12 STEPS OF DIVORCE: THE BASICS – Step 2 – Response to Petition for Dissolution

Each month for one year, the Andersen Law PC blog will spell out the 12 steps of divorce.

The following is a roadmap with the basics for 12 steps of a divorce proceeding. The intent is to walk you through the process a simple step at a time.

(To see the process in a more personalized, real world context, follow the blogs on the Aingel and DeVille families: the Aingels relatively soaring through the process while the DeVilles crash and burn.)

 And if you want to divorce in less than a year, feel free to call me at 720-922-3880 or email beth@andersenlawpc.com with questions specific to your situation. I am happy to walk you through your own next steps and to answer questions in your complimentary initial phone or videoconference consult.

Here is where the year will take us:

January – serving and filing a petition for dissolution

February – responding to the petition Continue reading “12 STEPS OF DIVORCE: THE BASICS – Step 2 – Response to Petition for Dissolution”

12 STEPS OF DIVORCE: THE BASICS – Step 1 – File for Petition of Dissolution

Each month for one year, the Andersen Law PC blog will spell out the 12 steps of divorce.

The following is a roadmap with the basics for 12 steps of a divorce proceeding. The intent is to walk you through the process a simple step at a time.

(To see the process in a more personalized, real world context, follow the blogs on the Aingel and DeVille families: the Aingels relatively soaring through the process while the DeVilles crash and burn.)

 And if you want to divorce in less than a year, feel free to call me at 720-922-3880 or email beth@andersenlawpc.com with questions specific to your situation. I am happy to walk you through your own next steps and to answer questions in your complimentary initial phone or videoconference consult.

Here is where the year will take us:

January – serving and filing a petition for dissolution

February – responding to the petition

March – sworn financial statement, disclosures, and parenting classes

April – initial status conference

May – discovery and depositions

June – professionals:  CFI, PRE, vocational evaluator, appraisals

July – motions to compel and telephone conferences

August – temporary orders

September – mediation

October – parenting plans and separation agreements

November – witnesses, pretrial deadlines and permanent orders

December – QDROs and other post decree issues

 

JANUARY: How to File a Petition for Dissolution

If you decide to file for divorce in Colorado, follow these steps. The good news is that you can find the forms online yourself at the Colorado Judicial websiteContinue reading “12 STEPS OF DIVORCE: THE BASICS – Step 1 – File for Petition of Dissolution”

What Not to Post on Social Media After a Divorce

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have changed our world and caused people to evaluate how private they want to be and what they want to share with the world or extended friends and family via the Internet. But many people also post to social media without giving a second thought to who can see what they’re posting and whether it’s a good idea to put that post out there. 12.12.16.What Not to Post on Facebook After Divorce. Andersen Law PC. Beth Andersen

It is more important than ever to show a level of restraint in social media posts when you’re involved in a divorce, as what you post can come back to hurt you over the process and even directly impact your settlement and child custody, or you may find yourself hauled into court.

Here are several actions and types of social media posts I’ve seen in real cases that you should make sure to avoid copying as you go through your divorce and after. Continue reading “What Not to Post on Social Media After a Divorce”

How Divorce Affects Your Social Security Benefits

Because Social Security is the No. 1 income source for retirees in our country, a divorcing person should consider how his or her benefits will be affected. 10-17-16-divorce-socialsecuritybenefits-andersenlawpc

Before diving into the effects of divorce on these benefits, it makes sense to do a quick review on the basics of the benefits themselves.

YOUR WORK BENEFITS: Your benefits will depend on how much you earned over your working career and the age at which you apply for benefits. At age 62, each year’s earnings are tallied and indexed for inflation. The highest 35 years of earnings are totaled and indexed for inflation then averaged to compute your “AIME.” This amount is divided by bend points to determine your PIA (primary insurance amount) which you will receive and adjust with a cost of living adjustment over time. If you apply early, you will receive a percentage of your PIA depending on the month of retirement. To calculate your benefits, you can go here and click on “estimate your retirement benefits” or click here. Continue reading “How Divorce Affects Your Social Security Benefits”

12 STEPS OF DIVORCE: Step 1 – Serving and Filing a Petition for Dissolution

Each month for one year, the Andersen Law PC blog will spell out the 12 steps of divorce.

In doing so, we will also track two divorcing couples making their way through the process.12 Steps of Divorce - Andersen Law - January

Spoiler alert: Art and Angela Aingel take the high road. While divorce is not usually a fun process (I have yet to hear someone tell the judge at final orders, “Thank you, sir, may I have another?”), the Aingels have a relatively straightforward experience before moving forward with their separate lives. Meanwhile, Draco and Desdemona DeVille make choices that, while initially tempting, detour them down a bad road laden with unnecessary drama, painful court appearances and skyrocketing costs.

The following is a roadmap of the 12 steps of a divorce proceeding. And if you want to divorce in less than a year, feel free to call me with questions specific to your situation. I am happy to walk you through your own next steps and to answer questions in your complimentary initial phone or videoconference consult. Continue reading “12 STEPS OF DIVORCE: Step 1 – Serving and Filing a Petition for Dissolution”

12 STEPS OF DIVORCE: Step 2 – Responding to the Petition for Dissolution

12 Steps of Divorce - Andersen Law-2Former college buddies Art Aingel and Draco DeVille seemed to have less and less in common over the years — that is until they both found themselves on the receiving end of their respective wives’ divorce filings. Draco’s came first, so he was into the process sooner and had plenty of so-called “pointers” for his friend Art.  Continue reading “12 STEPS OF DIVORCE: Step 2 – Responding to the Petition for Dissolution”

12 STEPS OF DIVORCE: Step 3 – Completing Your Sworn Financial Statement, Disclosures and Attending Parenting Class

Each month for one year, the Andersen Law PC blog will spell out the 12 steps of divorce.

In doing so, we will also track two divorcing couples making their way through the process.12 Steps of Divorce.Step3. - Andersen Law

Spoiler alert: Art and Angela Aingel take the high road. While divorce is not usually a fun process (I have yet to hear someone tell the judge at final orders, “Thank you, sir, may I have another?”), the Aingels have a relatively straightforward experience before moving forward with their separate lives. Meanwhile, Draco and Desdemona DeVille make choices that, while initially tempting, detour them down a bad road laden with unnecessary drama, painful court appearances and skyrocketing costs.

The following is a roadmap of the 12 steps of a divorce proceeding. And if you want to divorce in less than a year, feel free to call me with questions specific to your situation. I am happy to walk you through your own next steps and to answer questions in your complimentary initial phone or videoconference consult. Continue reading “12 STEPS OF DIVORCE: Step 3 – Completing Your Sworn Financial Statement, Disclosures and Attending Parenting Class”

12 STEPS OF DIVORCE: Step 4 – Going to Court – The Initial Status Conference

12 Steps of Divorce - Andersen Law-“I’m sorry pal, but I will have to skip the trip to Elephant Rock,” Art Aingel told his friend Draco DeVille. “Our Initial Status Conference (ISC) is that Friday.”

“That’s utter bull!” Draco shouted into the phone. “You don’t have to go to that stupid thing. It’s just a conference, not a trial. I skipped mine, and who cares? I heard you are in some office with a court facilitator lady half the time — not even a real judge.” Continue reading “12 STEPS OF DIVORCE: Step 4 – Going to Court – The Initial Status Conference”

Financial Statements & Divorce: How to Value a Small Business and Protect Your Rights  

Accounting is called the language of business and that’s not bad, because it helps you communicate with financial people and business people. In a family law case, accounting knowledge helps you (or your attorney, CPA or financial expert) ask the right questions to protect your legal rights. Formulating the question so that you get to what you actually need to know is sometimes the hardest part of analyzing financial statements. This following is not for someone who is easily overwhelmed by financials. I will be the first to tell you that it is perfectly fine to get an expert to do this for you. But if you are curious and want to be involved in analyzing financials and deciding how to find the right experts, read on.

The following are FACTORS to consider in analyzing a financial statement or the value and profitability of a company. Continue reading “Financial Statements & Divorce: How to Value a Small Business and Protect Your Rights  “

Veterans Benefits: Know Your Rights

The issue of veterans benefits comes up a lot in a military divorce, as well as in estate planning.

These benefits are paid to veterans with disabilities that occurred during active service or were aggravated by active service. They are paid monthly.Andersen-Law-PC-Veterans-Benefits-5.26.16

I have assisted veterans whose benefits applications were denied. I have also represented military spouses in divorce and have needed to look into the disabled military spouse’s benefits and benefit applications in order to ensure my client’s rights were protected. The military spouse may have benefits that are not taxed but need to be counted toward income for child support and maintenance purposes. Sometimes, a veteran may claim he or she is disabled and cannot work or contribute financially when in fact the Department of Veterans Affairs concluded otherwise. This needs to be investigated. On the other hand, it is not the end of the story and the disabled veteran may have appeals or other ways to contest the determination.

The bottom line is that this area of the law is complicated and difficult to negotiate without knowledgeable assistance.

If you are a veteran, are a spouse of a veteran, have a child with a veteran, or are doing estate planning for a veteran, the following are unique components to these benefits that you need to take note of.

  1. Disability Math: The Veterans Affairs (VA) calculates the percentage of disability. Multiple disabilities are combined and separately rated. However, disabilities are not simply totaled. They are reduced progressively based on the total. There is also a “Special Monthly Compensation” which is a higher rate of compensation for veterans with special circumstances such as the loss of an organ, loss of an appendage and/or need for home care. There is also the Total Disability Individual Unemployability (TDIU or IU), which can be awarded to individuals who cannot find employment due to their disabilities. Even veterans who do not otherwise qualify for veterans’ benefits may qualify to TDIU. Unlike in the case of other disability benefits, the age of the veteran CANNOT be considered in determining whether to award veterans’ benefits.
  1. Dependents and Survivors: Veterans with dependents receive an additional monthly allowance as calculated in this table. There is also a Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) benefit available to survivors of veterans who died from their disabilities. The spouse must have been married to the veteran for at least one year in order to qualify for this benefit. Common law marriages can be recognized as marriage in Colorado, so a wedding ceremony and marriage certificate may not be necessary in order to qualify. A spouse of one year or more may also qualify for a Survivor Pension.
  1. Offsets: Military retirement pay offsets veterans’ benefits but Social Security benefits do not.
  1. Taxes: VA disability income is not taxed.
  1. Pension and Survivor Pension: Veterans who served during a period of war are entitled to this benefit. They must have been discharged under other than dishonorable circumstances. They also must be one of the following: over 65, totally and permanently disabled, receiving skilled nursing care in a nursing home, or receiving SSDI or SSI.
  1. Other Benefits: Veterans can also receive adapted housing grants, Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance, Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance and a burial allowance.

 Unique Exposures Based on Service: There are special coverages for certain veterans. For example, Vietnam veterans may have been exposed to Agent Orange, including Vietnam veterans who served in Thailand, Korean Veterans who served at or near the de-militarized zone, Blue Water Navy Veterans and veterans who served at Camp Lejeune.

Find this list overwhelming? This is one of many reasons that you need to consult a lawyer in order to know your rights. Call Andersen Law PC at 720-922-3880 or email me at beth@andersenlawpc.com to learn more.