In divorce and other family law matters in Colorado, men have traditionally been at a disadvantage. Since the man of the home was the primary wage earner and the “breadwinner” of the family, it was easy for family law courts to order the man to pay alimony to his spouse after the divorce. Because men traditionally spent most of their time working outside the home, family court judges believed that a child’s mother was a more suitable parent.
Fortunately, these outdated stereotypes have been dispelled. However, often courts enter orders in family law matters as if the stereotypes were still valid. At Brighter Day℠, we are here to help those looking for a Colorado divorce lawyer for men. Our goal is to help men receive justice and fair and equitable treatment from family law courts in Colorado.
How Much Does a Divorce Lawyer Cost in Colorado?
Many divorce and family law firms in Colorado use the same pricing model where a client pays an initial retainer which payment against future legal fees, and are then billed for work at an hourly rate. The amount of retainer in a divorce case largely depends on the facts, circumstances, and legal matters in the case. Sometimes, a family law firm might quote the client a flat rate.
Across Colorado, the average minimum is $230 per hour, while the average maximum hourly rate is $280 an hour. $230-$280 is a fairly large range. There are many reasons for the difference in actual rates you may encounter, these include:
- Location. Family law attorneys who practice in large metropolitan areas, such as Denver or Colorado Springs, typically charge more per hour than their counterparts in smaller towns with a low cost of living.
- Experience in family law. As with other professions, lawyers raise their hourly rates as they gain more specialized knowledge and experience in family law practice. However, more expertise could also mean they take less time to resolve contested family law matters in your case, compared to family attorneys who have less experience or don’t specialize in family law.
Often, many people who hire divorce attorneys opt for what’s known as “full-scope representation,” which means the divorce attorney takes care of everything in the divorce, from start to finish. The average full-scope cost of a divorce lawyer in Colorado ranges from $9,700 to $11,800. However, it’s essential to note that these are overall averages. Depending on the facts and circumstances in your divorce case, you could end up paying substantially more or less than that.
Is It Better for a Man to have a Male or Female Divorce Attorney?
The gender of your divorce attorney might not matter to a judge, nor affect their skill in helping you reach a marital settlement. However, you might feel more comfortable working with a family law lawyer of either gender, that’s perfectly okay.
From a client’s perspective, some people work better with women, while others work better with men. Some clients need an attorney who will keep them in line and guide them in the right direction. They need a lawyer who is more of an authority figure and isn’t afraid to be hard on them. Others need a divorce lawyer who understands what they’re going through and can relate to them. They don’t want a divorce attorney who will yell at them.
Although many people assume men are more aggressive, and women are softer when it comes to divorce lawyers, that’s not always the case. There are ball-buster female attorneys and sensitive male attorneys. The difference comes down to personality, not gender. However, if as a client, you’re more comfortable working with a female divorce attorney, by all means, hire a female divorce lawyer. If you prefer working with a man, then hire a male divorce attorney.
Does My Wife Automatically Get Half?
Laws governing the division of marital property during divorce vary from state to state. In Colorado, the law requires a division that’s equitable, which means it’s fair, but it doesn’t have to be exactly 50/50. Thus, in Colorado, the wife doesn’t automatically get half of the marital property.
Some couples agree on how to divide everything, while others seek the help of divorce lawyers or mediators to negotiate a marital settlement. Couples who unsuccessfully resolve their marital property issues outside of family lawcourt end up going to court to seek a decision from an arbitrator or a judge. A Colorado family court judge considers the following factors when deciding what type of property division is fair:
- The financial circumstances of each spouse;
- The desirability of awarding the marital home, or the right to live in it for a certain period of time, to the spouse who has physical custody of the children the majority of the time;
- The value of the property set aside for each party;
- Any depletion of a spouse’s separate property because of marital reasons, and
- Any increase or decrease in the value of each spouse’s separate property during the marriage.
Does the Length of Marriage Affect Divorce Settlement?
When sorting out the family law issues involved in your divorce case, you may wonder how the length of your marriage will affect your divorce settlement. Whether you have been married for one year or ten, this will affect how the Colorado family law courts view your divorce case.
Although the length of marriage won’t affect every decision, the courts make during your divorce trial, it can affect some family law matters, such as spousal maintenance or alimony.
Spousal support or alimony is a court order that requires one spouse to pay the other a certain amount of money. The Colorado Revised Statute 14-10-114 allows either party to request spousal maintenance during a divorce case. The purpose of a spousal support order is to keep both spouses’ qualities of life the same or similar to how they were during the marriage. For instance, if one spouse is used to the other paying bills while he or she stays home to care for children, then that spouse will likely receive an alimony award and child support to maintain his or her standard of living the same after the divorce.
Alimony orders are temporary and the paying spouse must continue making alimony payments as long as the court order stipulates. Often, long enough to allow the recipient spouse to gain job training or experience he or she needs to gain financial independence. However, some alimony awards are permanent; they’ll continue indefinitely, or until a judge signs an order modifying the agreement.
Often, the length of marriage plays a role in alimony decisions in Colorado. Aside from other factors, such as economic statuses, ages, and standard of living of each spouse, the total length of your marriage matters in determining whether you should pay or receive alimony, and if so, for how long. Length of marriage is important because it determines how long one spouse has experienced a certain quality of life or economic status.
The length of marriage also affects the formula for how long an alimony award will last. If a spouse qualifies to receive alimony following a divorce, the judge will typically award alimony payments for about one-third of the total length of the marriage. If you and your spouse have been married for 20 years, the courts will order alimony payments for about half of the total length of your marriage. After 30 years of marriage, a family court judge is more likely to award permanent alimony. However, a family court judge has ultimate jurisdiction over all alimony arrangements in Colorado.
Contact Our Experienced Colorado Divorce Lawyer for Men for Legal Advice!
At Brighter Day℠, we will work tirelessly to safeguard your parental rights during the divorce process. Also, we’ll make sure the other party discloses their income, and we’ll ensure the party cooperates in the divorce process. If you’re contemplating getting a divorce, only trust your future to an experienced Colorado divorce attorney. To schedule a free initial consultation, call us today at (719) 225-4443, or chat with us online to learn how we can help.