Legal disputes, like divorce and child custody, do not have to be nasty, expensive, or overwhelming. Using an impartial and trained mediator can be a smart way to find agreements in even the most contentious cases. Most mediations are conducted via Zoom, which allows me to work with each party one-on-one or everyone together depending on what works best in your case.
Mediation can be an efficient and low-conflict option for resolving disputes. Mediation is favored by the courts and is often mandated before a trial will be held. We want the end result to be a written agreement that you participated in creating and that resolves your dispute.
As a trial attorney I know that taking any case to court can be expensive, stressful, and the outcome uncertain. In the end the parties to the conflict will feel even more animosity towards one another. As an impartial mediator working with both parties to your dispute I can help you find sensible solutions as an alternative to going to court.
Common types of cases resolved in mediation include:
Family Law: divorce, including property division, spousal support, parenting time, and child support
Real Estate: partition, boundary disputes, rights to escrow, buy-sell contract issues, and suits to quiet title
Construction: liens, contracts, performance and defective workmanship issues
Personal Injury: premises liability and motor vehicle collisions
Business: contract disputes, business divorce, and joint-venture dissolutions
Mediated Divorce - A smarter way to divorce. Often couples facing divorce desire a lower cost and lower conflict alternative to litigation, but with so much at stake they need help navigating the process. As an attorney-mediator I work as a neutral with both parties to help you find agreeable terms of your divorce and to document your agreements. This process is entirely confidential.
Typical issues addressed in a mediated divorce include:
allocation of parental responsibilities: decision making, parenting time schedules and child support
characterizing property as marital or separate and how best to value marital interests
fairly dividing your marital property, including realty, debt, business interests, and retirement accounts
addressing spousal maintenance
documenting your agreement
Contact me for more information about mediating your dispute. Hablo español.
As an experienced family law attorney I can help you navigate your divorce or child custody case so you are making informed decisions and are prepared for mediation or trial. No case is too big or too small. I have represented parties with millions of dollars in assets and others with only marital debt.
Divorce or Dissolution of Marriage
One of the first steps in a divorce case is for each party to make certain financial disclosures so we can identify and value the marital property that will ultimately be divided.
The court "shall divide the marital property, without regard to marital misconduct, in such proportions as the court deems just after considering all relevant factors". C.R.S. § 14-10-113(1).
In many cases all or a majority of issues can be negotiated and settled without the need for a trial, however, when that is not possible I will be your advocate in the courtroom.
Allocation of Parental Responsibilities
"The court shall determine the allocation of parental responsibilities, including parenting time and decision-making responsibilities, in accordance with the best interests of the child". C.R.S. § 14-10-124(1.5). Quite often divorcing parents have very different opinions over what a parenting time schedule should look like. If an agreement cannot be worked out I will help you present your best case in court.
Modification of Parenting Time
"The court may make or modify an order granting or denying parenting time rights whenever such order or modification would serve the best interests of the child." C.R.S. § 14-10-129(1)(a)(I). Parenting time schedules often change as the children age and as circumstances change. There are specific statutory factors the court will consider when determining what kind of parenting time with each parent would be in the best interests of the child. In some cases a custody evaluation is appropriate and the court will appoint a professional to make recommendations as to parenting time and other matters.
A determination of child support will be made in every case involving a minor child. Colorado has a presumptive guideline amount for child support, however, the true gross income for each party is often in dispute. Gross income and the number of overnights spent with the child are two critical factors that will determine the amount of support to be paid. Only under limited circumstances will the court deviate from the presumptive guideline amount for child support.
Child support can later be modified if it can be shown that there are changed circumstances that are substantial and continuing. The changed circumstances must result in at least a ten percent change in the amount of support due per month.
Maintenance, sometimes called alimony, may be ordered to be paid from one spouse to another when certain statutory factors support such an award. Colorado has a statutory guideline amount and term for maintenance, however, judges have the discretion to determine the award of maintenance that is fair and equitable to both parties based on the totality of circumstances.
Relocation of Minor Child
A parent wishing to relocate with a minor child to a residence that substantially changes the geographical ties between the child and the other party must first file a motion to relocate the minor child, which will be set for a hearing. Both parents will have the opportunity to present evidence why the proposed relocation is or is not in the best interests of the child.
Premarital and Marital Agreements
Colorado has adopted the Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act, which allows individuals about to marry or spouses already married to enter into a contractual agreement that modifies the rights that the parties would otherwise have in the event of divorce. Often times parties desire to have such an agreement addressing how certain property either brought into the marriage or about to be acquired will be handled in the event of a divorce. Spousal maintenance in the event of a divorce can also be addressed and even waived in a premarital or marital agreement, subject to court approval. These agreements will only be enforceable if specific statutory factors are followed in their drafting and execution.
Parties contemplating a divorce but who want to handle the process without contentious litigation may want to consider a collaborative divorce. This requires the parties and their collaboratively trained attorneys to agree they will work together to resolve all issues without going to court. Both parties have to agree to this transparent and cooperative approach and each will hire their own collaborative law trained attorney, such as myself. We will work with other collaboratively trained professionals as necessary addressing your issues together in order to arrive at an enforceable agreement of property division, a parenting plan, and spousal and child support with minimal court intervention. Contact me with any questions or for referrals to other collaboratively trained professionals.
Family law is an important part of my law and mediation practice. If you are contemplating divorce or already in the process or have child custody issues give me a call to discuss your options.
General Civil Law Matters
Contract Disputes and Drafting
Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Claims
Insurance Claims and Unfair Adjusting Practices
Contact Drew S. Richman || Attorney & Mediator
Serving the Four Corners Region / Mediations Statewide
P.O. Box 424, Mancos, CO 81328