What Is The Divorce Process For Marriages With Children?

What is the divorce process with children? Much like filing a divorce without children, the petition for dissolution of marriage is filed with the court and various financial documentation is passed between the parties. The court holds a status conference in order to get a temperature check of how things are going, and whether there are major issues that the court needs to address.  The parties, if they do not come to an agreement the court will set it for trial, and the issues as far as assets and debt still get analyzed by the court and will be divided equitably based on a fair distribution between the two.
    With children though, there are other aspects that come into play. Some of them include allocation of parental responsibility or decision making, allocation of parenting time, determination of child support, and each of these are issues that the court will address specifically in turn.  In order to determine the decision making and the allocation of parenting time a court can use based on the request of the parties, an expert to come in and do an evaluation of what is the proper parenting role and what is the proper parenting time allocation for everyone, including the children.

    Any allocation of parenting time is based on a best interest standard as in what is the best interest for the minor child or children.  In cases where there’s a dispute between the parties, an expert as I mentioned may be called in.  Either a CFI or a PRE, a parenting responsibility evaluator or a court and family investigator may be called in order to make a review in an evaluation.  This review then gets submitted to the court and the court many times follows the recommendation of the expert.

    In some high conflict cases you might be able to obtain another report from a PRE or a CFI if the recommendation is not what’s required.  Once the allocation is made the child support then gets determined that is based on the gross income of the parties, any extraordinary expenses and the amount of overnights that they may have with the minor children. The court will then take all of these various details and enter them as a decree and a final order of the court either after the parties agree to it or you have a trial on these various issues.

    If you have any more questions or need some more information we’ll be happy to talk to you.  Miller & Steiert is a Littleton based law firm serving the Denver metro area in the state of Colorado.

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