Going through a divorce as a mom can be scary. Your number one priority is doing what is right for your child, but you also want to make sure you have financial security as you move forward with your life. Here is some information that may help you understand where you stand as a mother going through a divorce based on Colorado family law.
1. You Get Immediate Protection
Worried about your husband spending away marital assets or mistreating you while the divorce is in progress? When a divorce is filed in Colorado, it comes with an automatic temporary injunction. This is designed to prevent either spouse from wasting marital assets, disturbing the other spouse, removing the child from the state or cancelling insurance coverage. In cases involving threats or abuse, an additional domestic violence protection order may be necessary.
2. You Are Not Guaranteed Child Custody
There is a myth that mothers are favored in child custody matters. The truth is that Colorado law favors only one party when child custody is concerned, and that is the child. Arrangements are based on the child’s best interest. Usually, that means frequent and consistent contact with both parents. However, this may be based on the current relationship each parent has with the child. So if you, as the mother, are doing most of the work (taking your child to school, helping with homework, attending extracurricular activities), while the father remains uninvolved, that could be a factor that impacts child custody arrangements and leads to you having the larger share of parenting time. More and more, however, Colorado courts are favoring 50/50 parenting time arrangements.
3. You Could Get More Than 50 Percent Of The Marital Property
Colorado is an equitable property division state. Marital property is to be divided in a manner that is fair, but not necessarily equal. While some situations may call for a 50-50 division of property, others may call for the balance to be shifted. For example, if you were a stay-at-home mom, it may be fair for you to get more than half of the property.
4. You Could Get Alimony, But It Is Rarely Permanent
Spousal maintenance is the term for alimony in Colorado. Temporary spousal maintenance may be ordered while the divorce is in progress. Spousal maintenance may also be awarded to continue for a limited time following the divorce or even on a more permanent basis, although that is rare. More and more, courts see spousal support as a form of temporary assistance paid to one spouse while that spouse seeks employment. It is based on a variety of factors, including the length of the marriage.
5. Child Support Is Based On A Formula
In Colorado, child support is not as mysterious as some believe. It is based on a formula that takes into account a few financial factors, including the income of both the mother and father, child care expenses and health insurance expenses, combined with the time each parent cares for the children. Ultimately, it is the child’s right, not the right of either party. The key to fairness is making certain that the numbers used are accurate and all relevant expenses are included. For example, if your husband is getting income from a day job and a side-business, all of that income may be included. If he receives benefits from employment that substantially reduce his living expenses, that too may be considered income. All too often income is overlooked, when it should be passed on to the child.
An Experienced Lawyer Can Help
An experienced attorney can educate you about Colorado family law and how it relates to mothers going through a divorce. Your attorney can stand up for your needs, help you preserve your relationship with your child and position you for financial well-being.