Q&A with Family Law Attorney James Townsend

Divorce Attorney James Townsend

As a grandparent, how can I insure that I see my grandchildren after a divorce?

That’s a great question; the fact of the matter is that grandparent visitation in the state of Colorado is very difficult to get. There is a Colorado Supreme court case that put into place the standard that was handed down in a US Supreme Court case called Troxel v. Granville. That case held that fit parents are entitled to a presumption that they act in the best interest of the children. So, if a grandparent is trying to preserve their right to continue to see the child, or if they are trying to preserve any sort of parenting time, they will have to fight hard to show the parents are not fit to make decisions in the best interest of the child.

My spouse is in the military, are these types of divorces more difficult?

They can be. I know that a sort of a lawyer-like answer, but quite often they are more difficult because with military divorces you are not only dealing with the local state statutes but you’re also dealing with federal statutes. So your lawyer needs to understand how those statutes essentially work together in order to determine certain decisions. For example, the division of military retirement benefits are governed by federal statutes. There are also federal statutes that govern what’s supposed to happen regarding parenting time if one of the spouses is deployed. So, in all, military cases can often be, and often are, much more complicated because of the overlap of state and federal statutes.

I heard the courts order 50/50 in the division of assets no matter what, is it possible to get more?

The courts are required to split the assets EQUITABLY not evenly. The difference is that equitably means fairly. They are required to split the property fairly based on the evidence and testimony submitted at trial.