FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. How much does a divorce cost?
Like most family law attorneys, I charge a retainer fee which is based upon my hourly rate multiplied by the minimum number of hours which I anticipate will be required to resolve the issues in your case. Depending upon the complexity of the case, I will either quote you a retainer fee over the telephone or after an initial consulation in my office. Unlike many family law attorneys, I am acutely aware of the increasing litigation costs in domestic relations cases and I make every possible attempt to be cost-effective in my representation of the client.
2. Do you charge for an initial consultation?
When a potential new client calls my office, I am happy to discuss the case for a reasonable amount of time on the telephone and there is no charge for this consultation. For office consultations, I do a reduced rate consultation for the first appointment in the very common situation wherein a client is considering the filing of a dissolution or custody case but is currently seeking to interview an attorney and obtain information about the proceeding.
3. How long does it take to get a divorce?
In Colorado, it takes a minimum of ninety-one days after service of the Divorce Petition for the Court to have jurisdiction to enter the Decree of Dissolution of Marriage. As a practical matter, the time period between filing the Petition and finalizing the divorce varies considerably based upon whether the case is resolved through settlement negotiations or by a contested hearing. Additionally, the county in which your case is filed will often be a factor in how quickly or slowly the case progresses.
4. Do you represent primarily women or men?
My domestic relations practice has a good balance of male and female clients. I believe it is essential for the domestic relations practitioner to appreciate and understand the different needs of women and men in family law disputes. By way of example, in the early stages of a dissolution action, many women are particularly worried about their future financial security, while many men are fearful that they will be unable to obtain a satisfactory parenting time schedule with the children. A domestic relations attorney needs to recognize the validity of these concerns and the particular needs of both spouses in family law cases.
5. If I move out of the house, will it be considered "abandonment?"
No. Although many people are under the false impression that a divorcing spouse can be deemed to have abandoned the marital residence, there is no such concept in Colorado law. Naturally, the critical question of whether a party should move out of the house depends upon the unique facts of the case. Generally speaking, if you wish to separate from your spouse and you're hoping to remain in the marital residence, you should not move out as it will be that much harder to obtain an order removing the other party from the house and allowing you to move back in. If there is domestic violence, you should immediately seek a civil protection order to remove the other party from the residence and to further prohibit contact between you and your abusive spouse.
6. What if my spouse has been in control of our family's finances and I don't have all of the information about our incomes, assets and debts?
In many if not most marriages, one party has a greater knowledge of the parties' financial portfolio, including information about the parties' incomes, taxes, assets and debts. Upon the filing of a dissolution action, the parties must promptly comply with Colorado law which requires the parties to exchange mandatory financial disclosures. If the financial disclosures are not sufficient to determine all aspects of the parties' financial situations, either party's counsel may submit additional Interrogatories and/or a Request for Production of Documents. Either party's counsel may also elect to take depositions to obtain sworn testimony about financial (or parenting) issues in advance of trial. The important thing to remember is that it is your attorney's job to obtain this financial information as a part of your dissolution action.
7. Can I hire you to help me prepare and review documents to keep the costs down?
In some cases, I will assist a client by providing "unbundled legal services" which include, but are not limited to, preparing and reviewing documents and guiding the client through a divorce or child custody (parental responsibilities) case without entering my appearance as their attorney of record. I can provide this service at a reduced retainer fee and a reduced hourly rate. My ability to offer this service is on a case-by-case basis since the facts and circumstances of the parties and the case will determine whether it is an appropriate case for this form of limited legal representation.
8. Can you represent both parties in the case?
No. I cannot represent both parties in a divorce or child custody proceeding. That said, I have handled numerous cases in which the parties desire an amicable settlement and I am representing one party while actively and cooperatively working with both parties toward resolving all pending issues
NOTE: This website and FAQ's page is not designed to offer specific legal advice about your case. For legal advice regarding your case, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.