“RESOLVING CASES – ACHIEVING RESULTS”
COMMITTED – COMPASSIONATE – AGGRESSIVE
For over three decades, Gary has sought fair and just results for clients in all family law and divorce proceedings including complex, high-asset divorces, child custody (allocation of parental responsibilities), legal separation, modification and support matters. He is dedicated to turning problems into solutions, protecting the rights of his clients by providing personalized and effective representation and successfully resolving even the most difficult cases involving complicated legal and financial issues. Among Colorado Divorce Lawyers, Gary has achieved an AV Preeminent Rating, indicating that he has been ranked at the highest possible level of professional excellence and ethical standards by his peers and judges.
Generally the first priority is to resolve cases when possible. In going to trial, no one really wins, both parties lose, and it generally becomes a matter of who loses the most.
Often, the process of going through a divorce can be an extremely stressful and emotional experience. Several studies have concluded that divorce is, for many people, one of the most painful experiences.
When you are involving the legal system in your most intimate familial relations, tensions are likely to be running high. Colorado Divorce lawyers often face diverse and complex issues which can often make the process more difficult for clients. As an experienced Divorce lawyer, Gary strives to reduce the tensions which often accompany a divorce. To do this, he tries to take cases out of the litigation arena when appropriate. Gary works to amicably resolve matters with both parties, developing innovative creative resolutions.
A good outcome in a divorce case is often dependent on good preparation. It is often difficult for people to admit that their relationship may be over and as a result neglect to begin preparing. However, speaking with a lawyer and beginning to prepare is certainly not an irrevocable step in pursuing a divorce and may prove extremely valuable if the parties’ do not reconcile and divorce becomes a reality. It is important not to let a very emotional situation override taking the necessary steps to achieve a successful outcome.
In this regard, the selection of the right Colorado divorce lawyer is extremely important. It is helpful when divorce attorneys have similar views, approaches and priorities as does their client and an effective amicable working relationship is established. All to often, attorneys can escalate animosities which serve to increase stress, resentment and spite. Gary Gottesfeld understands that while it is extremely important to protect his client’s rights, it is not in his client’s best interest to unnecessarily increase acrimony and hostility between the parties. While proactive in advancing his client’s case, he approaches each case with professionalism in order to attempt, when possible, to decrease the stress and pain which clients may experience as a result of their divorce, legal separation, custody or allocation of parental responsibilities matter.
Each client who is involved in a Colorado family law matter is unique and each case requires a serious commitment. Gary strives to consistently provide effective representation with each case and understand each client’s priorities as well as to provide support, caring and results oriented guidance at this very difficult time.
Inasmuch as dissolution of marriage, legal separation is often an extremely stressful process, Gary will first attempt a mutual resolution of issues when possible, ensuring that you are making the important decisions involved in your case rather than relying on a judge’s determination. Of course, you are much better equipped to make these decisions rather than a judge; additionally, a decision reached outside of the courtroom is frequently faster, less expensive and disruptive.
Assertive Litigator to Protect Your Rights – Of course, sometimes litigation is unavoidable. When litigation is the only way to resolve your family law and divorce issues, you can rest assured that your case will be handled with skill and expertise. With over 35 years experience in practicing before various courts, Gary Gottesfeld is an assertive and tenacious trial lawyer who will effectively represent you in the courtroom to protect your rights.
Colorado Family Law
In Colorado, divorce is “no fault” which means the Court will not consider wrongful actions of each spouse, including matters such as fidelity, emotional conduct and other factors which may have led to the breakdown of the relationship. While these factors are often very important to the parties, pursuant to Colorado law the Court is unable to consider these factors when entering Orders or making decisions.
Both parties have an affirmative duty in divorce cases to disclose various information and documents under C.R.C.P. 16.2 This information is required even though it may not be specifically requested and includes: sworn financial statement, income tax returns, personal and business financial statements, real estate documents, statements regarding debts, investments, employment benefits, retirement accounts, bank statements, income documentation, child care expenses, insurance policies, extraordinary children’s expenses.
In Colorado, the Court must find that the marriage is “irretrievably broken” in order to enter a Divorce Decree dissolving the marriage. In cases where one spouse believes that the marriage is irretrievably broken and the other believes that the marriage is not broken or that differences can be resolved, the Court will still enter the divorce. If the parties reconcile, the matter may be dismissed by mutual agreement at any time prior to Entry of Decree of Dissolution of Marriage.
By way of general overview, Colorado divorce cases are initiated by the filing of a Petition either for dissolution of marriage or legal separation. In order for the Court to obtain jurisdiction, the Petition must be served, must be filed as a Co-Petition or the other spouse must sign a waiver and acceptance of service. General issues arising in domestic relation cases include division of assets, division of debt, spousal maintenance (alimony), tax implications, allocation of parental responsibilities (custody), child support, parenting time, decision making and attorneys fees. At the outset, a case is generally set for an Initial Status Conference with the Court in which a general assessment of the case is made and the Court enters orders to facilitate the final resolution of a matter.
The Courts generally will require that the parties exchange Sworn Financial Statements and various disclosures prior to the Initial Status Conference. At the Initial Status Conference, the Court will generally set either a date for Temporary Orders if temporary matters need to be addressed or set the matter for a Permanent Orders Hearing at which time all matters will be decided by the Court, if not previously agreed upon by the parties.
A marital dissolution is an adversarial proceeding. In other words, there are disputes to be resolved. The role of the family law attorney is perplexing. On one hand, a professional attorney will attempt to resolve the dispute as quickly and as painlessly as possible for their client. On the other hand, the attorney must protect the client against being taken advantage of or making inappropriate decisions. Ultimately, however, the client has the responsibility to make decisions and counsel will endeavor to protect the legal rights and entitlements of his or her client.
While Gary’s first priority is to protect his clients, it is important that this not be done in a matter to unnecessarily escalate levels of hostility in a case. It is unfortunate when cases deteriorate into attacks and counterattacks for little or no reason. This often causes irreparable harm to the parties and can be especially harmful to children when their parent’s relationship has deteriorated. At the outset, the approach of the counsel is critical and Denver Divorce attorneys vary in their approaches and philosophies. While not every Denver divorce attorney will approach cases that are impossible for long-term solutions that are best for the parties, Gary has always endeavored to do so and to make a difference for his clients in reaching solutions which are best for the family over the long term.
Legal Separation in Colorado
Legal separation is an alternative to divorce in Colorado. In a legal separation, all matters which are determined in a divorce are also addressed such as child related matters, property and debt division, maintenance/alimony, and child support.
However, the entry of a Decree of Legal Separation will preclude either party from getting re-married. Some people opt for legal separation for religious reasons. Additionally, often different rules apply with regard to Social Security benefits, retirement benefits, inheritance rights and other factors which may differentiate a legal separation from a divorce. For others, a legal separation is an intermediate step when they are not ready to dissolve their marriage.
A Decree of Legal Separation may be converted into a Decree of Dissolution of Marriage any time after six months of entry of the Decree of Legal Separation.
At The Gottesfeld Law Firm, LLC in Denver, Colorado, we assist clients with the full spectrum of legal concerns related to family law. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal concerns:
- Parenting time
- Paternity testing
- Child and spousal support
- Prenuptial agreements
- Child custody
- Protective orders
- Divorce Attorney in Denver
- Dissolution of marriage
- Restraining orders
- Enforcement actions
- Separation of invalidity
- Grandparent’s rights
- Spousal maintenance
- Legal separation
- Division of assets
Of course, each case is unique and Gary Gottesfeld will fashion a legal strategy which recognizes the unique situation you face and which is designed to achieve each client’s objective. In many situations, Gary Gottesfeld can achieve a comprehensive settlement through negotiation or mediation or submit the matter to the Court on an uncontested basis. Other cases can be highly contentious involving complex issues and require resolute action in the Court to achieve a positive outcome.
Contact Gary Gottesfeld today to discuss your Divorce and Legal Separation issues. A free consultation is offered to all new clients. Mr. Gottesfeld can be reached at 303-892-7000 or via email below to schedule an appointment.