Divorce can take a toll emotionally and financially, and it can also impact a parent’s relationship with their children. These effects are especially concerning for husbands facing marriage dissolution, who will likely wonder: What are men’s rights in divorce? Do courts favor mothers in divorce orders? How can a husband protect his rights and interests during divorce?
In Denver County, CO, reach out to Goldman Law, LLC, a Family Law firm that has helped numerous spouses get favorable divorce outcomes. Our firm’s guidance and representation has proven valuable for men in these areas:
- Defending men’s rights in divorce issues such as property division, child custody, child support, and alimony
- Protecting men’s financial health in divorce
- Employing strategies to preserve fathers’ relationships with their children
- Reducing the chances of a long, costly, and highly antagonistic divorce process for the least possible emotional and financial strain.
Men’s Rights In Colorado Divorce: Are Husbands And Wives Equal?
Under the law, men have exactly the same rights as women do in divorce. However, it is understandable that some husbands are worried about gender biases in Family Law, because historically, there have been divorce principles that favored women. Let’s take a look at some common concerns around men’s rights in divorce.
In the past, when it came to child custody, it was believed that young children would be nurtured best by their mothers. This “tender years doctrine” has since been debunked by family psychologists and rejected by the law, but concerns still remain about judges’ view on parenting.
Some Colorado fathers also have to hurdle an additional barrier with paternity. Before a dad can claim any parental rights, he must establish that he is the child’s legal father. Colorado courts presume paternity if the dad was married to the mom when the child was born, or if the dad’s name is specified on the birth certificate. Complications arise if, for instance, the child was born out of wedlock.
Conversely, there are fathers who wish to disclaim their paternity if they believe they should not be accountable for child-rearing. In Colorado, a father’s signature is not needed on a child’s birth certificate. The mother may write the name of a person whom she believes or wishes to be the father, even if that person has not acknowledged his parentage.
Property division and alimony
Aside from parental rights, other common divorce concerns among men are property division and alimony (spousal maintenance). Historically as well, there was an assumption that women who are no longer married to their husbands would not be able to support themselves, so they were entitled to financial support and considerable share of the marital property. Again, present-day courts do not subscribe to this assumption.
In fact, Colorado’s property division follows the concept of equitable distribution. Marital property is divided not according to equal shares but according to what is fair or equitable. The court examines several factors to determine what is fair for each spouse.
Likewise, alimony is not automatically awarded to wives. Judges consider a number of factors to determine 1) whether or not a spouse should receive maintenance, and 2) the amount and duration of maintenance. Generally, the spouse with significantly higher income may be ordered to pay maintenance to the lower-income spouse. Either can be the husband or the wife.
It is also a myth that recipients of spousal maintenance can choose the amount they should receive. The amount is calculated by the court using a formula which factors in the specific incomes of each spouse.
Why Men May Need A Divorce Lawyer In CO
With equal rights given to both spouses, a husband may be able to protect his interests and pursue his fair shares in a divorce. However, many real-world divorce cases have shown how husbands and fathers could suffer a disadvantage during marriage dissolution. Some examples:
- The court’s child custody decision often favors the child’s “primary caregiver”, which is the parent who has been most actively involved in the child’s day-to-day life. This involves parenting tasks like meal preparations, grooming, education, and social activities for the child. A father who has spent less time with their child, even for sensible reasons like work, may have a harder time pursuing child custody.
- For a husband with a high net worth, the stakes will be higher during divorce. Colorado’s equitable distribution of marital property may mean that his hard-earned assets are vulnerable to division. For instance, a jointly-titled marital home may be considered divisible even if he purchased it with his own money. A business that was started prior to marriage may also be divisible if it experienced growth during the marriage.
- Many spouses encounter trouble during divorce because of pre-nuptial agreements they have previously signed. A prenup may have seemed like a good idea before the wedding, but after years of marriage, circumstances may have changed, making the document’s provisions unfair. It is possible to challenge or invalidate a prenuptial agreement, but only in particular situations that need to be argued to the court.
The reality is that divorce is often a question of who can convince the court about what they are entitled to. A Family Law attorney is crucial if you feel that you will be challenged by your spouse, or if your situation puts you at a disadvantage. Don’t hesitate to at least consult with a competent lawyer regarding your divorce concerns. The earlier you take steps to protect your interests, the better your chances of achieving a favorable divorce outcome.
Contact Goldman Law – Men’s Divorce Lawyers In Colorado
At Goldman Law, LLC, we understand the complexities of divorce for husbands in Colorado, and we have demonstrated our effectiveness in standing up for men’s rights. Talk to us about your divorce situation. Call our office at (303) 656-9529 today.