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Fort Collins Divorce Lawyer

Our Divorce Lawyer at The Cossitt Law Firm Will Protect Your Interests

No one goes into a marriage expecting it to end in divorce. Yet, people’s feelings of love and their mutual interests change over time. If your and your spouse’s goals and lives no longer line up as they once did, you may have irreconcilable differences, making divorce an option worth considering.

Our Fort Collins divorce lawyer can walk you through the divorce process. Count on our team at The Cossitt Law Firm to give you the peace of mind you deserve. Be confident when you hire us that your case will move forward with your best interests at heart at all times.

We Understand the Emotions Involved in Divorce

No matter how you and your spouse ended up facing a divorce, it is an emotional situation. You may feel sure about your original decision to divorce, but once negotiations begin, some long-held emotions can move to the forefront.

Some people believe hiring a divorce attorney in Fort Collins to represent them in their proceedings will ratchet up the animosity in a divorce. In reality, the opposite often occurs, especially when you work with our team at The Cossitt Law Firm. We do not have any emotional history with your spouse, so our presence during negotiations and our professional approach can help diffuse some of the emotions.

Our Divorce Attorney Will Keep You Informed

Divorce can be challenging to navigate when you don’t have a clear understanding of the law or of the processes involved. Divorce can be especially difficult if you have children to consider.

When you choose to hire us, we will keep you informed of all aspects of your case. We will be available to answer questions and to discuss strategy. Our attorney will provide you with legal guidance and explain what is happening throughout the proceedings, but the final decision on how to move forward always belongs to you.

To schedule a meeting, contact our experienced Fort Collins divorce lawyer at The Cossitt Law Firm as soon as possible at 970-488-1887.

Count on Our Divorce Attorney in Fort Collins to Explain the Process

We understand that getting a divorce can seem overwhelming. However, when you work with our team, you will find our divorce lawyer to be a compassionate guide each step of the way. We keep you informed, and we will ensure you know all options available to you in advance of your making any decisions about your divorce. Before you begin the process, it helps to have an understanding of some basic rules about divorce in Colorado.

Here are a few concepts regarding Colorado’s divorce rules:

  • No fault: Colorado is a “no fault” state, which means the court assigns no blame for the cause of the divorce.
  • One party can file: Divorce proceedings can move forward even if only one party wants the divorce.
  • Establishing residence: One of the parties must have residence in Colorado for at least 90 days before filing for divorce.
  • Common law divorce: Colorado recognizes common law marriage, and common law divorces proceed the same as any other divorce.

What Divorce Proceedings in Colorado Will Address

As you go through the process of filing for divorce in Colorado, the final agreement between you and your spouse will address a number of issues, including:

  • Spousal support, more commonly known as alimony
  • Child custody
  • Child support
  • Child visitation
  • Equitable division of property, including pets.

We will work toward an agreement through direct negotiations with your spouse and his or her legal representative. If some of these issues are unresolvable, a court hearing will determine the outcome. Our divorce attorney is an experienced litigator, so you can count on us to skillfully represent your interests in this hearing.

How Our Divorce Lawyer in Fort Collins Can Help You

Through our focus on divorce and related topics, we understand family law in Colorado thoroughly. We do not spend time on other types of legal cases, which gives us the ability to provide full attention to your family law needs and situation.

During our work with clients, certain questions regarding divorce tend to come up frequently. The following are some of the most common.

Many divorces cases settle without trial. We will start by using mediation and negotiations to try to settle your divorce or custody case. However, if you and your spouse cannot agree, our divorce attorney in Fort Collins will vigorously represent your interests at trial.

Pre-divorce planning is about making wise decisions. It can assist you in identifying all the potential issues you may encounter when going through the divorce process. Our Fort Collins divorce lawyer can help you position yourself for a favorable resolution.

The earliest a Colorado court could issue the divorce decree is 91 days after the filing of the petition. However, it can take longer than 91 days. If there is a need for expert valuations and reports, your divorce may take several months or longer.

Uncontested divorce generally means the parties believe they will be able to easily agree on all issues. Even in a case like this, our divorce attorney can help by ensuring that all agreements and documents meet the legal requirements. If there is a disagreement in the future and things fall apart, you will have a properly drafted separation agreement to rely on.

Both parties must complete financial disclosures in every divorce case. Usually, this must occur within the first 45 days after the filing of the petition. By exchanging mandatory financial disclosures, each party will be on a level playing field as it relates to financial decisions in the divorce.

Marriage is a legal status that delivers certain benefits. For example, health insurance through an employer is often available to the employee and his or her spouse. Both a legal separation and a divorce follow the same procedure. At the end of a legal separation, though, the status of marriage continues with some limitations. If you believe a legal separation may be the best choice for you and your spouse, ask our divorce lawyer in Fort Collins what steps this will involve for you.

While you do not have to hire an attorney for your divorce, the complexities of filing, attending court appearances, meeting deadlines, and negotiating with your soon-to-be-ex can become overwhelming. An attorney will represent your best interests, uphold legal standards, and ensure your divorce goes as smoothly as possible.

Most people must be a resident of Colorado for a minimum of 91 days before filing for a divorce in the state. However, under limited circumstances, you may be able to file earlier. Speak with our divorce lawyer if you have concerns about this issue.

A no-fault divorce means that no one is to blame for the divorce. The court will make any property division decisions or awards of alimony without considering marital misconduct. In Colorado, to have a legitimate reason for filing for divorce, the parties must only claim irreconcilable differences.

Yes, you can still file and proceed with a divorce. Using a process known as publication, the serving of the divorce papers can occur even when the person’s location remains a mystery. When it’s time for the judge to decide your case, the court can proceed without the other party present, through a default divorce judgment. Contact our divorce lawyer in Fort Collins for more information on this complex situation.

While some parties can come to an agreement regarding issues early in a divorce case, disagreements could pop up down the road. Having only a simple agreement in place may lack important details to handle these disagreements. Working with a divorce attorney to create legal agreements can prevent problems down the road. Our parenting plans and separation agreements will fit your case's specific needs. Having an attorney while going through a divorce or child custody case likely will save you money and headaches in the long run.

Dividing business interests in a divorce potentially introduces significant complexity to the case. If you are a business owner going through divorce, it is important to determine whether a marital, premarital, or separate interest exists. We are ready to help when business owners are facing a divorce.

The majority of our divorce cases settle through direct negotiations with the other side. When agreements aren’t possible, a judge will decide any remaining issues. If the case goes before a judge, our skilled trial attorneys will present your position on every factor that could influence the outcome of your divorce. We will be zealous in our representation of your interests.

What Happens If You Don’t Want to Get a Divorce?

As mentioned earlier, one spouse in Colorado can file for divorce without the consent or agreement of the other spouse. Unfortunately, if you don’t want a divorce, but your spouse does, there’s little you can do to stop the process.

Some people faced with a spouse who wants a divorce may try to ignore the reality that is soon to shape their lives. They hope that if they don’t respond, the divorce simply won’t happen.

This is not the case. The divorce can proceed with or without your consent, response, or presence. Your best option is to take action early and contact a divorce lawyer in Fort Collins to prepare to defend your rights. If you simply ignore the situation, you will lose opportunity for our attorney to represent your interests in negotiation or even in court. This approach may mean you will not receive a favorable outcome. There is no need to fear what comes next. We have experience with the process. Our divorce attorney will explain to you what happens when your spouse files for divorce first and what options are before you.

How to Handle Receiving Divorce Papers

You Have 21 Days to Respond When Served with Divorce Papers

When to Respond:

If your spouse serves you with divorce papers, understand that Colorado state law gives you only 21 days to respond if you live in the state. This is not something you should put off or ignore. If you do not respond in time, the court will assume you agree with your spouse’s requests and will rule in your spouse’s favor on everything.

Where to File: 

According to the Colorado Judicial Branch, you will need to file your response forms with the court where your spouse filed for divorce. You may need to pay a filing fee to complete the process. These forms can be confusing, particularly if your impending divorce was unexpected. Hiring the team at The Cossitt Law Firm means your paperwork will meet all legal requirements. We will ensure that you meet all deadlines in your case as well.

Why You Should Hire Our Divorce Attorney in Fort Collins

Going through divorce proceedings may be one of the most difficult things you have to tackle in your life. This situation may change your life dramatically. With so much at stake, you need to be proactive to protect your interests. Starting over after a divorce is hard enough. If you have to overcome a significantly unfair divorce judgment against you, it is much more difficult.

Working with our divorce attorney in Larimer County can help you avoid this situation. While you focus on reorienting your life without your spouse, let us focus on helping you achieve the fairest possible settlement. Call The Cossitt Law Firm to discuss your situation at 970-488-1887 today.

How Alimony Is Determined in a Divorce in Colorado

An aspect of divorce that can heighten emotions arises when it is time to determine alimony payments. Alimony, or spousal support, is a regular payment that one spouse makes to the other spouse after a divorce. This payment helps the spouse come closer to maintaining the quality of life he or she had before the divorce.

Conflict can happen if you and your spouse don’t agree on what is a reasonable alimony amount. The spouse making the alimony payment may believe the amount is too large. The spouse receiving the payment may believe it is not enough. If you had disagreements regarding money during your marriage, they may come back to the forefront during alimony negotiations.

Our divorce lawyer knows how stressful this aspect of divorce settlement negotiations can be. We will treat the process of determining spousal support payments with the respect it deserves, all while working hard to obtain the most favorable possible judgment for you.

Ordering Alimony Payments

The court will look at several factors when it determines whether it will award an alimony payment, including:

  • Financial resources of each spouse
  • Earning potential of each spouse
  • Contributions each spouse made to the marriage
  • Contributions each spouse made to the other spouse’s career
  • Whether one spouse needs education or training to rejoin the workforce
  • Standard of living the couple had in marriage.

When one spouse will not have the financial ability to support his or her reasonable needs after the divorce, that spouse is more likely to receive an alimony payment. A spouse who quit working to stay home and care for children or for an elderly parent also is more likely to receive alimony.

It’s important to know that the determination of the amount of spousal support and of child support payments are independent of each other. If you are ordered to make alimony payments to your ex-spouse, this money is separate from child support payments you may also owe. It’s in your best interest to work with an experienced divorce attorney, because the financial implications of your divorce can be substantial. You could end up making both a spousal support payment and a child support payment each month after your divorce.

If you are in the position of receiving payments, it is equally important to have a seasoned divorce lawyer. You will need an advocate who knows how to fight for the support you need.

Our Divorce Lawyer Will Help with Alimony Negotiations

Before your divorce case goes to a judge, we will negotiate with your spouse’s attorney to determine whether an alimony payment should occur. We also will try to negotiate a fair amount of payment and the length of time the payment will continue.

Our divorce lawyer in Fort Collins will look at any special circumstances in your case that may lead to a more favorable alimony judgment. If you believe your spouse did not properly complete financial disclosure paperwork, for example, we can demand accuracy. Without accurate paperwork, the judge will not be able to make a proper alimony calculation.

Whether you will be receiving alimony or will be paying alimony, you can trust our alimony lawyers to fight for the best financial judgment for you.

Complications When Your Divorce Involves Children

Our Experienced Fort Collins Divorce Lawyer Will Explain Legal Options Relating to Your Children

In a divorce, both spouses will want what’s best for their children, but they may disagree on how to achieve that result. Our divorce attorney will guide you through each element of your divorce that relates to your children. Depending upon your situation, these may make your divorce more complex. A complicated divorce calls for a skilled, experienced attorney who can advocate on your behalf in negotiations. We can help you get the best outcome possible, one that protects not only your interests but those of your children, too.

If you have children, some of the items that need to be determined in the divorce process include:

  • Child custody
  • Child support
  • Visitation rights
  • Rights of stepparents
  • Rights of grandparents.

Count on our child custody lawyers to help you understand all your options and how Colorado law applies to your divorce and custody proceedings. For example, the Colorado Judicial Branch says grandparents have the ability to seek visitation rights from the court. This is not the case in some other states.

Should your case involve some further complexities, such as your spouse planning to leave the state or if you believe your spouse is placing your children in danger, then our divorce lawyer in Fort Collins is ready to help. We do not shy away from tough divorce and custody cases. We rise to the occasion because we have the experience to know what needs to be done to ensure that your children are safe and that their interests are well considered and protected in custody and visitation agreements.

Our Fort Collins Divorce Lawyer Will Give Your Case the Attention It Deserves

When you hire us, you can be certain we will take the time to understand exactly what you want to see happen with issues related to your children. Every case has unique circumstances, and, through our meetings and discussions with you, we will learn about your circumstances. This knowledge gives us the ability to effectively represent your interests. What worked in one of our past child custody decisions in a divorce may not work in your case.

Our divorce lawyer always tailors our legal representation to meet your needs and particular situation.

How Domestic Violence Allegations Affect a Divorce

If accusations of domestic violence are part of your divorce proceedings in Larimer County, the intensity and emotion of the situation will increase significantly. Whether you are the victim of domestic violence from your soon-to-be-ex spouse or you are facing allegations of abuse, our divorce attorney in Fort Collins is ready to represent you.

Even if no police reports regarding domestic violence allegations existed before your divorce proceedings began, the allegations may still play a role in your divorce negotiations. The court will pay close attention to such cases and takes seriously any allegations of domestic violence. You should take them seriously, too.

Obtaining Protection Orders During a Divorce

If you are the victim of domestic violence during your marriage, your first step when you seek a divorce may be to obtain a protection order. We can help you in this process, particularly if you face an urgent need for protection when violence is a very real threat to you, your children or both.  

When an abused spouse notifies an abuser that they want to leave, the likelihood of heightened violence increases. You should seek legal representation before you tell your spouse you want a divorce.

Our domestic violence lawyers can help you determine the best way to move forward with your divorce after obtaining a protection order. We can help you connect with Colorado’s domestic violence programs, too. Understand that domestic violence allegations against your spouse will not affect the amount of alimony you could receive, but they can impact the court’s child custody decisions. The court will protect the interests and safety of your children above all else.

Countering Untrue Domestic Violence Allegations

If you find out that your spouse has included allegations of domestic violence against you in the serving of divorce papers, it may catch you off guard. You may not believe that your behavior at any point in the marriage rose to the level of domestic violence.

You may believe your spouse is exaggerating this claim to try to harm your chances of receiving a favorable child custody result. This is a real concern. You also may find your visitation rights will be in jeopardy because of these allegations.

Count on our team of divorce lawyers to leave no stone unturned as we study the facts in the case to determine exactly what happened in your marriage. If you are innocent of these allegations, we will fight hard to show this to the court. We know emotions will run high regarding these allegations, and we will work to keep everyone involved focused on reaching an outcome in a respectful, constructive manner. Count on our divorce attorney to maintain a professional demeanor while protecting your interests.

Our Fort Collins Divorce Lawyer Will Help You Navigate the Divorce Proceedings

The process for filing for divorce may seem overwhelming. However, you can trust our experienced team at The Cossitt Law Firm to handle the day-to-day work on your behalf. We will keep you informed every step of the way.

At The Cossitt Law Firm, we know that your divorce case has many facets. We tailor our representation to your individual needs because we understand that all relationships and families are unique.

We know that when you hire us you place your trust in our firm. We do not accept this responsibility lightly. Our Fort Collins divorce lawyer is ready to represent you with the compassion and professionalism you deserve. We will leverage our negotiation skills and experience to your benefit, and, if necessary, we will leverage our experience in court, too. We do not back down from a fight.

Contact us today at 970-488-1887 to schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable divorce attorneys.

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How long will it take for the Court to issue a Decree of Dissolution of Marriage? The earliest a Colorado court could issues the divorce decree is 91 days after the petition was filed. However it can take longer than 91 days, as expert valuations and reports may be needed.

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How can a divorce attorney help with an uncontested divorce? Uncontested divorce generally means the parties have agreed upon all issues, or they believe they will be able to easily agree on all issues. A divorce attorney can help with an uncontested divorce by ensuring everything drafted properly.

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Fort Collins Divorce & Child Support Attorneys

Tom Cossitt

Tom Cossitt, Esq.

Family Law
Suzanne Ewy

Suzanne Ewy, Esq.

Family Law
Carla Jaquess

Carla Jaquess, Esq.

Family Law
Attorney Lisa Vigil

Lisa Vigil, Esq.

Family Law
Jenna Hardesty

Jenna Hardesty, Paralegal

Family Law

Testimonials

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  • "I had a very challenging case, one that could have had indefinite financial consequences. Tom Cossitt evaluated my case and identified several strategies for moving forward. I chose one and Tom developed and implemented that strategy with speed and with the utmost in professionalism. The documents he drafted on my behalf, based on extensive research and case law / precedent were thorough and comprehensive. When the Court ruled, it used the arguments as developed by Tom Cossitt verbatim in its decision, and the case was decided in my favor. Needless to say, I was pleased beyond words. Based on my experience and the outcome of my case, I would highly recommend Tom Cossitt to anyone requiring the services of a family law attorney."

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  • "I met with as many as 10 different attorneys before coming across Thomas. After our initial consultation, I was very pleased with his knowledge and realistic expectations. During the really tough time, Thomas kept me calm and helped tremendously to get custody of my daughter. He kept me informed on what was going on and would ask for my input; if it was something that was unrealistic or could be done a different way, Thomas would tell me right away. During the hearings, he was amazing. He kept a professional attitude and was great at cross examinations. He took in all of the facts and evidence, and was able to present them efficiently and effectively. Ultimately helping me gain custody of my child."

    Mitchell
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The Cossitt Difference: Fort Collins Divorce Attorneys That Care

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