Family Law/Domestic Relations

Family Law, or Domestic Relations (not to be confused with domestic violence, which is criminal in nature), tackles the majority of issues concerning the family, including:

  • Divorce (Dissolution of Marriage)
  • Legal Separation
  • Property Allocation
  • Maintenance (Alimony)
  • Child Custody
  • Child Support
  • Grandparent Visitation
  • Enforcement of Divorce and Separation Orders/Agreements
  • Enforcement of Custody and Support Order/Agreements
  • Protection Orders (if consolidated into a Domestic Relations case)

You may find your way into a family law court for many different reasons, whether it’s ending a marriage, obtaining enforceable parenting time orders, seeking child support, or modifying orders about your divorce, custody, or support and beyond.

Family law is not inherently difficult, but because there are so many variables to consider before and during your family law case, it is important you speak with an attorney about all necessary considerations.

The Process

The process changes case-by-case and is somewhat dependent on varying circumstances. While family law cases generally follow the formula of:

Petition or Motion filing > Initial Status Conference > Mediation > Permanent Orders or Final Hearing

Some family law matters like Contempt actions and Parenting Time Enforcement actions, as well as actions like settlement, consolidation from a Juvenile Court case, consolidation from a Civil Restraining Order case, adoption of a foreign (out of state) Decree or Order, or any discretionary Court Order may cause your case to stray from this formula.

Because the process can be inherently confusing, it is in your interest to call and discuss what is or should be going on in your case. We also periodically post BLAWGS that address specific actions and may provide guidance.

Thinking Of Working Your Case Without An Attorney?

Colorado courts truly try their best to help couples, children, and their parents. Because family court is one of the more common ways for someone to find their way in court, most parties proceed without an attorney (pro se). Colorado recognizes this and helps by providing many resources, including a fairly exhaustive set of instructions and a large library of template motions for the many different available court actions.

Should you proceed pro se, we suggest a few steps to take toward resolving your matter:

  1. Review all relevant forms
    Look for the applicable instructions and any available template documents made available by Colorado Courts through.

  2. Read the applicable rules and law
    Domestic relations matters apply the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure, generally, and also have specific statute Titles that govern these actions.

    • Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure:
      While many rules apply, there are two commonly referred to specific rule sections worth mentioning:
      (NON-exhaustive)

      • CRCP Rule 16.2 Court Facilitation of Domestic Matters
      • CRCP Rule 121 Statewide Practice Standards
    • Colorado Revised Statutes
      Domestic relations matters differ in many ways from juvenile actions, even when a juvenile court addresses child custody and support. Generally, only two titles come into play in either or both cases:
      (NON-exhaustive)

      • C.R.S. 14-10-101 et seq.
      • C.R.S. 19-1-101 et seq.
    • Understand there are numerous other potentially applicable rules and statutes, making it important to seek help.
  3. Get proper guidance
    Whether you have have been through the process before or it is your first time through the family court system, it is always important to obtain expert direction and knowledge.

    • We prefer you speak directly with one of our attorneys about your case to ensure every consideration is made. A consultation is free and we make an effort to ensure you are left with a fair understanding of what to do next.
    • If you need to speak with others, each district court offers help through their pro se help resource centers from people known as Sherlocks. They cannot give you legal advice, but they can help show you what steps you may need to take in your matter.