Breckenridge Family, Criminal And Personal Injury Law Blog

The new tax law may figure in to the timing of your divorce

The new tax law keeps accountants, attorneys and financial consultants busy translating the impact for their clients. If your marriage is coming to an end, you should have a thorough understanding of the law that takes effect in 2019 and what it means for the timing of your divorce in terms of alimony payments.

The basics

Dangers of driving while drowsy

Drowsy driving is a pervasive problem in Colorado and around the country. It is important for people to avoid driving when they are fatigued to reduce the risk that they will cause accidents.

According to a survey taken in 2013 and republished by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every 25 respondents said that they had fallen asleep while they were driving in the previous 30 days. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 800 people were killed and 44,000 were injured by drowsy drivers in 2013. The NHTSA estimates that drowsy driving was responsible for 72,000 accidents in the U.S. that year. The CDC reports that the number of fatalities caused by drowsy driving is underestimated and reports that the actual number of fatalities that occur is around 6,000 per year.

Colorado one of 25 states to reform police lineup laws

The rules dealing with police lineups were changed in Colorado when Governor John Hickenlooper signed Senate Bill 15-058 into law in April 2015. Traditional lineup procedures have long been criticized by civil rights advocates, and studies have discovered that honest citizens often make identifications despite being unsure because they are eager to do their part and help the police fight crime. However, it was the introduction of DNA evidence that spurred lawmakers in Colorado and 24 other states to introduce new lineup rules.

DNA evidence gives prosecutors a scientifically incontrovertible way to link an individual with a crime scene or piece of evidence, but it can also be used to prove that inmates who have sometimes spent decades in prison did not commit the crimes they were convicted of. When the Innocence Foundation studied 350 convictions that were overturned by post-conviction DNA evidence, they discovered that eyewitness misidentification was a factor 71 percent of the time.

Co-parenting with an ex-spouse

Divorced parents in Colorado may have to work to develop an efficient co-parenting arrangement to ensure that the needs of their children will be met. A co-parenting couple should be aware that their relationship can be challenging and is likely to change throughout the years.

Even if ex-spouses have an amicable bond after a divorce, they are still likely to find that their co-parenting relationship can be difficult to manage. There are issues, such as different methods of parenting or having to cope with envy when one parent is in a new romantic relationship, that require both parties to become more adept at processing developments that may be difficult handle emotionally. However, it can be easier to co-parent if both parties are committed to taking certain steps to prioritize their children.

Some divorces take longer than others

Some Colorado couples may believe that it only takes a few months to get a divorced finalized. Contrary to this belief, however, a divorce can take a year or more depending on whether the former couple is amicable or if the situation is complex.

One of the quickest ways to get a divorce is to go through a DIY divorce. This type of divorce is ideal for former couples who have either not been married for very long or do not have many assets to divide. All the former couple needs to do is file the paperwork and wait a few months. Mediation is similar with the exception that a mediator will help resolve any problems that the former couple may have. The mediator can be an attorney, therapist or other third party as long as he or she has an understanding of the state's divorce laws.

Will an arrest for DUI jeopardize your teaching aspirations?

If law enforcement officers arrest you on suspicion of driving under the influence, you should know that Colorado has some of the most stringent DUI laws in the country.

You may only be concerned about the fines and penalties you will be facing, but what about the long-term consequences? How would a conviction affect your future, such as the plans you have to become a teacher?

Payroll deductions make it easier to collect child support

Parents in Colorado who pay or receive child support might be interested in learning about how efficient payroll deductions are when it comes to collecting support. According to the Office of Child Support Enforcement, collecting payments via electronic forms, in particular through payroll deductions, is a highly efficient way to do this.

In 2017, OCSE collected $24.4 billion in child support through payroll deductions. This was a significant portion of the $32.4 billion collected overall for that year. The OCSE finds this to be a very efficient way of collecting, particularly when considering that for every dollar the office invests in the process, it is able to collect $5.33. However, before it continues to expand the program, the OCSE will study whether the return on the investment will be justified.

What if I am convicted of domestic violence?

There are many forms of domestic violence and abuse, from physical and verbal to emotional and sexual. Abuse might manifest itself in the form of making threats, destroying property or stalking, all of which can have criminal consequences.

If someone accuses you of domestic violence, such allegations and any resulting charges can have serious consequences.

Common sense can help parents in child support matters

A Colorado parent who gets a divorce may either owe child support or receive child support payments. The amount of those payments will generally be determined by a judge. However, there are steps that parents can take to prepare for a child support hearing. Ideally, parents will not be late for their meetings, and they should prepare to show up early to create a good first impression.

It is also a good idea to read everything that comes in the mail related to the child support hearing. Taking time to read letters more than once can reduce the chances of making a mistake or failing to respond to a directive from the court. If a parent is required to supply information to the court, it should be done in an honest and thorough manner. At the hearing itself, parents shouldn't expect a judge to hear arguments about child custody or issues other than the matter at hand.

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