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Wheat Ridge Divorce Law Blog

Custody battle: Jennifer Hudson versus David Otunga

If you file for divorce in a Colorado court and you happen to be a parent, there will be numerous issues that you and your spouse must work out before the judge will issue a final decree. Child-related divorce matters include issues such as custody agreements, visitation schedules and child support. You may encounter challenges regarding one or more of these topics if you and your spouse disagree about how your new parenting plan should work.

Extenuating circumstances can spark contentious court battles. For instance, if you follow celebrity news headlines, you may have read about an ongoing legal dispute between actress/singer Jennifer Hudson and the father of her child, David Otunga. Otunga has requested partial custody; however, he also has asked the court to order Hudson to pay child support.

Navigating the impact of post-divorce issues on children

There is no question you love your children and want what's best for them. Like many Colorado parents, you and your spouse may have disagreed about how to interpret that when you were navigating divorce proceedings. Ending a marriage in court definitely affects children as much, if not more, than the parents involved. You and your ex were hopefully able to execute a fair and agreeable co-parenting plan.

Even after a judge has approved your proposed custody, visitation or child support agreement, any number of issues can arise that create legal complications, which can, in turn, have a negative impact on your children's lives. In general, divorce can be an emotional and stressful process that is difficult for everyone involved. By being a proactive parent, you can closely observe your children's health and take swift action to resolve any divorce-related problem you think may be adversely affecting their well-being.

Tips for co-parenting during summer

It's spring now, which means summer is right around the corner. This means the kids will be out of school. As a newly divorced parent, this could prompt several challenges that you and your co-parent might not have anticipated. Your first post-divorce year is definitely a learning year. You and your kids, as well as your ex, are all adapting to new lifestyles and to a new family dynamic.

Fortunately, you can help yourself make summer break go smoothly. You can apply these tips to other holidays and school vacations too. With your children's best interests in mind and a willingness to cooperate and compromise as needed, you and your co-parent can help your kids build new memories and enjoy family time off school, even if both parents no longer reside under the same roof. If a problem arises, it's a good idea to have a support system in place.

Child custody modification: TV star Bethenny Frankel wants it

If you're one of many Colorado residents who are fans of reality TV shows, you're likely familiar with Bethenny Frankel. If you also happen to be preparing for child custody proceedings, you may want to follow Frankel's case, which has been ongoing for several years now. It seems that she and her ex-husband, Jason Hoppy, have done battle several times in court. However, they still seem to have some unresolved issues, and Frankel has recently petitioned the court for child custody modification.

There's an existing court order in the Frankel/Hoppy case that stipulates a shared custody arrangement. Frankel says her ex is abusive, and she believes her daughter would be better off if the court would change the order to make her the full-time custodial parent. The famous reality TV housewife says her ex mistreated her dog and that he has been too rough with their daughter as well.

Colorado fathers who hope to win custody should do these things

Do you get frustrated when Hollywood and the media continually paint fathers in a poor light in movies, sitcoms, on talk shows and in the news? It's definitely commonplace nowadays for actors playing fathers to appear dumb, foolish or negligent in their familial duties. You know that in real life, many dads are dedicated, hard-working, upstanding people who do their best to love and care for their children and provide for their families.

The "TV-character dad" doesn't make it easy for real life dads, especially those preparing for custody proceedings in divorce. If that's you, you'll want to keep several things in mind that can help you show the court you are not a deadbeat father and that getting divorced doesn't mean you wish to abdicate your parental obligations. If you believe your children are better off in your custody, you'll want to build as strong of a case as possible to prove it in court.

Is your spouse committing financial infidelity in your divorce?

When you decided to file for divorce, you understood it would have financial implications in your life. Perhaps your biggest concern was whether or not you'd have enough resources to provide for your children's needs. Beyond that, you may also be worried that your spouse will try to gain the upper hand when it comes time for property division proceedings. Like most states, Colorado operates under equitable property division laws.

In community law states, judges typically split marital assets 50/50 in divorce. In this state and the majority of others, the court determines a fair division of assets and liabilities, which does not necessarily mean it will be an even split. If your spouse has grown defensive any time you ask about finances or has been acting rather secretive when it comes to his or her pay from work or other financial matters, it may be a sign that you are dealing with a hidden asset problem.

Unhealthy relationship signs that may signal divorce

Whether you've only been married a year or two, or you and your spouse laid down roots in Colorado as a newly married couple more than three decades ago, chances are, you've likely encountered your share of relationship challenges. While it's true that the longer you've been married, the more experiences you've shared and life situations you've navigated, it is also true that even spouses who haven't been together for long may face serious problems that ultimately cause them to divorce.

There are certain issues that can alert spouses that their relationships are not currently healthy. Some may be able to overcome their problems by seeking marital counseling or agreeing to make some changes. Perhaps you've already tried all that and have determined that your most viable option to resolving your problems is to file for divorce. In either case, the type of support you have can greatly affect your ability to cope with your situation.

Protect your health in a late-life divorce

After being married for several decades, you may have caught yourself off-guard when you started having thoughts about divorce. You and your spouse have been through a lot together, perhaps including raising children, welcoming grandchildren into the world or maybe even launching and maintaining a business of your own. Several decades of marriage mean you have shared many memories, some likely happier than others.  

Regardless of what led to your decision to divorce, you are not the only baby boomer to do so. The divorce rate for your age group doubled in 20 years. Many spouses say infidelity, financial disputes and simply growing apart after living together for so long were causal factors in their decisions to divorce. Many spouses also say that after divorce, their health suffered, so if you're headed to court, you'll want to know how to protect, not only your assets but your physical, mental and emotional well-being as well. 

Are you in a high risk category for divorce?

Whether you've been married for decades or just recently tied the knot, like many Colorado couples, you've likely encountered challenges at some point in your relationship. The day-in-day-out responsibilities of parenthood can be quite taxing on a marriage, so if you have children, you may already be at risk for divorce.

If you take a moment to think of how many people you know who are divorced (whether or not they happen to have remarried) the number is likely higher than three. Current data suggest the overall divorce rate in the United States is declining. However, there are still many issues that appear to have serious, negative effects on a marriage, which make couples who experience such problems much more likely to divorce.

Child custody plan in place for Pitt and Jolie

Many Colorado parents know what it's like to argue with a spouse about child-related matters. Those who are fans of Hollywood superstars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie may also recall that this particular former couple was in a child custody dispute for quite some time. The good news is that it appears their situation is finally settled.  

If you believe that your children should have ample time with both you and your ex after divorce, then you might request shared custody. This is what Pitt has been vying for although Jolie was initially dead set against it. At some point, however, Pitt reportedly convinced Jolie that they best thing they could do for their kids under the circumstances is to settle their differences out of court.  

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