Breckenridge Family, Criminal And Personal Injury Law Blog

The divorce of the ultra-wealthy

Even though plenty of individuals in Colorado go through a divorce every year, the entire process can be a very different experience based on how much a couple is worth. The simplest case in point is that wealthy soon-to-be divorcees have very different concerns than what might ail the everyday individual.

Of the many differences, a few stand out. The first relates to the assets being split up. A wealthy couple has a plethora of financial and real assets, including stocks, options, and art collections, all of which add to the value of the couple. This, in turn, makes the divorce proceedings all the more complicated. The second difference lies in alimony payments. Normally, this would be a point of contention between a couple going through a divorce. However, when a couple is splitting up and each party is walking away with a few million dollars, neither party needs support payments. With this in mind, despite men usually taking away more money, women tended to fare well enough that they didn't need any alimony checks.

Joint custody a preferred option for child development

When parents in Colorado move toward divorce, they may be particularly worried about how their time with the children will be affected. Fathers could be especially concerned as beliefs have traditionally favored sole or primary custody for mothers. It has even been stated that overnight custody for fathers with infants and toddlers could be harmful to young children. However, this era of thinking is over; most states and family court judges tend to prefer joint custody or shared parenting as a default.

Indeed, child psychologists affirm that joint custody is usually the best option for a child's health and well-being. Even the youngest children benefit from a shared parenting schedule, including overnight time with both parents. In most cases, joint custody arrangements involve week-to-week switches in which the child spends a week with one parent and then switches to the other parent's home. These schedules can be complicated due to the parents' employment obligations, especially if they work irregular schedules. Therefore, different families can develop a parenting plan that works for their unique needs.

Preparing for winter driving

Snow, ice and whiteout conditions can make driving during the winter very hazardous. Drivers are advised to use as much caution as possible when traveling in or through states like Colorado that experience this type of weather. Fortunately, some new technologies are helping make the roads safer during winter. One is enhanced traction control, which helps keep the vehicle gripped to the road when accelerating or braking.

Checking the weather before going out on the road is one of the best ways a driver can avoid an accident. If cold temperatures are expected, the vehicle should be warmed up a bit before leaving. When the weather service advises people to stay off certain highways or areas, drivers should always listen. In the unfortunate incident that someone gets stranded on the side of the road, they should remain in their vehicle and try to signal for help.

How to handle the holidays after a divorce in Colorado

After a divorce, holidays can be difficult for both the parents and children. Since emotions such as anger, sadness, fear and betrayal can emerge, the loss of traditions could be devastating. Despite these feelings, parents need to focus on their children during this time.

Parents may need to turn elsewhere to get emotional support. For example, friends, family members and even a therapist could be helpful. Above all, parents must allow the well-being of their children to take priority over their own situations. This means they should not try to punish the other parent by refusing to let them see the child during the holidays. After all, this ends up punishing the child too.

3 myths about car accident claims

Car accidents happen every day in Colorado. While some of these are minor fender benders, others result in serious injuries. Take one recent case where three people, including two juveniles, suffered intense injuries following a collision. 

Following an auto accident, you should consider pursuing a claim. You also need to see a doctor immediately to determine the full extent of your injuries. You do not want to leave anything to chance, so here are some common myths about these claims you do not want to believe. 

The First Step Act and criminal justice reform

Many Colorado residents concerned about criminal justice reform have heard about the First Step Act, the bill introduced to Congress with support from widely disparate groups. Backers of the bill include President Trump as well as longtime justice reform advocates like the American Civil Liberties Union. Often described as a compromise bill, the proposal has been criticized as well. Some say that it is too soft on crime while others note that many of the reforms are seemingly cosmetic and may not make a significant difference in the system's operation. It is important for people to understand the bill's provisions, especially if they could potentially be impacted by the changes.

One of the immediate effects of the bill could be felt by the almost 2,600 people currently in federal prison for crack cocaine offenses and convicted before 2010. In that year, Congress passed the Fair Sentencing Act to address the disparities in sentencing for people accused of crack and powder cocaine charges. The sentencing disparities drew widespread criticism due to their disproportionate impact on black defendants. The reforms, however, were not retroactive. Under the First Step Act, people sentenced prior to 2010 could petition a judge for release.

Avoid accidents caused by excessive sun glare

Drivers in Colorado may encounter dangers when they least expect them. While many people think that a clear day is not a likely time to encounter problems with poor visibility, sun glare can present a major danger on the roads, especially during the morning and afternoon rush-hour drives. This is particularly dangerous when the visibility issues created by bright sunlight combine with negligent or distracted driving. However, people can take steps to protect themselves while driving facing the bright rays of a rising or setting sun.

Sunglasses can help drivers to avoid the glare and protect themselves. While they won't eliminate the beams of the sun's rays, they can reduce their impact and also protect vision from the damaging effects of UV. It can be a good idea to store a pair of sunglasses in the car in case of visibility issues. The built-in sun visors in a vehicle can also be an important first line of defense against excessive sun glare. The visors can be adjusted to block the most glare possible. Because they are built-in equipment, they are designed not to block a driver's view of the road ahead.

The impact of marijuana reform on road safety in Colorado

The recreational use of marijuana has been legal in Colorado since 2012, which has given researchers plenty of time to find out how rolling back drug prohibitions affect road safety. A study published in the American Journal of Public Health in August 2017 found that marijuana legalization had not led to a surge in traffic accident fatalities in Colorado, but researchers from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety say that the number of accidents in the state has increased significantly.

IIHS researchers compared automobile insurance collision claims in Colorado with claims made by motorists in three states where recreational marijuana remains illegal. Factors such as age, weather and location were taken into account when the figured were tallied according to the researchers. After studying data collected between 2012 and 2017, the researchers found that collision claims in Colorado were 5.3 percent higher than they were in Nebraska, 5.7 percent higher than they were in Wyoming and 18.9 percent higher than they were in Utah.

3 reasons for a marital agreement

Although no one gets married anticipating a divorce, the fact remains that about half of married couples in the United States end their marriages through divorce. Mature adults understand that in addition to the romance of a marriage, the union is also a legal contract.

Advance planning before getting married, especially in terms of a marital agreement, makes practical sense for several reasons. If you are about to get married, consider these three reasons for a marital agreement.

NHTSA's 2017 data shows rise in fatal crashes with large trucks

In Colorado and across the U.S., the number of fatal crashes involving large trucks continues to rise. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a report summarizing the 2017 car crash data that it collected through its Fatality Analysis Reporting System. It appears that large truck crash deaths were the only type of vehicle crash death that saw an increase.

The total number of traffic fatalities went down 1.8 percent from 37,806 to 37,133 people. Fatalities in passenger vehicle, motorcyclist and pedestrian crashes went down by 1.4, 3.1 and 1.7 percent, respectively. Bicyclist fatalities saw a significant 8.1 percent decrease while speeding-related deaths declined by 5.6 percent. Distracted driving crashes, while accounting for 8.5 percent of all fatalities, also saw a reduction.

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