Family Law

Family Law Attorney in Douglas, Arapahoe and Jefferson Counties

Dawn Rodgers is known for her strong advocacy and honest guidance. While Rodgers Law, LLC cannot guarantee you a specific result, we can assure you the following:

  • We will be competent regarding your legal matter;
  • We will be responsive and prepared at all stages of your legal matter and strongly advocate for you;
  • We will provide you with a cost-effective approach and strategy to accomplish your desired outcome; and,
  • We will listen and provide you with honest guidance regarding your legal options to help navigate you through the legal system and the difficult situation you are facing.

Dawn Rodgers offers two types of representation for family law matters:

 Traditional/Full Representation:

Under this type of representation, Dawn Rodgers will provide legal guidance through in-person meetings, phone calls, emails, etc., discuss your case with the other party or his/her attorney, draft all legal documents, negotiate on your behalf, represent you at mediation and at all court appearances.

Unbundled Legal Services/Limited Representation:

Under this type of representation, Dawn Rodgers will provide legal services based on a personalized legal services agreement directed by the client.  A client may choose this type of representation when he/she only needs legal assistance with a specific part of his/her case. For example, drafting and/or reviewing a separation agreement, attendance at mediation, filling out a self-representation packet obtained from the courts, representation at a hearing, etc. Not all cases are appropriate for this type of representation. If you are interested in exploring this option, please call Dawn Rodgers to discuss if it is a good fit for your case.

Family law attorneys in Denver handle a wide range of cases, but divorce is by far the most common.  The effects of divorce vary significantly from place to place, and from family to family. A marriage dissolution in Lyons or Ridgeway is much different from a divorce in a big city like Denver. So, it’s very important to work with local divorce attorneys whenever possible. An out-of-town lawyer may be quite competent in most ways, buy may be unfamiliar with the nuances in the metro-area family law cases.

Whether the case is a divorce or something else, the procedure is usually pretty much the same. A family law case can settle out of court at any time, but most follow the same general structure.

Filing The Petition

Colorado is a pure no-fault state. So, all Denver, CO family law attorneys file divorces that are based on irreconcilable differences. There is a mandatory 90-day waiting period. But this waiting period is usually irrelevant. If the couple has any assets or any children, the divorce will almost certainly take more than three months.

It’s important to pay attention to detail at this stage. A mistake in the filing or the filing location can usually be undone. However, such corrections cost time and money.

Affordable Family Lawyers and the Temporary Orders Hearing

Between thirty to ninety days after the petition is filed, the court usually hold a temporary hearing (if required). At this brief court proceeding, the judge makes temporary orders regarding things like:

  • Child Support,
  • Parenting time, and
  • Spousal Support.

With regard to property division, a temporary injunction enters upon filing a joint petition for divorce or personal service of the initial divorce paperwork. This injunction prevents either party from disposing of marital property until the judge determines an appropriate property division.

Do not let the “temporary” label fool you. There’s an old saying that possession is nine points of the law. That saying is usually accurate in this context. Once the judge makes temporary orders, it’s difficult to undo them while the divorce is pending. For example, judges hesitate to change the residential parent designation form one parent to the other. So, without early and competent representation, the divorce could turn very bad very quickly.

Experts – Child and Family Investigator or Parental Responsibilities Evaluator

Some judges appoint an expert to make recommendations regarding legal matters such as parenting time and decision-making responsibilities for to the children. Since this is such an important stage, Denver, CO divorce attorneys always thoroughly prepare their clients for these investigations. Here are a few general pointers.

During the home visit, make sure your space looks lived in but clean. There should be no clutter, but leave a toy or maybe some shoes in the living room. Also, make sure there are lots of family pictures. Posed pictures are good, and vacation shots are even better.

For your interview, just be yourself. Dress nicely, but do not dress up too much. Answer questions honestly and directly. A highly-trained expert can spot an act almost immediately because he or she probably has seen it before. Additionally, do not launch a preemptive strike against your soon-to-be-ex-spouse. However, do not be afraid to defend yourself either. The children’s interview is almost always separate from the parental interviews.

The investigator will probably also talk to teachers, friends, doctors, and other people who interact with you and the children. That inquiry usually involves records reviews as well, such as report cards and medical records.

It’s important to note that the right Denver, CO family law attorney can make a difference before the investigation even starts. Most judges give the parties some say in the investigator selection process. You should have a strong voice during these proceedings. A non-bias expert should be obtained.

Local Divorce Attorneys and Discovery

This court-supervised information-gathering process varies greatly from case to case. Sometimes, discovery simply means exchanging tax returns and some other basic financial documents. Other times, it can last for months and be very involved. Typically, it is somewhere in the middle.

Especially in high-asset divorce cases, many spouses play hide-the-ball during discovery. An affordable divorce lawyer can usually detect these things and bring facts into the light. There are some ways you can help. Look out for things like:

  • Account status alerts that suddenly stop appearing in your email account,
  • Unfamiliar correspondence that mentions an LLC or any other corporate entity, and
  • Missing money from an account.

If you have a good relationship with your spouse, give him/her the opportunity to explain things before you sound the alarm with your Denver, CO family law attorney.

Resolving Your Divorce Case

Most of these matters settle out of court. That’s usually a good thing. These settlements give the parties more control over the outcome, end the case earlier, and avoid tense courtroom showdowns. Such settlements are also empowering. Post-divorce disputes are inevitable. If the parties talked things out once, they usually try that again before they file expensive court motions.

Sometimes, a professional mediator brings the parties together. Mediation is especially useful if the other spouse refuses to compromise in one or two areas to help facilitate discussions for the parties to better understand each party’s position and potentially settle their case outside of court.  A mediator can help generate ideas for settlement and a fair compromise.

Partner with a Dedicated Family Law Attorney in Denver

A divorce case usually addresses all the financial and emotional issues in a marriage dissolution matter. For a confidential consultation with an experienced family law attorney in Arapahoe, Douglas, Denver, or Jefferson County, contact Rodgers Law, LLC.