Soldier Pic - 12-09-15

By Staff Attorney
The Gasper Law Group, PLLC

If your spouse is in the military, and if you plan to divorce, you likely have numerous questions about your military benefits. For instance, will you keep your health insurance? Will you still enjoy military discounts and pension benefits? What happens if you or your spouse later remarries?

A family law attorney can provide specific insight and answers, based on your circumstances. Life obviously changes in huge and unpredictable ways after dissolution of a marriage, but during the separation, spouses and all family members keep benefits.

Coverage for Children and Ex-Spouses

Your dependent children can still receive medical coverage through TRICARE, the military health insurer. Until the age of 22, children remain legal dependents of the service member unless they marry. For the ex-spouse, benefits vary, depending on how long you and your spouse were married. As an ex-military spouse, you won’t qualify for full benefits unless all of the following apply: Continue reading →

By The Gasper Law Group
www.gasperlaw.com

Distraught Female Soldier - 11-12-15

Whether your husband of 20 years blindsided you with a request to separate after returning from serving in Afghanistan, or you decided to end your marriage after months of painful deliberation, you don’t need to be told that divorce is an emotionally devastating and confusing experience. However, if you or your spouse served in the armed services, you need to be aware of the special rules and laws that govern military divorce. The information below explains several key elements involved in the process.

Calculating Child Support

Parental income serves as the basis for calculating any child support, but the computation of the gross income of a person in the military must include entitlements. Courts factor in revenue from sources like GI benefits, combat pay, deployment bonuses, hazard pay and separate ration.

Designating Child Custody (or what Colorado calls “parenting time”)

When establishing terms for child custody after a military divorce, the agreement should accommodate the deployment of the military spouse as well as his or her changing schedule. The care plan must address issues such as modes of communication during deployment as well as provisions for leave and vacation time. Continue reading →

Boy with young man on moving day carrying cardboard box

Yes, moving can be exciting, but how is it affected by Divorce?

By Christopher M. Nicolaysen
Staff Attorney
The Gasper Law Group, PLLC

In today’s transient society, parents that have been divorced in Colorado will often move out of this state and seek to take their child or children with them. The relocation of a party out of the State of Colorado can impact the amount of parenting time both parties will have with their minor child(ren). In Colorado, relocation of a minor child(ren) is controlled by statute and case law.

Pursuant to C.R.S. § 14-10-129, when the parent with whom the minor child resides the majority of the time seeks to relocate with the child to a residence that substantially changes the geographic ties between the child and the other party, the primary residential parent shall provide to the other parent with (1) written notice as soon as practicable of the intent to relocate, (2) the location of where the party intents to reside, (3) the reason for the relocation, and (4) a proposed revised parenting plan. Relocation hearings are given priority on the court’s docket.

Both the relocating parent and the non-relocating parent share equally the burden of demonstrating why it is in the child(ren)’s best interest to relocate or stay. In re the Marriage of Ciesluk, 113 P.3d 135 (2005). Further, the Court in Ciesluk stated, a court must begin its analysis with each parent on equal footing; a court may not presume either that a child is better off or disadvantaged by relocating with the majority parent. Continue reading →

By Gretchen A. Bundy-Ladowicz Staff Attorney and Former JAG Attorney The Gasper Law Group, PLLC Military Divorce - Toy Soldiers Fighting - 07-15-15 There seems to be a great deal of confusion, misinformation, and basic ignorance on the topic of the divisibility of a military pension in a dissolution proceeding. The short answer is that, yes, a military pension is marital property that is subject to division in a divorce proceeding. That being said, as is the case so frequently in the law, things are never as simple as the short answer. The cornerstone statute addressing the division of military pension is the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Act (USFSPA). Before USFSPA, the United States Supreme Court had held in McCarty v. McCarty that the states were actually precluded from dividing military retired pay at divorce. The Court did not close the door completely on the issue. The Court went on to provide that Congress could change this through appropriate legislation. Thus, the USFSPA came to be and applies to disposable retired pay payable after June 25, 1981, the day of the McCarty decision, and to any court decree entered after that date. The Act provides that courts may, but are not required, to divide military retired pay incident to divorce. The Act leaves to the states to determine whether military retired pay is a marital asset subject to division or a separate asset that is solely the property of the servicemember. In Colorado, disposable military retired pay is subject to equitable division. As is the case with the division of anything in a court of general equity, equitable does not mean mathematical equality. However, the method for determining a spouse’s share actually is a math equation. In 1995, the Colorado Supreme Court in In re Marriage of Hunt established the use of the “time rule” formula for division of military pensions: Continue reading →

By Christopher M. Nicolaysen
Attorney At Law
The Gasper Law Group, PLLC

The State of Colorado recognizes marriages in two ways. The first way is getting married in such a way that you meet all of the statutory requirements for marriage. The second way is by meeting the requirements for common law marriage. Thus, Colorado does recognize common law marriage.

Many myths exist as to what the requirements are to be common law married. One myth is that the parties must cohabitate for a certain number of years or certain amount of time. Under Colorado law, there is no set amount of years or time required to be declared common law married. Another myth is that a ceremony is required to be common law married. Parties can still be considered common law married in Colorado without a having a ceremony. Lastly, having children together does not necessarily make the parties common law married, but can be a factor in determining common law marriage.

Determining common law marriage is a fact based analysis, and no single fact determines the existence or lack of common law marriage on its own. In Colorado, the two elements needed to determine whether there was a mutual, present intent of the parties to be common law married are (1) cohabitation and (2) a marriage like relationship. Continue reading →