing support order is enforceable in full until you get a court-approved modification.
Child support payment enforcement in Colorado
Colorado has dedicated resources to enforcing child support obligations against “deadbeat” parents. Stevens, Littman, Biddison, Tharp & Weinberg assists custodial parents whose ex-spouses fail to meet their obligations by getting enforcement orders in family court. If you are a supporting parent but you’ve stopped payments because your ex is interfering with your parenting time or alienating you from your children, you should immediately pay whatever funds you’ve withheld. The court may charge you penalties or take administrative action, such as suspending your driver license. Your visitation rights are also enforceable, so let our attorneys in Boulder & Vail help resolve that conflict effectively and legally.
Parental Rights in Divorce Related Disputes
No area of the law requires more of a balance between compassionate counsel with aggressive advocacy than in matters of child custody. A protracted court fight over custody increases the expenses of litigation and risks damaging your relationship with your children. The legal team at Stevens, Littman, Biddison, Tharp & Weinberg, LLC knows Colorado child custody and parenting time law inside and out — and we’re prepared to provide reliable, knowledgeable advice on your legal options gained through decades of experience with child custody cases.
Bringing experience and compassion to child custody matters
We encourage you to look at your situation the way the court will — focusing on “the best interests of the child.” Colorado family law courts consider a long list of factors in making decisions related to your children, including how custody is divided and visitation determinations. The court understands that you love your children — but the needs and best interests of the children are paramount. Our attorneys will guide you and the court in seeing a clear picture of your life and applying these factors objectively in your circumstances.
Understanding custody terms and your parental rights
Parental decision-making authority — formerly known as “having legal custody” — is the power to make decisions about your children’s health, education and welfare, as opposed to physical custody, which involves the home and caretaking of your children. Even when one parent is awarded sole physical custody of the children, legal custody is generally shared by both parents. At Stevens, Littman, Biddison, Tharp & Weinberg, we understand how difficult it can be to reach agreement on parenting issues after a painful divorce. We offer empathetic legal services that help parents set reasonable goals for raising their children and arrive at manageable plans to achieve those goals.
One way to achieve goals regarding custody issues is to conduct negotiations or mediation between the parents to create a parenting plan that both parents can agree to. Agreement can sometimes be reached in negotiations where each party has an attorney present, but many couples prefer mediation, which is a cooperative rather than an adversarial process. In this situation, a mediator leads the parties in the direction of a mutually beneficial plan. Our divorce mediation attorneys coach you prior to your sessions, ensuring that you can articulate your preferences and assert your rights. A mediated settlement can create a framework for future parental decision-making, providing ongoing benefits for both parties.
Firm advocacy to ensure your children are safe and cared for
Because the court may restrict parenting time if there’s a danger to the child, allegations of child endangerment are made for all the right and the wrong reasons. Our parenting time lawyers have counseled clients who believed that because of drug or alcohol abuse, or a history of domestic violence, their ex-spouse was a true threat to their children. On the other hand, we’ve defended spouses against unfounded and vicious allegations of child abuse made to deprive that parent of a relationship with the children. We provide thorough representation in support of your rights and the best interest of your children.
Protecting Rights in Spousal Support Matters & Alimony Disputes
For more than 35 years, the divorce lawyers of Stevens, Littman, Biddison, Tharp & Weinberg, LLC have worked on behalf of clients throughout Colorado involved in contentious disputes over alimony issues as part of family law proceedings. Our goal is to obtain fair terms for alimony payments — sometimes called spousal support or spousal maintenance — for every client, whether in a negotiated settlement or before a judge in court. Our attorneys are here to support and represent you in making certain that any alimony award in your Colorado divorce case is objectively fair given your specific circumstances.
Factors for spousal support in Colorado
As with any decisions that continue after the date of the divorce — such as child custody and child support — the court considers numerous factors related to domestic issues in awarding alimony and deciding the value of such awards. Courts need to determine the following:
How much is each spouse currently earning?
How much will each spouse earn after divorce?
How long was the marriage?
What was the standard of living during the marriage?
How many children are there and how old are they?
Did one spouse support the other in educational pursuits?
Was one spouse a homemaker while the other worked?
With so many factors involved, there’s an enormous range of possible outcomes — outcomes that experienced attorneys who can present a compelling, fact-supported argument can strive for in any hearing.
No gender preference in Colorado alimony laws
Colorado alimony law does not favor one gender over the other. All court decisions should be gender neutral and based on objective criteria, such as a comparison of the spouses’ actual and potential earnings. Naturally, the law makes allowances for the children’s needs, especially during tender years, so courts will not expect a custodial parent of young children to work immediately after a dissolution. Our attorneys recognize the tension between the desire to be self-supporting and the duties of child-rearing. We advocate reliably for your best interests so you can obtain the most appropriate alimony order possible.
Although we are not tax attorney’s we will guide you through the tax consequences of alimony payments, which are tax deductible to the payer and must be declared as taxable income by the payee. The divorce attorneys at Stevens, Littman, Biddison, Tharp & Weinberg consider these factors when negotiating or litigating your best spousal support solution.
When difficult questions arise in Colorado alimony disputes or calculations, Stevens, Littman, Biddison, Tharp & Weinberg, LLC are here to provide reliable, compassionate care in even the most complex situations. With more than three decades of legal practice on the Front Range and Western Slope, we’re ready to serve families throughout Colorado from our offices in Boulder and Vail.
Marital Agreements, Prenupital Agreements, and Postnupital Agreements
A marital agreement — whether a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement — may not be the most romantic aspect of your wedding plan. But for many couples, regardless of wealth or assets, that contract provides essential protection against an unfortunate outcome. These agreements address property and financial issues upon the dissolution of the marriage or legal separation. For more than 35 years, the attorneys at Stevens, Littman, Biddison, Tharp & Weinberg, LLC have negotiated, drafted, and litigated marital agreements for clients throughout Colorado. If you have concerns about asset protection, a valid agreement can secure your wealth against future marital problems.
What makes an enforceable marital agreement in Colorado?
Our divorce attorneys are experienced with marital agreements and know what’s required — and forbidden — in preparing and litigating these agreements. Although many rules of standard contract law apply in divorce law situations, there are special exceptions with prenups and postnups that must be considered, such as:
All marital agreements must be written, not oral agreements.
No consideration is required, meaning that nothing of value needs to be exchanged between the parties.
Both spouses must make fair and reasonable disclosure of assets, debts, property and financial obligations.
The parties must voluntarily enter into the agreement.
Both parties should have access to legal representation; if one does not, a proper notice of waiver of legal rights must be included in the written agreement.
The agreement, particularly with regard to alimony, must be fair and reasonable at the time of separation, not just at the time the agreement is prepared.
Our divorce law attorneys have both the skill and experience to draft solid marital agreements that satisfy couples and safeguard their assets.
What Colorado marital agreements contain
Marital agreements drafted in Colorado address the following issues:
Division of property, assets, and debts at divorce or death
Rights and obligations under wills, insurance policies, retirement plans, and the like
Alimony and spousal maintenance
To ensure that your assets and rights are protected in a prenup or postnup, your marital agreement should be carefully considered and handled by a skilled divorce attorney.
Division of marital assets in Colorado divorces
Colorado law distinguishes between separate property and the marital estate. A marital agreement designates which assets belong to the estate and which remain separate, individual property, off limits from any claim by the other spouse. In addition, the agreement should stipulate which state’s law a court must apply in a divorce. That stipulation ensures that even if you move to a community property state, the court must apply Colorado’s equitable distribution law in your property dispute. Our knowledgeable attorneys have the experience to advise you on the most beneficial terms to incorporate into your prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.
Marital agreements are being used more frequently to ensure that spouses have a clear understanding of rights and obligations in the unfortunate occurrence of a divorce or separation. For more than three decades, clients have put their trust in the legal team at Stevens, Littman, Biddison, Tharp & Weinberg, LLC to provide reliable, compassionate care in complex divorce law situations such as preparing or disputing a marital agreement.
The argument with your spouse escalated into a screaming match. One of your neighbors called 911. The police came and now you’re under arrest for domestic violence – in the back of a police car, on the way to jail. Your spouse and kids are back at home alone. You’re very much in shock.What happens now?
You will probably stay in jail until the bond hearing, where bond will be set and the Judge will advise you of the terms and conditions of your bond. Hopefully you are able to make bond. You will be prohibited from communicating with your spouse, and probably your kids, by any means – no phone calls; no text messages; no Facebook posts, etc. You will be excluded from your home – all part of a mandatory restraining order. Under the best case scenario, it will be weeks before you can go home or communicate with your spouse and kids. You need to make arrangements to stay with a friend or family member. You need someone to retrieve some of your clothes and personal belongings. You definitely need an attorney. These are very challenging cases with a myriad of potential direct and collateral consequences. Don’t wait. Don’t try to handle this one on your own. Call or email us. We can help you.
Marital Property Division in Divorce
One of the biggest challenges of the divorce process is dividing the assets, property and debts of the former couple. In Colorado, where divorce is known as “dissolution of marriage,” this division is equitable, meaning a court will attempt to divide the marital property so that the results are fair to both parties. At the firm of Stevens, Littman, Biddison, Tharp & Weinberg, LLC, we help divorce clients achieve the optimal results in their divorce case. We have experience representing clients in even the most complicated and high-profile divorces where the valuation and division of business assets are at issue.
Understanding marital property under Colorado law
Equitable division starts with the presumption that the property will be divided fairly. That presumption, however, brings up a host of issues. First, it must be determined what is being split. Only “marital property” counts. Each party gets to keep their own “separate property.” Separate property is usually property acquired by either party before the marriage. Property that is inherited or received as a gift is also considered separate property. A valid agreement such as a prenuptial agreement can also designate property as separate. Our Colorado divorce attorneys work closely with you to help you prove that a piece of property is separate or marital if one results in a better outcome for you.
Determining the value of property during your divorce
Once it has been determined which assets are marital property, a court must know how much each asset is worth. While most homes, cars and jewelry can be appraised easily, many divorces involve the valuation of more complicated assets, including:
Real estate investments
Our attorneys work with financial experts and actuaries to determine the value of these assets. Additionally, we work to help you determine the value of any businesses, professional practices or debts that are considered marital property under Colorado law.
Ensuring equitable division is also fair
Once we have shown a court which property is marital property and demonstrated the value of that property, we work to help the court divide that property fairly. Equitable division requires the court to consider a variety of factors, including:
The economic situation of each spouse
The division of custody in marriages with children
The contributions each spouse made to increase marital property
Contributions to the family as a homemaker
The value of separate property
While the court will consider many factors, it will not consider either party’s fault in causing the marriage to fail. Our attorneys fight to ensure that you receive your fair share of the marital property.
Contact us – we have the experience to help you through your divorce
At Stevens, Littman, Biddison, Tharp & Weinberg, L.L.C., our attorneys have the experience to discreetly and resolutely handle the property division associated with your divorce case. We work to help you keep the property that is yours after your marriage ends. To schedule a consultation with a Boulder divorce attorney, call us at 303.443.6690 or contact us online.