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How are debts divided in a divorce?

There are many things to consider when ending a marriage, especially with regard to finances. While the issue of property division and assets is often discussed when it comes to divorce, the division of debts is just as important a topic. Determining who is responsible for debts is a key consideration for many Colorado couples parting ways.

Legal responsibility for debt can be determined by many factors. For example, the individual whose name is on the loan paper is a key consideration. So, too, is the date that the debt was taken out; specifically, if it was before or after the marriage. Finally, the intermingling of finances (or lack thereof) within the marriage can play a role in the legal designation; for example, whether the spouse was a co-signer or if it was a fully independent debt.

Will the COVID-19 response impact criminal defense and trials?

In Colorado and across the United States, events are being postponed in the wake of the coronavirus response. But, what does that mean for upcoming court dates in the state? According to Colorado's top judge, almost all jury trials will be moved to April. This change may impact the criminal defense process for individuals in the state.

The constitutional right to a speedy trial in criminal cases is a key consideration when choosing to delay court trials. Due to this constitutional right, trials with a nearby deadline will proceed despite the moving of other court dates. For all other jury trials, dates have been moved to at least April 3.

Lawmakers consider many bills related to criminal defense system

For the second year in a row, Colorado lawmakers are discussing multiple bills aimed at criminal justice reform. The bills, if passed, could have significant implications on issues of criminal defense and sentencing in the state. The bills target justice-related issues that are prominent in the state, such as prison population and pretrial standards.

Currently, there is a bill awaiting the governer's signature that already makes several changes. One of these is blocking other states from sending inmates to Colorado without the governer's explicit approval. Another changes the charge for those who leave a halfway house without permission, making the offense on par with not returning on time rather than on par with escaping a prison, as was previously the case.

How can one make a divorce more amicable?

It's no secret that when a couple parting ways can work things out in a civil, amicable way, ending a marriage can be substantially less stressful and expensive. But how can Colorado couples pursuing a divorce help their breakup become more amicable? While an amicable divorce is certainly dependent on both parties' willingness to get along, there are some ways individuals can create a better environment for a peaceful split.

Keeping conversations focused on the future is one way that experts suggest maintaining an amicable divorce. Actively avoiding topics that are emotionally charged, such as the reason for the breakup or past hurts, can make it difficult to come to a resolution moving forward. Trusting the process and trusting those helping with the divorce, such as the attorney, can help keep one focused on the future and make sure anger and hurt does not seep into important decisions.

Managing health and wellness during a divorce

Stress can cause major issues with health, and few things bring more stress than ending a major relationship or marriage. Even in an amicable divorce, but especially in a contentious one, people will experience heightened stress levels on days leading up to meditations, financial planning meetings, custodial handoffs, and any other new and uncomfortable obligation. Here are some ways Colorado residents can manage their health during this stressful time.

Divorce can take a lot of time, energy, and mental resources. Those who had a busy career or many obligations before the split may find themselves unable to maintain their lives without help. Knowing how to ask for help, and being able to stay present in the moment so fears and stress do not sabotage other important aspects of life are important.

State hotline increases neglect and child abuse reports

In 2015, the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) set up a Child Abuse hotline. The hotline, which is monitored 24 hours a day, every day, has seen an estimated 31 percent increase in calls since its launch. According to the department, over a million calls have been made through the hotline reporting neglect or child abuse over the past five years.

The department shared that reports taken from the hotline have incited investigations into the well-bring of 274,193 children. Welfare officials cite the phone number as an important tool for those looking to report concerns. The phone number is open to anyone in the state, and its goal is to make it easier for people who are not mandatory reporters to share concerns with officials.

How will Colorado's Red Flag law impact domestic violence cases?

Recently, Colorado passed a new law known as a Red Flag law. Under this law, a family member or law enforcement officers can petition for an individual to be stripped of their firearms if they are ruled by a judge to be a threat. Here is how this works and how it may impact those involved in future domestic violence cases.

For the Red Flag law to be applied to a case, an individual with a particular relationship to the individual must file for an extreme risk protection order. This may include people related by blood, marriage, domestic partnership or adoption. Legal guardians, former partners or those who have recently resided with the individual can also apply. Finally, law enforcement officers may apply for these orders.

Keeping emotions in check can result in better divorce agreement

It is common for emotions to run high when a marriage is ending. Animosity and hostility are common feelings that accompany Colorado divorces, and it can be difficult to leave those feelings behind when working out the details of property division, child custody and other hot-button issues. However, there are a few very good reasons to avoid confrontational behavior or snide remarks during the course of a divorce.

Trying to remain amicable, or at least to act as collaboratively as possible, can reduce stress in a divorce. This is especially important when co-parenting is a factor. But, the benefits of treating the other party respectfully in a divorce can go beyond simple peace of mind. 

Increase in need for drunk driving defense may follow crackdown

What do New Years, St. Patrick's Day and Super Bowl weekend have in common? On these dates and several others throughout the year, Colorado police increase their presence on roads throughout the state. The initiative, known as Heat Is On, has led to hundreds of DUI arrests and an increase in the need for drunk driving defense during holidays and special events.

According to reports, 348 people were arrested due to Heat Is On activity in the days around New Years. The year prior, 334 were arrested during the same time period. The initiative extends to game days, holidays and select periods during summer break, when police say they double down on their patrolling in an effort to arrest those driving under the influence.

Primer on parenting time terminology

The traditional structure of legal and physical child custody exists in our state, but parents going through these legal processes may not always hear these terms when they do their research. This post provides a brief review of the terms and concepts that parties may encounter when they litigate and negotiate traditional child custody matters in the state, but no part of this post should be used by readers are legal advice.

Here, child custody matters are referred to parental responsibilities. Parenting post-divorce or separation is critical to providing a child with what they need to maintain a peaceful and consistent life. There are two components of parental responsibilities, and those are legal and physical responsibilities.

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Law Office of Lori Crystal, LLC

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Castle Rock, CO 80109

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